They tumbled off a plane and into our lives 16 years ago. Jessica, Jesse, and Marcy flew from San Antonio, TX to Kansas City and we welcomed them. They were then 12, 11, and 10.
Anyone who has ever adopted older children know what a "honeymoon" period is. We didn't get one. They appeared ready to scrap and claw and see if we meant what we said. We had met them 8 weeks earlier after reading volumes of their history and talking to social workers, counselors, teachers, and foster parents.
Their foster mother asked us if we knew what we were getting into and my Hero wisely answered, "How can we?" But we were committed.
We told the kids: 1. We are committed to you. 2. We will always be there for you. & 3. If you get into trouble we will be right there waiting... with consequences.
They tested that. With God's grace, we stayed committed.
We didn't tell them we loved them because that's not what they needed to hear. They had been in foster care for 6 years. They had been placed in one home for adoption and sent back after 5 weeks. They had been told they were loved only to be sent away time and time again. They needed to know we were committed.
We did love them. With time, they began to understand and accept that. Through all the testing, our love grew. I can't imagine life without them.
They are all grown now. We talk on the phone. We laugh about their antics. We pray for them. We miss them when we can't be together on holidays. We are family.
There was no way we could know what we were getting into but I'm sure glad we did it anyway.