When the biggest change of all is coming... {Placement Day /Our Adoption love story}

The kettle whistles loudly on the stove, and this girl rescues it, scooping up the handle and pouring the piping hot water into a charcoal grey mug. It's over this deep red, raspberry flavored tea, that she and her handy-guy talk about Friday.

The tea soothes this lump in her throat. The one that hasn't gone since Monday, because Monday brought them closer to Friday... the day their lives will change entirely, and in ways that are completely unwritten.

And this throat thickens on behalf of the children, who's lives will be the most altered. How the oldest will go to a new school, and meet new friends, and the youngest will have this new routine with new faces and places... and it will all be so different from what they've known for the last one-and-half years while in foster care.

And I'm undone by all of this. That this world could be so complicated, and uncertain, and broken to the sweetest children.

Like her, this handyman's heart is breaking for them too. Over the wisps of heat from her mug, he shares that his biggest burden in all of this is for them. Another change, and transition, and he leans over from the weight of an exhausting day, and you can tell that he would do anything to protect their hearts. That he would break when they break. And I know in that moment that he'll be the most tender father at every opportunity.

I look over the edge of that mug at this man I married and see him as the biggest risk-taker I know -- the bravest of the brave -- to care for the most vulnerable in our city, to open his arms to the least of these, and to love them uninhibited. To give up a bucket list of travel to be there for two little ones, to trade a glamorous life for an uncertain one, to put a shielding back to the world rather than enter into it, and to accept fatherhood at the age of twenty-six for children he's known since August. But could this be what living really is. And on this Friday, we could be the most alive. The best bucket list of all.

How is this young couple feeling?

Far from brave. We feel utterly nervous. We are asked the most wonderful questions by lovely people about how we feel regarding all of this and if only I could tell them that we have the most questions of all, and the most unanswered. And most days, I'm a puddle on the floor - feeling completely inadequate. We'll never truly know everything they saw, and everything they felt - and all of me wants to know what they felt, and have a finger on the pulse of what they will feel, and take it on my shoulders... but I feel I can never earn those years back, or truly enter their hearts as much as I might knock.

We're praying hard - and it's in times like this that we feel the closest to God - and there's no other place we would want to be but pressing into Him. Seeking Him to show us how to love, how to have grace, how to enter their wee-hearts, how to encourage them to open their hearts to the greatest Father, and how to be firm and gentle.

I finish that last sip of tea that's turned cold, and I realize He's given us one of the greatest gifts - each other. He brought this girl in white down the aisle to marry a man who's heart would compliment her's, and that they would use that love for His Kingdom. So among all of this anxiety is complete joy, and privilege, and excitement for this new normal. We're excited to build relationships with these special ones, watch them grow, and see their joy, and catch their tears, and help mend their broken hearts in prayer, and watch them love others as Christ loves us.

So when the child worker comes and goes, and it's finally just us four and no one else, we'll be looking up above all those mountains we can build - of worry, uncertainty, and exhaustion - and dig in deep for His strength and guidance.

Can words truly capture all of this? Foster-to-adopt /adoption is just too complex and if given the opportunity, we'll be peeling back the layers for years, and relying on the simplest truth of all - God's deep, tremendous, patient love for this less-than-perfect family.

*Friday... today, friends... the children will be placed around 1pm to live with us full time. We're looking forward to a life-giving weekend together. Then, we anticipate a trial in October which will determine their future, and our future with them. The trial could be extended for months, so, like this tea, we'll just drink in all of this God-given time and we pray He multiplies it exponentially.