Mother Teresa once said something about being the pencil in God's hands. I believe in being something like that. A pencil, or maybe the paper, or maybe the lines on the page in the greater story of a God, a people and a savior.
My story - my narrative in His story - is about hope and healing. It's about love and adoption. It's about grace and mercy.
It has led me from the dusty plains of West Texas, north and west to the rich diversity of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, into the mountainous peaks of Colorado, across the globe to the Rainbow Nation of South Africa and back again to the dusty plains.
It starts with a West Texas family and ends with a West Texas family - beautifully different from and beautifully akin to the first.
It's a story about God, and I like to write about it.
Caroline is my surprise. She's the daughter I never expected. When I met her, I was a single woman living in a foreign country. My plans and intentions certainly did not include adoption. But, as God so often does, He taught me a new path which showed me motherhood and family and a life beyond my wildest dreams.
It was two years from the time I stepped out on faith to adopt Caroline until she actually became fully and legally mine. A long journey of impatience and unbelief and patience and belief. A long journey which held another unexpected surprise...
Andy and I met through an online dating service. Neither of us planned to meet someone we would ultimately fall in love with. Our expectations were simply to meet new people and stretch ourselves to try new things. But once again, God was teaching us something new.
We began dating eight months before I left to fetch Caroline home. Both Andy and I were unsure how he would fit into the story God was writing over Caroline and me, but we also knew we had found something unique and special. We found love, and Andy waited nervously and patiently for Caroline and I to come home when I traveled to finalize the adoption in August of 2013.
Caroline was nine years old when she arrived in America. Andy met Caroline face-to-face for the first time when he flew to Dallas to meet our plane from Johannesburg and to travel with us on the last leg of the journey home to Lubbock. Three months later, Andy asked Caroline's permission to marry me and to become her father. He proposed, and we were married in June of 2014.
Andy is currently in the process of adopting Caroline.