Well, this has been a year for the record books. I just turned 32. And man, has it been one crazy year. This time a year ago, I was in Africa. In fact, I was meeting my future daughters. Only that I had NO idea that they were my daughters. I mean.... NOOOOO idea.
You see, I don't do babies. I'm just not a baby person. Babies are very stressful creatures. You always have to check to see if they're still breathing. You have to decide on vaccines. They wake you up in the middle of the night.... Not that I dislike them really. But they don't even talk. And I am only mildly amused by their cuteness. Just not my thing. I've said a million times that I would never adopt a baby. I REALLY wanted to adopt a 10 year old boy. DEFINITELY not a baby.
But, my friend and I were at this particular orphanage to deliver medical supplies and hospital beds. For some reason, the Aunties there put the babies in our arms. And took pictures with our cameras. Like some sort of photo-op. Whatever. We just went with it. As we left the orphanage that day, I sat in the taxi and told my friend that I just don't know why people are so eager to adopt babies. I told her that I just wasn't attracted to the idea at all. I didn't even give a 2nd thought to those twins. Seems so odd to say that now. But there was nothing there. It wasn't in my plan. AT ALL. But, God apparently had another plan. (And was probably laughing at me that day.)
You see, a month later, I saw this message on facebook:
It is with much sadness that we share the news, that our twin baby girls have been diagnosed as HIV positive, are very sick in hospital, and the doctors expect them to survive only another few months. Please keep these precious little girls in your prayers and thoughts. We miss them so much already at the orphanage, and are heartbroken to know they will not be coming home to us.
So I did what anyone would do- started looking for someone else to adopt them. This plan IMMEDIATELY fell through because the adopting family would've had to have already met the girls prior to adopting them. And they'd have to have photo evidence of meeting them (as well as passport stamps) to provide as proof to the court. This is the only way the adoption could be processed in time. After some discussion, the orphanage agreed to care for the babies if the adoption could be processed immediately.
So there it was. There was no option. NONE. And an amazing thing happened. God started to burn these children into my heart. It had to be Him. Because it sure wasn't like me to become so fiercely in love with babies. Remember, that's just not my thing!! But all of the sudden, I would do ANYTHING in my power for them. And we did. We had to fight hard to get them here in time. We had to willingly lay down some relationships due to fear. We had to give up our easy life with only 3 older kids. (NOTHING is as easy with two babies.) And during this whole process another cool thing happened. God took the blinders off of my eyes. I can't believe I hadn't seen it coming. He had been preparing us all along!!
First of all, He had led me to this orphanage. I had only made contact with them to look for info on a long lost relative of my older kids. That contact was maintained until I actually went there on a mission trip, where I would meet the girls.
For some unexplainable reason, I had become intrigued by HIV a couple of years ago. I read. ALOT. I followed people's blogs who were open about their HIV kids. And I learned alot. So much that I couldn't stop talking about it. I've had several conversations about it with multiple people at the pool just because. I would find a way to throw the topic into any conversation I could. I just wanted people to know how different HIV is now than it used to be. I even told my friend Lisa once (the same one who was with me in Ghana) that if I ever adopted again, it would probably be HIV+ kids. (Because apparently we always adopt in pairs.) Of course, I meant OLDER HIV+ kids. Because that's my thing.
I had dreamed many, many times that I had twin baby girls. Each dream, a chief in Ghana would bring me two baby girls and say that I should raise them as my own. But of course, dreams are always off-the-wall stuff that makes no sense, right? Or so I thought.... As it turns out, the orphanage director- the one who helped me with the adoption- is a local chief.
My older girls had begged for twin baby sisters. (Because they each wanted one to play with like a doll.) They had planned out the sleeping arrangements. (Each girl would have a baby sleeping on a trundle bed with her, and would just tuck the bed back in every morning.) I just kept telling them they'd have to wait til they had their own kids. But they were convinced they should have twin baby sisters.
In fact, when me and Marie went to pick up the twins, Marie found twin African dolls (with babies on their backs) that she wanted to buy for the girls. But I had to tell her no. Because we already had them. Malorie and Serwaa (my older daughters) had happened to find those SAME African dolls at Goodwill the year before!! They insisted on buying them in case they ever had twin baby sisters to give them to. (This was probably before the twins were even born! Or at least around the same time!!)
I really don't know how I didn't see it coming. I'm sure there was more that I'm forgetting. It all makes sense now though. Not AT ALL what I had planned. But His ways are better than my own.....