October 17, 2016 by cbbeard
The Beard family has a very exciting announcement…We are expecting! Very soon we will have a new bundle of joy joining our household, a new daughter for Kerri and me, and a new sister for Nate, Laney, and Riley. The good news is we don’t have to deal with dirty diapers and the various and sundry issues associated with little babies and toddlers!(1) Our new bundle of joy is an amazing, smart, beautiful, and often rambunctious six-year-old girl.
This past week, we were finally able to tell this young lady something that we have been hoping and waiting to tell her for many months…we are going to adopt her and become her forever family. This announcement is the result of many months of preparation, planning, and prayer, and while this announcement in itself is incredible and amazing, the story behind it is even better.
You see, this young lady has been a part of our lives for over year already. For fourteen months this beautiful girl has called us “Aunt Kerri” and “Fur Fur” (2) because she has been a foster child of my sister-in-law, Lindy, and brother-in-law, Joe. For the last 14 months Lindy and Joe have been “momma” and “daddy” to our little girl, and we are so thankful that they chose to love her in that way. Here’s the back-story…
After Kerri and I decided three kids were “enough” the thought of adoption sprung up in our minds occasionally, but not heavily enough for us to take it seriously. Then in 2010, Kerri, Lindy, and I were at the North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis where the guest speaker was former NFL coach and adoption advocate Tony Dungy. He said something that day that I will never forget. He said: “If the church is really going to be known for our ‘pro-life’ stance then we need to go beyond an ‘anti-abortion’ stance. We need to get serious about caring for the children who are already born and in need.” That comment convicted us and stirred our hearts.
We finally acted on that conviction in 2012, and we began the training required for adoption from the state of Texas. But just as we were almost finished with the training, we both felt like something was a little “off” about our pursuit. Maybe it was fear. We certainly had a bit of a “savior complex” that was revealed to us. Whatever it was, Kerri and I agreed we needed to pause and reconsider. I believe now, that God was at work. Either he was working in spite of our fears and concerns, or he was telling us to wait on his timing, because in the meantime Joe and Lindy also felt a “calling” as it were. They shared in our conviction about helping children in need, but they felt that it wasn’t adoption they were called to, but foster care. They went through all the training and licensing procedures, and in August of last year, our little girl joined their family.
It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with her, and even more incredibly, our fears began to melt away. The more time we spent with this little girl, the more we realized that we desperately wanted her to be in our family forever. It was on a short drive from Joe and Lindy’s house back home at Christmastime that I finally said it out loud: “Well crap, we are going to have to adopt that little girl, aren’t we?” Kerri responded, “Yeah, that’s been on my mind too!” So we started the process. At that point we realized that this circumstance was not normal and we quickly realized that for this to actually happen, a lot of things had to fall into place. That’s why last Thursday was so special when we told our little girl that she would be our daughter and that actually she was already our daughter in our hearts.
So now my heart is overflowing; I’m so thankful. I’m so thankful to Lindy and Joe and my nephews Eli and Lucas (Jaws and Cus as I call them) for being obedient and brave. This never would have been possible without the sacrifice they made to bring a little girl into their home and love her like their very own. I’m so thankful that they selflessly served this little girl, and so VERY thankful that even though they will be “aunt and uncle” now to our little girl, she will always know that they were “mommy and daddy” for a very important time in her life. I’m so thankful for the few people we confided in…their love, prayers, and support. This process has been an emotional and difficult one with many ups and downs, and we could not have survived without those people in our lives. And I’m so thankful that the God I serve specializes in difficult situations, and that he took this “long shot” scenario and made it a reality.
We covet your prayers as well. Pray for us, for her, and for both households as she makes the transition. And pray for the process. While we’ve transitioned from “a lot of things have to fall in place for this to happen” to “a lot of things have to fall out of place for this NOT to happen,” we still realize that the process is not complete. While we are confident this little girl is our daughter from now on, there will be a time that she is our foster child as the state of Texas completes the legal processes necessary. We look forward to the day that process is complete, and on that day expect another post with our daughter’s name and pictures of the new and improved Beard family!