Congratulations Russell and Kristen!
Kristen and Russell are one of those couples whom I wish lived closer to me, because I feel sure that Kristen and I would be Bible study and/or coffee buddies. I will truly miss our weekly chats during their time of waiting and preparation!
Kristen and Russell are a lovely mom and dad to a beautiful set of five-year old twin boys, and had been yearning and dreaming of a daughter to complete their family. They and their boys were dreaming of a little girl to nurture.
They knew that a gender preference may slow their overall adoption wait time a bit, but they were willing to take that risk, as they were confident that the Lord had placed this journey on their hearts.
As a testament to the fact that it is the LORD who paves the way to a family being created -- their overall wait ended up being 8 months, start to finish.
Eight months may not seem very long, but I think it felt excruciating to this sweet family, because they presented on SO many cases, and were never selected. They presented on cases with low risk, and cases that were more difficult. But they kept getting a 'no.'
They likely got more 'No's' than any other family last year, which is a hard thing for anyone to take.
There was never a 'reason' to why they were not picked. But God.
He was keeping them waiting til just the right expectant mama came along, and fit just perfectly. Right before Christmas, they got a MATCH with a mama who was due in February.
Kristen and Russell loved this expectant couple big time, and nurtured a relationship with them via phone and text.
And at just the right time, their sweet Emily made her way into this world and into lots and lots of love, into the arms of her forever family.
And — here’s a special testimony written by Kristen herself…. Hopefully this will be encouraging to all the other mamas out there:
Baby Emily Grace
Russell and I have had our share of challenges when it came to starting a family. God blessed us with twin boys 5 years ago. When the boys were about 2.5 we decided we wanted another child with hopes for a baby sister. God had placed that desire deep in my heart but he slowly revealed his plan that looked different than ours. After two years of fertility trials I was in bible study worshipping one morning and tears were streaming down my face. I was praying and I heard God whisper, you will have another child, it just looks different than you think. I then began praying about adoption. Russell and I talked about it and to my surprise we were on the same page. God had began a work in his heart all along as well. I started to research adoption, when I came across a new friend who told me about Christian Adoption Consultants. I had never heard of an adoption consultant but instantly knew it was the way to go. We signed on with CAC in June of 2015 and began our home study right away. I knew the road wouldn't be easy and I was right. We applied and prayed through 12 situations to be told no. The waiting was so hard. Every situation brought a level of excitement, disappointment and an opportunity to seek the Lord's will. We live in a world that doesn't like to wait. I definitely hit my knees numerous times asking God for his will. I knew he knew best, and would bring the baby he had planned for us when she was ready, but it was still hard every time. Psalms 27:14 comes to mind during the wait. "Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD."
Then the Sunday before Christmas we got our Christmas wish. We had been chosen and she was due February 2nd. We had about 6 weeks to prepare. We were so excited. I had prayed from the beginning that I'd be able to be there when our daughter was born and God answered so faithfully. It was the most beautiful moment full of tears of joy!
God planned out every single detail. His plan has turned out to be so beautiful and something I wouldn't have ever imagined. He held our hands every step of the way and made his presence very obvious. This has been an experience that we will forever cherish!!
Emily has been such an answer to prayer and our family is so thankful to have her. Her brothers are so smitten with her. It's absolutely heart warming.
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for Emily, plans to prosper her, and not to harm her, plans to give her hope and a future.