Updated: Jul 8
In part 1 of Grapevine Grace, I posted the dream I had back in August of 2020. You can read it here if you missed it.
Key things in the dream were the sudden slicing of the vines, the number 14, the military- green bills pressed into my hand firmly, and the word "double" right as I awoke.
In February of 2020 we finalized the adoption of our foster son and subsequently closed our foster license. We believed that our family was complete, that two very busy little ones was all that I could handle full time at home, not to mention our house was full! Everyone in the family also agreed! But every once in a while, something triggers a memory, or I would set the table and panic for a second, thinking I was missing someone. Losing a baby (2 miscarriages and 1 stillbirth, in my case) is not something that just disappears out of a mother's mind. The loss springs up out of nowhere sometimes. As hard as those losses were, they were not as painful as when our adoption of twin toddlers was interrupted. As you read the story about how this unfolded, remember the key things in bold above.
Because my husband and I always wanted a large family and I had difficulties with my pregnancies we agreed to try to adopt a baby. We didn't feel that our family was complete even with the three beautiful children born to us. We were approved within three months in 2013 at a Christian adoption agency and then began the fundraising as we waited for a phone call to accept a newborn baby. People from several different churches blessed us incredibly with the funds we needed, as well as infant car seats and other necessities. Three different people told me at separate times, "I can't help thinking you're going to get twins!"
Well, at this time, in the spring of 2014, is when our "old" friends heard about our desire to adopt and asked us if we would be willing to take their 12-month -old TWIN granddaughters! Crazy! How could we say no?! This seemed like God's plan, so we had our agency take care of the paperwork and began the process of adoption!
In that same year we were going through multiple losses and transitions. Hubby had lost his job due to a neck and shoulder injury and was still recovering while we lived on his lump-sum early retirement, our first-born son enlisted in the Air Force, our 2nd born son graduated from high school, we had to list our dream house/ hobby farm for sale, and other unmentionably hard things. Bringing home our twins was a bright spot of joy in the midst of much stress. I never realized how much of a priority babies were to me until I completely abandoned my beautiful gardens. It was easy to turn over the chores - milking the goats, feeding the chickens, cleaning the barn, etc. But to let weeds take over and completely stop caring for the gardens that I had spent countless hours to plan, and burst with excitement as my hubby and children helped to build and plant? Grapevine arbors along a path down the center with vegetable beds on either side, forming a heart that joined at the path. At the end of the path was the greenhouse where I started all my own seedlings and sold extras. I could easily lose track of time planting, transplanting, pulling weeds, watching baby sprouts grow into strong, healthy plants and then bearing fruit that nourished my family. It was a fascinating miracle that made me smile unconsciously as I played - this was NOT work to me. This was my haven, my outlet and place of peace. Yet I dropped it like a hot potato when our twins came to stay.
From June to September, we loved on our baby girls. They arrived at 13 months old with flat heads, unable to sit without falling over, gagging on solid foods, and high-pitched screeches being the only sound they made rather than babbling. Early-On evaluated their development to be between 6-9 months. By the end of three months with us they were crawling quickly, especially to hear and see big sis play the piano, sitting with no trouble, eating solid foods, babbling, calling me "mama", were beginning to hand-sign simple words like "more" in ASL, and were even beginning to stand alone. We were halfway through the adoption process.
Suddenly, in the first week of September of 2014 I received the most distressing (for us) phone call from the adoption agency. Birth mom and dad had gotten back together and decided to try being parents to the twins again. Of course, that's what parents are SUPPOSED to do... but they had begged us to take these precious babies, and in my heart, they were MINE. We had no choice but to give them back. I could hardly pick myself up off the floor. Of all the losses we were dealt that year, this was the one that cut me down, like that knife in my dream slicing the grapevines straight across.
Time continues to move regardless of the bubbles we get trapped inside. I went to a counselor for a few weeks, but then our property sold and I was forced to focus on packing boxes and process paperwork while hubby began training to drive a bus for Greyhound. The blessing was that the sale happened before his retirement ran out, just before Thanksgiving with enough of a profit to buy our next home with $60,000 cash at a time when most other home mortgages were upside down! The home we found was a foreclosure in a wealthy neighborhood and it was ready to move into. Our teenage kids thought this beautiful ranch was like a vacation house, with two fireplaces, over 3000 sq ft, a walk-up attic, huge bedrooms, and 3 1/2 bathrooms! I called it my Healing House. It was where we hosted small groups from church, we rested, hubby and son each found a new job, daughter continued home schooling, and I filled three journals in my healing search for JOY. Remember that hand with the military bills in my dream? This was only a small part of that provision. There was MUCH more to come that He was preparing us for that we were not aware of yet!
..."weeping may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalms 30:5
I hope you'll come back to read more of my TRUE story. I haven't gotten to the word "double" yet, either!