When we brought in our sibling group of three, at least one of our relatives was mad at us. He was afraid we’d get our hearts broken… again. “Be careful,” was all he had to say.

15 years ago when we set out to adopt our first child, we had three failed attempts . The first time was the most heartbreaking. But when we finally got “Pepper” and they laid that beautiful baby in my arms, all the struggle just faded away and we started raising our family. From the first, it was obvious that she was meant to be ours. She was like each of us in so many ways; she just “fit” us. From then on, I became convinced that the ones that are meant to be yours, are and the rest weren’t meant to be.

Fast forward to current times and the various foster kids who have crossed our threshold. Every one of them is a beautiful, adorable ¬†angel. Really! Every time, at least one of my friends will ask us, “Will you get to keep him (or her)?” Before the “Littles” came, I always said, “No, this one is not ours.” But it was different with the Littles. I knew before we met them. I just had that feeling.

The kids came to us at the end of February, and the case was slated for dismissal in April. There was one delay after another. In the meantime, I did my best to love them wholeheartedly, knowing that every contribution I made to their lives would stand them in good stead, whether we finished raising them or their bio mom did. Once a child knows for certain they are loved, they have that to reach for in their lives.

Nonetheless, I reserved a tiny bit of pessimism “just in case.” The day their bio mom (unexpectedly) relinquished, I felt a sigh of relief leave my body, and I slept like a baby all the way home. Even though the case had seemed unlikely to end this way, I’d known it was “meant to be” all along. In November, we finalized. I am so grateful we took a chance. I would not have missed those 10 extra months with them for anything. It really is worth putting your heart on the line.