real babies3-1/2 years into this journey of “sibling adoption,” I still run into people who don’t know about our three Littles. When they smile quizzically at the “cling-on” glued to my leg, I quickly explain that we adopted three little ones, almost three years ago. Most people then react in this way: they look at my gray hair and my “nearly grown” teens, shake their heads in wonder and say, “I don’t know how you do it but I admire you.”

Let me set the record straight right here: we are a far from perfect family and far less than perfect parents. We love our kids to pieces but it’s true — we may be a little old for this stuff! There is a lot more chaos in our home then we’d like to have, a lot more yelling (than I’d like to do), and in general, a lot more stuff than I’d like to live with.

That said, are the kids better off together, with us than being in foster care? There is no doubt.

So how did we get here? We started out fostering one child at a time with no real plans to adopt, although we’d said we were open to it. One day my social worker called, gave us the kids’ ages and genders, explained that they had been separated and they really wanted to get them together. They hadn’t much faith that they would be available for adoption, but they wanted to place them in an adoption-ready home, just in case. It was a short term deal; this call took place in mid-February and Mom’s custody hearing was due in early April. Why not? We said yes and then scrambled like mad with our “make ready” for these babies.

April came and went, as did May and June. By now we were in love with the kids, and they with us. The baby was walking the older two were talking; the 2 and 3 year olds were nearly potty trained. Life was lumpy, but we were attached. In July, we had mediation. We were told that there was no way that Mom would relinquish, but we needed to be there as a formality. We brought our books and settled our bums on the hard wooden courthouse benches. Late afternoon there was a surprise relinquishment. We went home parents. I cried all the way.

The remaining 4 months were a formality. We can now barely remember our quiet, organized life BL (before Littles). They are truly the lights of my life; a joy and a wonder. Even though it wasn’t an organized plan from the get go, I don’t think it would be any different had it been. We could not love them more.

So there you have it. If there is a message in all this, I think it would be this: a leap of faith is just that, but 9 times out of 10, you’ll be glad you took it. Blessings on you and yours!