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A week of remembering

I’m parked in the prayer room right now, remembering a prayer meeting of almost one year ago today.  I can see the chair I was sitting in from right here.  It’s gray, like the others…but when I close my eyes, I can see the view I had that morning.

It was shortly after the beginning of the 6am prayer meeting.  I was sitting three rows behind Cory Russell.   I had my laptop, my Bible and my moleskine journal out and had just jotted down two seemingly unrelated thoughts.   The first was that I wanted to reform the adoption industry in a way that benefited children and families, not organizations.  The second was that I wanted more than anything to make God famous in our day.

Two minutes later, Cory was on the prayer mic and prayed those two things almost word for word.   My head shot up from the computer screen and chills rested on my shoulders.  With no clue how true it was at the time, I thought “Something is up….”.

Not long after, I received an email notification that someone had commented on a blog entry I’d made a few days earlier.   I logged on to read it.

My sister in law…just had twin girls (Sept 16).  She wants to give them up for adoption and my wife and I want to see those two girls placed in a Godly environment.

I know that you were asking for help with your endeavor, but I cannot help but ask for help with our situation.  If anyone has a specific burden for two girls from FL, please contact me.”

I read the note three times with Cory’s prayers echoing in my ears before hearing word of the Lord in my inner man.  “Go get them.” In a moment, I knew we were to do everything possible to make these girls ours. It wasn’t an invitation. It was a mandate.

I called Kelsey who agreed – let’s go get them.  If you can marry crazy, brilliant or gorgeous, marry all three.  I did.

Unfortunately, the person who left the comment only left a name – no email address.  Through a little sleuth work I tracked down his blog, which also had no contact info…but did mention his church.  I called and left a voice mail for his pastor, who called me back.  Explaining the situation, I told him “Please have the guy call me back as soon as he can.”

Fifteen minutes later, the phone rang.  The fellow who left the comment was on the other line.  I’m not sure if I let him get through his introduction or not, but I quickly blurted out “Yes, I know about the twins.  We’ll take them!”

Stunned silence.

“Wow.”  He replied.  “I was really hoping someone would…but I wasn’t expecting this!”

I got nervous.  “Are you okay with it?” I asked.

“Yeah, totally!  But you need to call the twins’ mother and talk to her.”

Did I mention this all happened in the course of about 30 minutes?  At the time of this phone call, it’s barely after 7am.

The next few hours were a whirlwind.  At one point we sat outside a coffee shop with our friends, Amy and Malcolm, all four of us on cell phones, talking to lawyers, nurses, social workers and the birth mom at the same time.  Four voices rattled off…  “Yes, it is rather sudden.”   “Yes, I can see why it seems crazy.”  ” Yes, we want you to hold the babies in the hospital and not release them to the state.” and finally, “Yes, ma’am – we want you to think of letting us raise your girls…”.

I had a 2pm meeting with TheCall leadership.  We were six weeks away from hosting a massive prayer gathering in the NFL stadium in San Diego.  With part of the team Skyped in from San Diego and the rest of us gathered around a kitchen table, we talked logistics and volunteers.

I heard little to none of it.  My brain was cooking overtime, thinking of the half dozen conversations I’d had that day with the birth mom.  She was scared.  She was troubled.  She wanted a vote in a world that had rarely asked her opinion in the past few years.  My meeting was interrupted with a phone call from her – my sixth or seventh of the day.  She said the words I’d been hoping to hear since this all began eight hours earlier.

“I think if I could meet you, I could make a decision.  Can you come to Florida tonight?”

I figured it was impossible to get to her part of Florida that day, given that it was 2:30pm and I was standing in someone’s driveway, no bags packed, 45 minutes away from the airport.   It turns out I was right, but barely.

I called Kelsey who had bags packed.  As I raced to our house, she booked plane tickets as close as she could get to the hospital that night….still a good six hours’ drive.   Collecting Kelsey and the suitcase, I sped towards the airport.   As we drove, Kelsey talked to a friend who was booking a hotel room.  I called an attorney who had agreed to take our case.

I told her “We’re flying out right now.”

“Right now?  Do you know this isn’t a done deal yet?”

“I know it’s not final, but we’re coming.”

“She has not signed consent.  Do you understand you could come all this way for nothing?”

I swallowed hard, remembering what I’d heard from the Lord in the 6am prayer meeting – go get them.

“Yes ma’am.  We’re coming.”

At 4pm we were on board a plane, wheels up for New Orleans.   We had known about the twins less than ten hours.


Editors note.  I intended to publish this as one piece…but I’m finding myself fairly overcome with emotion in the retelling.  I’ll finish this over a series of days.  I need to go meet with the Lord and say a few thank yous.


13 Responses

  1. It’s not every day I cry at someone’s blog, Randy. I guess knowing you all, knowing those precious girls, and hearing the details, well, wow. Not very eloquent, but WOW. This is why I love your family so much, because you are just “crazy” enough to go through all this because you heard God. Oh for more of that, for me and all of us!

  2. I am so touched by your story once again. I pray this be a foreshadowing for many babies and families in the days to come.

  3. Thank you Randy and Kelsie and family for preparing the way!

  4. I remember that happening, and knowing almost none of the details, but just thinking… “Woah, something big is happening.”

  5. I totally remember your story — can’t believe it has been a year… made me tearful as I read. Those babies are SO blessed to have ALL of you loving them…

  6. I remember!! Can’t believe its been a year!!

  7. […] telling the twins’ adoption story in series format. Follow these links to find parts one and two […]

  8. I have been reminiscing this beautiful story all week. It was one year ago this week that Travis and I decided to join you in being home study ready. We are still waiting and know that God has someone amazing in store to add to our family. Thanks for reminding us of God’s amazing hand in your lives!

  9. What is crazy is at the same exact time we were in Utah adopting Luke. We had spoken to you guys a few days before about staying with your friends in SLC. We were so blessed that we had found the connection to stay with through you guys and were praying that the Lord would give you a double portion of blessing. Consequently, that is why when Danie called us about 2 days later with the news that YOU were on a plane heading to possibly pick up twins we were flabergasted at the Lord’s attentiveness to our prayers;)!!!!!!!

  10. […] Part One […]

  11. There are so many treasures at IHOP that are rarely seen, working in the shadows, and coming out now and then to present their cause. You and Kelsie will play a key role in leading this adoption movement because you have been attentive to the voice of the Lord. You were obedient and didn’t let “convenience” or fear stop you from following His heart. You are an example to all of us of the Lord’s heart for His precious ones. We are no longer a house that just prays for the orphan to find a home and for God to end abortion, we are a house who is becoming the solution to abortion and a home for the fatherless. May the Lord bless you and your family!

  12. This is such a wonderful story, it gives me encouragment. We are still planning to adopt , we just feel it’s a timing factor. God is bringing it our way. We are still planning to adopt thru Hannah’s Dream. Thank you for your faithfulness in getting this message out to the people.

  13. You stir an old desire in me to adopt — but not only is the desire old, so am I.
    May our wonderful Father call many families to open their homes and treasure His little darlings.
    Bless you.

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