At the beginning of March, in the post From Ashes, I told the story of how God used my husband’s cancer to bring us an unexpected joy. Today I want to share exactly how Aidan, our sweet son, came to join our family. It was a long and exhausting journey. One that has tested our faith and our patience but that has also opened our hearts to the reality of just how deep The Father’s love runs for each of us.
After Dave was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December of 2011, God began planting a deep desire in our hearts… the desire to adopt. In 2013, and after a whole lot of prayer, we decided it was time to pursue our adoption dreams through the means of foster care.
Now, just to make things perfectly clear, foster care is not an adoption agency, and the process of getting certified is long and time consuming but it was something we still felt compelled to do. We became a certified foster family in September of 2014, and have had two placements over these past four years. Our first child, a 3 year old boy, came to us that October and stayed for several months before moving to a permanent foster home.
As we approached January 2015, our grandfather became extremely sick. We knew he would not live long and so our entire (extended) family made the trip from New York to Pennsylvania, where grandpa was staying, to spend his last few days together. During this time I called the foster care system to let them know we would be on hold from accepting new children. You can imagine our surprise when, as we were preparing to attend the calling hours, we got a call from a county worker…
A 10 day old baby boy had just entered the system and needed a home.
They called us first (despite our request to not be called with placements) to see if we were interested. As we began to get more information about him, we could clearly see God’s hand in it. This perfect child was born on January 13th. why, you may be wondering, is that significant?
January 13, 2012, is when Dave had surgery to remove his cancerous tumor along with our chances of having more children.
January 13, 2015, our grandfather left us to join the Saints in heaven. This sweet boy, who needed a stable and loving home, took his first breath just as grandpa, the patriarch of the Howell family, took his last.
This unexpected baby came into our hearts right when we needed him the most, and he brings life and joy to everyone around him! I will share more about our foster care and adoption journey with you in the future, but for today I hope our story reminds you of one important thing… God can transform the ashes of devastating circumstances into something surprisingly beautiful.