‘They are ours forever,’ I told my husband as tears ran down my face. ‘We have twins. They’ve been moved due to limited beds.’ I read that text a million times. Our day had finally come.’

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“Our journey to becoming parents has been trying, but twice blessed.

Since I can remember, I have always dreamed of becoming a mom. Many of my friends had their wedding dress and wedding planned out since they were little girls, not me, I had baby names picked out. So, when my husband and I began dating, I shared my dreams and hopes of having a big family one day. We agreed to wait a year or two into our marriage before starting to try to have a baby. We wanted to travel and enjoy being married for a bit.

We began our journey to parenthood April 2009, I remember thinking we would be pregnant in no time. Boy, was I wrong.

Courtesy of Dayadelys Miguel

One month turned into 6 months, and then a year later… still not pregnant. That is when we decided to go see a professional. After a series of tests, we were told that my husband had a low count (male infertility), and were referred to a reproductive specialist. As we waited for an appointment to see the reproductive specialist, we continued to be optimistic and knew it was only a matter of time before we would be holding our baby. On January 2011 (My 27th birthday), I was rushed into surgery due to an ovarian cyst rupture. During my surgery doctors discovered I had stage 4 endometriosis. That was the day our journey took an unexpected turn. I remember the doctors telling us the chances of us conceiving on our own were less than 3%. One reproductive specialist referred to us as the ‘prefect storm’ (which I don’t believe was a complement to this day). In June 2013, we began IVF with no success. March 2014 was our frozen embryo transfer. It was a success and we finally got pregnant. Unfortunately, we miscarried at 7 weeks. After that we decided to take a break and focus on things, reconnect as a couple and heal.

Courtesy of Dayadelys Miguel

During that time my husband and I relocated and began to accept the fact it would be just us and our fur babies. IVF was off the table and adoption wasn’t something we had really discussed. August 2016, a new school year began, and I had a new kindergarten class to love on for the next nine months. Little did I know, I would have the pleasure of meeting a little boy who would change my life. He was my student for a short of period time, but I believe he is the reason my husband and I became foster parents. I can still remember the day I told my student I was going to have to talk to his dad at car line about his behavior. He turned around and said, ‘He is not my dad, he is my case worker. I don’t have a mom or dad. I am in foster care.” I was shocked and speechless in that moment. Throughout that day I kept thinking about his words and wanting to do something to help my student. I wanted to wrap my arms around him and protect him from the world. I wanted him to know how special and wonderful he was and that he was not just a foster kid. Shortly after, he was transferred to another home and school. To this day, I still think and pray for his wellbeing.

During dinner one night, my husband and I were discussing life and what we wanted to do to expand our family. We have had many conversations like this in the past, but for some reason this one felt different. I remember breaking down and telling him how tired I was of trying and waiting for our dreams of having a family to come true. I just wanted to be a mom. I didn’t care if I wasn’t the one to be pregnant, I just wanted to be a mom. That’s when the topic of adoption started to blossom. Shortly after that we met with a local adoption agency, filled out all the forms, told our family we were planning to adopt. However, deep down my heart kept doing back to my student’s words: ‘I am in foster care.’ The more time passed the stronger I felt as if my heart was calling me to foster. I remember asking my husband if he would be interested in becoming a foster parent. At first, he asked me, ‘why?’ I respond by saying, ‘We have so much to offer. It’s not the childrens’ choice to be placed into foster care anymore than ours to being not able to have children. God has been so good to us and I think it’s time to really make a difference and stop waiting and take action.’ A few months after that we began our journey as foster parents. We were licensed June 2017 and had our first placement within a few weeks… Little B.

Little B stayed with us for six months. Six months filled with adventures, so much love and joy. Six months where bonds and hope for a forever were created. However, in December 2017, Little B went home to grandparents and my heart was shattered. I have never experienced such pain and loss. Once again, our dreams of a forever child where broken to millions of pieces.

During Little B’s transfer period I often found myself questioning my faith and asking God, ‘Why us?’ I knew what we signed up for when we became foster parents. I knew we are not guaranteed a specific amount of time. I knew we may or may not have the opportunity to adopt. That it was likely we would have several placements, which we did during those six months; we had two other placements. I knew the role we played. But what I did not know was, and often questioned, if we had made the right choice.

After Little B was transferred, we knew we wanted to take a break and see if we wanted to continue to foster. We spoke with our licensing agency and agreed to a few months break. However, our request was never placed in our file and shortly after, we began to receive calls for new placement. I believe we received 4 different calls during that week to which I replied, ‘I’m sorry, we can’t at this time.’ I remember praying to God for forgiveness at night for my weakness and selfishness of wanting to protect my heart. But that all changed on December 14, 2017. I received a placement text, ‘Sorry, I know you have said you guys aren’t taking any new placement at this time, but we have a set of twins who have come into care and have been moved twice due to limited beds.’ I must have read that text a million times. I called my husband and told him about the twins and how my heart and gut was telling me to say yes to this placement. He simply said, ‘I trust you and if you’re okay with it, I am okay with it.’ So, I knew what I had to do. I quickly responded, ‘Yes, we can help.’ Little did I know that was the text that would change the course of journey forever.

Courtesy of Dayadelys Miguel

I can still remember as if it was yesterday, the moment I met my babies for the first time in their infant carriers all snuggled up with a pink and blue blankets. I remember the caseworker giving us an overwhelming amount of information regarding their case. Telling us how this was going to be a short and easy placement, how they would likely be reunified within a couple of months. Telling us ‘not to get attached because they were going home.’ I will never forget my husband’s response to her. ‘It doesn’t make a difference  to us if they are with us for one day, one week, a month or forever. We will love and care for them as our own because they are our children no matter what.’ His words were what gave me encouragement and strength to push through my heartbreak of losing little B and forcing on the two little angels placed in my arms. At the end of the day, it did not matter how long they stayed with us. What mattered was that they felt loved and protected. It was not about my fears or feelings – it was about making a differences and wanting to be the best mom I could be for whatever time God gave us.

Courtesy of Dayadelys Miguel
Courtesy of Dayadelys Miguel

As time passed, the twins’ curiosity and personality began to flourish, our hearts grew bigger with love and fear of the possibility of losing them. You see, the twins were placed in our home at the age of 5 months and had being growing in front of our eyes. We experienced so many firsts with them including learning to sit, crawl, and taking their first steps and saying their first word, ‘Dada.’ At the beginning of their placement, we truly believed that reunification was the best possible outcome. However, as the case progressed, so did our opinion. I remember the day our caseworker stopped by for our monthly visit and informed us they were going to seek the sole goal of adoption. I remember my heart stopping and my eyes fill up with tears. Tears of sadness for my children’s loss of part of their identity. I remember telling my heart ‘to stay still.’ I did not want to get my hopes up. We had been down that road before, so we waited and prayed for the best outcome for our children.

Courtesy of Dayadelys Miguel
Courtesy of Dayadelys Miguel
Courtesy of Dayadelys Miguel

January 2019, the Judge signed the order allowing us to move forward with adoption. I remember getting a text from our caseworker letting us know it was done. Bio dad’s rights had been TPR (Termination of parental rights), and bio mom surrendered her rights. I immediately called my husband to share the news, telling him, ‘They are ours forever,’ as tears ran down my face. That’s was the first time, I had every vocalized, ‘Ours forever.’ Choking on tears of joy, sadness and overwhelming love. I was going to be their forever mom.

Courtney Garbow Photography
Courtney Garbow Photography
Courtney Garbow Photography

April 2019 – Adoption Day! As our family and friends filled the courtroom, we could not help but notice the overwhelming sense of love and support. Our little boy sported a bow tie and suspenders. I was lost in his deep blue eyes that are always filled with wonder and excitement. Out little girl was dressed in a light blue polka- dot dress, as her ringlet curls drooped over her tiny shoulders. We sat there together, after our long journey, knowing this was it. Our day had finally come…the moment we had prayed for all these years.

Courtney Garbow Photography
Courtney Garbow Photography
Courtney Garbow Photography

There are no words to describe the overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude we felt on that day. You see, our beautiful babies – have been ours from the moment they were placed in our arms. They are the answer to our countless prayers. We are a family.”

Courtney Garbow Photography
Courtney Garbow Photography
Courtney Garbow Photography
Courtney Garbow Photography
Courtney Garbow Photography
Courtney Garbow Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Dayadelys Miguel of Florida. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Adoption day photos were provided by Courtney Garbow Photography. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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