Many of you know our resident twins, Kelly and Kevenel Knotts. It is our privilege to share with you their adoption story, written by their mom, as it is unfolding.
UPDATE #2: 6/11/14 The Knotts are in Haiti, all interviews and paperwork are completed. The boys are going home with mom and dad on Friday, 6/13/14!
UPDATE #1: 5/22/14 The boys have their passports printed and the Knotts family has been given Visa approval.
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One thing I’ve learned through this process is that God is into details. Orphan Sunday 2011 my husband, Gary, came home and shocked me with, “I’m ready to adopt.” I had waited 9 years to hear him say that. I felt God’s call to adopt in 2003 but I kept it to myself until we met the age requirement (which we both met before our home study was completed – God is into details!). I had waited so long to hear those words but I wasn’t expecting what he said next. “I think we should adopt two. I don’t want to leave a friend behind. You’ve always wanted twins; so let’s go for it.” TWINS??? It’s true; I had always wanted twins. I suggested we just pray about the twin thing while I eagerly started the search for an agency and the country God was calling us to.
Haiti was a big NO for me. Both of us were drawn to the Dominican Republic because of trips there, but we realized we couldn’t do the required 3 month in-country stay. So I narrowed it down to either a domestic adoption or Ethiopia. Friends, I worked for days to narrow it down to two places. I brought it to my husband and explained my findings and his only response was, “Well, what about Haiti?” HAITI??? What part of ‘domestic’ or ‘Ethiopia’ did he not understand? I knew Haiti was a very long process and the hardest thing for me to accept was that you go meet your babies then who knows how long it will be before you can bring them home. This Momma’s heart couldn’t take that. But clearly God knew better than I did. He knew where my babies were and pulled me kicking and screaming.
Once we agreed that Haiti was the place we chose to use Lifeline Children’s Services as our agency. We continued to pray about twins throughout our home study. During this period God confirmed over and over that He was leading us in this direction. When we shared with family and friends that we were seeking approval for two boys, I kid you not, they almost always said “Wouldn’t it be cool if you could adopt twins?” Why didn’t they just say brothers? Nope, it was always “TWINS.” God was speaking so I finally got up the courage to call our social worker. I was afraid because I felt like I was being too picky. We’d already requested a specific age range so I hated to add another criteria. I assured her that twins weren’t a requirement but that God just keeps laying it on our hearts. She said I should never underestimate what God will do. I’m so thankful to be blessed with such a wonderful, Christ-centered agency!
The home study took a lot longer to process than we thought it would, but of course God had his reasons. You see our boys were not even born when we started this process. We had to wait for that very important day. It’s hard when we can’t see what God sees. That’s why our relationship with Him demands so much faith.
In July 2012, before our dossier was sent to Haiti, we learned Lifeline was adding a new orphanage partner – Three Angels Children’s Relief. They asked if we would like to use this orphanage. We prayed and looked over the Three Angels website. We fell in love with the heart they had for the people of Haiti, but it looked like only a few children were there at the time. We saw there were boys but none of them looked like twins. After praying we decided we would go with Three Angels. We loved all they were doing and wanted to be a part of it. Now remember this was July. A month goes by; it’s now August 22nd and I’m staring at those 7 babies on the website again for the 100th time. At 11 pm, I found the Three Angels blog and began to read older posts. Oh how my love grew even more for the Three Angels family. Then I came upon the April 4th post which changed my life. It contained pictures of 4 babies, 2 of which were TWIN BOYS!!!
My immediate gasping for air and tears sent my husband running. As I turned the computer to him and he saw for himself he began jumping around shouting “I told you, I told you!” Reliving those moments brings tears to my eyes even now. I immediately wrote my social worker and told her we knew about the twins. She’d had visited Three Angels yet never told us about them. This confused us until she explained that she couldn’t tell us about the boys because the partnership with Three Angels had not yet been finalized and because the twins were pre-matched with another family. My heart sank… until her next statement “BUT!!! But just yesterday (the same day I found out there were twins) Three Angels called to say that the family felt the Lord leading them to one child instead of two. Three Angels wanted to know if you guys were still interested in twins.” We had just seen the very hand of God in such a real and amazing way. Only He could orchestrate details like that on the same day! After that, I knew NOTHING would keep me from bringing my precious twins home. Our dossier was completed, sent to Haiti, then submitted to IBESR. We exited IBESR 6 months later in May 2013 and we could finally start dreaming of a trip to Haiti.
August 4th, 2013 that dream came true. We boarded a plane and got to wrap our arms around our twins Kelly and Kevenel. My babies, only seen in pictures and read about on paper, were right there all handsome in front of me and all I could do was sob. I know they thought I was absolutely the craziest white woman they had ever seen. These were the twins God laid on our hearts even before they were born. This was faith turned into sight. Our week was spent loving on and playing with our babies daily, going to court appointments, and appearing at our embassy appointment. Kelly grew to enjoy us. Kevenel liked keeping his distance but he knew something was different about us. He knew we loved him. The trip was a true treasure. The one year and 8 month wait to meet them was hard but that was no match at all to leaving them. I will be honest. My heart has been broken ever since because I had to leave two pieces of it there in Haiti. The Lord continues to carry me. It was one of the most difficult things I had ever experienced. I’m so thankful for Three Angels and the love they shower on my boys every day, and more importantly, for the fact that they pour Jesus into their little hearts continually. Knowing how well they are cared for makes my days without them somewhat easier.
3 months was more than I could stand to be away from them. I had to got back and visit that November. Purchasing that ticket brought healing to my weary soul. Kelly once again wouldn’t let me put him down and made sure all the other babies knew I was his. He wouldn’t let anyone else get near me. If you’ve met Kelly, you know he loves to roughhouse. Well he melted softly in my arms but that fiestiness came right back out if anyone else tried to make their way onto my lap. Kevenel let me love on him a little more but still wasn’t so sure about all of it. He kept his distance for the most part but would give me precious smiles from across the room. God really brought me to my knees on this trip. As I watched the other children in the orphanage stare at the fun Kelly and I were having, I felt like their hearts were saying, “I want that too. Where’s my Mom?” That thought crushed me. I began to pray with many tears over every child there that God would bring parents soon. Each of them deserves the love of a family and I know God will be faithful to provide this greatest need.
Over the last 2 years we’ve slowly progressed through the multitude of steps – IBESR, Parquet, MOI… we are now waiting on Kelly and Kevenel’s passports to be printed. Once we receive passports, visas are all that’s left. The end is near. I wish I could say that it’s gotten easier but the wait is harder now than ever. I feel like we are so close yet so far away. Only two steps to go. (God give me strength and endurance to finish well.) I feel like I’m failing to finish well most days. I worry, I complain, and I get discouraged. I really just want Haiti to hurry up! I beg God and remind myself that HE is in control and it’s all in HIS perfect timing. But I won’t lie, it’s still hard. I’m human – a human with a mother’s heart that just wants all her babies under her wings right now. Our God is faithful. He loves my boys more than I do and at His appointed time I will get a call that says it’s time to go bring your babies home. Until then, I will pray, love them, and prepare a place for them. When I left from each of my trips I whispered to them, “I will not leave you as orphans. I’m going to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come back and get you so that where I am you will be too.” Adoption is a most beautiful picture of the gospel. It’s humbling to think that God even counts me worthy to do this. I’m honored and blessed beyond measure.
– Amanda Knotts