After the four left, our home felt so empty. In fact, the first night we cried as we paced our quiet house full of new beds laying empty. We prayed for "God to fill our home with 'our kids', ones meant to stay with us and be our family. We prayed that He would protect them wherever they where, keep their hearts and bodies from harm, protect their eyes and ears from seeing or hearing any bad things. That He would prepare our hearts and theirs to love one another." We prayed this so many times that even as I type I think, "God, if there is one more, please hear our prayer." The last week in August we received three calls totaling nine kids, one was a sibling set of four that came at 2 am....we said no to each call for one reason or another. One thing we learned and felt was so important, was to be honest about what we could handle and not feel pressured to accept a placement that we didn't feel we could commit to for the long haul. We were a little worried about saying no for the third time in a week, but knew none of them were 'the right one'.
Scott and I were teachers at the same High School and coached volleyball together, he taught 9th grade geography and I taught 9th grade Special Education. I collaborated in rooms next to him and in his class one period each day. The week following the nine, Wednesday to be exact, he saw an email pop up from one of our social workers and happened to have time to check it. It said, "Scott, we have a 1 year old. If you and Julia are interested please call." He flew next door to the classroom where I was teaching. I was making rounds with students at the time when one said, "Mrs. Akin, I think Mr. Akin needs you." I nodded and slowly moved toward the door, pausing to check my students progress as I went, when he so politely said, "Run!". Of course, with that, I flew out the door knowing it was some kind of emergency. He grabbed me and said, "They have a baby, do we want him?" To which I all but yelled, "YES! Of course! Him?" Scott said, "Timothy. He's 1." I'm not sure if we cried, or hugged, or what, but I had a meeting I could not reschedule so Scott took the rest of the day off and headed to pick him up. Our excitement was obvious as we scurried about and word spread quickly as to what was happening. In acts of amazing support, two of our coworkers stepped in to help. One ran home to get a bag of toys her two year old had outgrown and the other took me to the local dollar store for an outfit, jams, a bottle and formula. Other than these items, literally, all we had for this baby, for Timothy, was the crib we bought 5 months earlier. How long he would stay, we had no idea, but for this night our crib was full because we said "yes".