COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Every month after profiling children waiting to be adopted, we get a tremendous response about how amazing these kids are, but that’s almost always followed by a list of doubts and fears.
In the latest Family For Life, a Midlands family is sharing their story to show no matter how you become a parent, you can expect some inevitable twists and turns. But every moment is absolutely worth the ride!
Rule number one about parenting: keep up!
Todd and Liz Howell say they have to bring their A game every day.
Looking at their beautiful family, some are surprised to learn 9-year-old Charlie is adopted.
“Our pastor tells us all the time that he acts just like us and looks just like us,” Todd said.
The Howells say it was an unexpected decision to adopt, born out of the heartbreaking loss of several pregnancies.
“It was something we had to get through to get to the side of adoption," Liz reflects, "it’s not something that was ever on our radar.”
To be honest, they were scared. And because of major job changes for Todd, they weren’t at all sure it was the right time.
Ultimately, Todd says their doubts and concerns came down to one question: “How big is your God? If worldly things are holding you back then you’re in the wrong place.”
They decided their home was the right place and to trust God’s timing, saying, “where there is a way, God will provide.”
They said He did and still is.
They’ve been learning together and growing together, creating precious family moments.
“Every Friday, me and my dad go to Kwik Way!” Charlie shared, lighting up.
When I asked what the best part of being a dad is for Todd, he said, "Carrying on what my dad taught me.”
Charlie is named after Todd’s dad.
Liz added: “For me, I feel God teaches so much through him to me.”
They are the first to admit it’s not always easy. And they know there’s one big question most people are afraid to ask.
“A friend of mine asked me, how I could love -- I’m a break up with this -- would I be able to love him as I love the one that we created?” Todd said.
Their answer: God is love and every child is a gift from above.
Todd says he’s amazed about how Charlie has changed their lives.
“I don’t think I knew really how big my heart was,” he said.
When asked if Charlie could think of any really great lessons from his mom and dad, he didn’t miss a beat.
“Don’t be bad, you can get the Xbox taken away,” he said.
His mom and dad laughed at that answer, saying it’s proof there’s no way to know exactly what to expect. No script. No rule book.
But these awesome parents do have some great advice.
“Don’t be scared," Todd said. "Step out of your comfort zone because even if you have a kid of your own, you will get pulled from your comfort zone.”
Liz encourages anyone thinking about adoption to “open your heart big because you never know what’s going to come of that.”
If your heart is open to adoption and you are willing to share your love and home with a child, please consider just making the call to find out more.
The Howells adopted through Bethany Services.
Remember, if you adopt through DSS, it’s absolutely free. Contact DSS Heartfelt Calling at 1-888-828-3555 or click or tap here.
And check out other Family for Life stories on wistv.com to see how easy it is to start the process of blessing a child with a Family for Life.