God Brings Our Twins Together
- Friday, July 12, 2013
It is July 7, 2008, at 5:55 a.m. The dawn is peeking through our blinds, and all is quiet. I am sitting in a one-bedroom apartment in Almaty, Kazakhstan, that is ten time zones away from our home, while my oldest daughter and the newest addition to our family, Nicholas, age 3, sleeps peacefully. A few minutes ago a small, sleepy cry of “Mama?” awoke me. I rushed to him and pulled our precious new package out of bed. He looks so much like his twin brother whom we have loved for two years that I feel like I have always known him—not just for the two short days that we have been a family.
He gave me a sleepy, reassured smile as I lifted him. We cuddled on the couch and then he drifted back to sleep in my arms. I held him for a while and treasured the time before I slipped quietly away. We leave early tomorrow morning for Atlanta to reunite him with his twin and start our new life as a family of seven. It is still surreal to me that I am here. This is how our journey began.
Our adoption path began in summer 2004 through a Christmas hosting program for Russian orphans. We were given the opportunity to host a 10-year-old girl named Katya for six weeks. She was a beautiful girl with a sweet attitude. She became part of us and innocently wove herself into our hearts. Our hearts ached as she walked out of our lives as quickly as she had walked in. But God used her to open our hearts to international adoption, and a few months later we started our adoption process.
In the fall of 2005 we were in the middle of completing our adoption paperwork. I was studying the book of Daniel. One evening as I studied, I felt a warm confidence about the name Daniel. I presented it to my husband and he liked it. We began to refer to our soon-to-be son as Daniel. Later, this would become one of the many things along our challenging path that God would use to confirm that this was His will for us and to give us strength to persevere.
June 2006 arrived, and it was time to travel. We had chosen to go “blind”—no referral or information about whom we were bringing home as our son. We knew God was sovereign, and we would receive the child He intended for us to have. On the first leg of our international journey, we boarded the plane with excitement and anticipation about what God would do.
We arrived at our attorney’s office in Almaty, Kazakhstan, many hours later. While there, the staff informed us of a few details about the possible children we would see when we got to our final destination. One of the most interesting details was that one of the possible children was named Danil, pronounced Dan-yeel. We gasped. Through a fog, I also heard them tell us that Daniel had been part of a twin set but that the other twin was gone—probably dead. Wow. There were no guarantees of whom we would actually be shown, but we were hopeful to see Daniel. Wouldn’t that be a cool God-thing?
Two days later, we arrived in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan, where our son lived. We were ushered into the baby-house office. They showed us several children. Daniel was not available, they told us, and all the rest had severe issues. Our home study had not approved us for a child with major issues, so we could not take any of them.
Our hearts sank. Had we come all this way to go home empty-handed? Exhaustion and emotion overtook me, and I began to shamelessly cry—right there in front of a room full of Kazakh officials. I am not sure if it was the tears that motivated them or not, but they agreed to take us to another room to see other children. We walked into a room and we both immediately fixed our eyes on a little boy about 1 year old who was gazing excitedly over his crib rail at us. What a happy grin he had! Patrick walked over to him, and the baby giggled as they interacted. I was just recovering from my emotional outburst, so I stood back and watched.
As they played, we were informed that this baby was actually Danil. What?? The very baby we were drawn to was a child who bore the name God had given us months before? And wasn’t he unavailable? Emotion washed over me again and the tears came back. They shuffled us back to the office where a long, somewhat heated discussion in Russian took place. We understood nothing—we were sitting in stunned silence awaiting our fate.
Finally, our interpreter informed us that Daniel was not legally separated from his twin and therefore he was not officially available, but they would try to help us adopt him. His twin was gone, and no one wanted him to stay in the orphanage forever. Later that night we got the official word that we could proceed with the adoption process but that there were no guarantees that the judge would grant the adoption in the end. We took our chances.
Daniel’s adoption process was rocky, but ultimately we came home with a beautiful 14-month-old boy, and our life settled into a new normal with four kids under age 6. A year passed and my heart ached when I pondered what I would tell our son about the twin he once had. Was he alive somewhere in Kazakhstan, or had he passed away?
One morning I was checking email and saw a subject line that said “Sibling.” I mindlessly opened it, and our world was changed in an instant. The adoption agency was informing me that Daniel had a newborn brother in the baby-house and was asking if we were interested in adopting him as well. I took a deep breath. Dan’s adoption had cost more than $40,000, and we had tapped out all of our financial resources, as well as resources offered by our church and family. We couldn’t consider this, could we? I had just turned 42 and had a 2-, 3-, 6-, and 7-year-old. “God, this is too much to ask. Not a baby—and maybe a sick one. I am tired. This is too big for us.”
I called my husband and told him the news. He was eerily quiet. I was in a state of shock and confusion.
Later that night we agreed pretty quickly that this was not a decision we could take lightly; it was our son’s family. We also agreed that we could not let expense be the deciding factor, as God was bigger than our finances. So for the next week we prayed fervently, and as the days passed we both had a sinking feeling that God was asking us to return for this child.
At one point, my husband mentioned, “What if this is really the twin and not a baby?”
“No,” I said. “It is a baby—it says so right in the email.” He reminded me that if it did turn out to be the twin, the decision was already made. We had taken an oath in court a year before that we would return for the twin if he were ever found. But it wasn’t the twin, it was a baby, so we dismissed it and continued to pray.
About a week had passed and my husband and I got an email devotional called “Keeping Your Oaths.” It said that God does not honor those who do not honor their oaths. That’s a little strange, I thought. It actually used the word oath. That very day the agency called and said they were mistaken and that the child they were inviting us to adopt was actually the twin! I could almost physically see God’s hand moving.
Our heads were spinning, and we were in debt, but we knew what we had to do. We called the agency and accepted the referral, not having any idea how God would bring it to pass.
We stepped out in faith, confident that God was working. Within a week, a family in our church contacted us and anonymously agreed to finance the entire adoption. Praise God! Jehovah Jireh!
Eight months passed, and then we found ourselves on a plane to meet our son’s twin and reunite these precious brothers. They are now 7 and are closer than ever. I often look at them sleeping and stare in disbelief that they are together. What a miracle they are.
I am a homeschool mom of five kids, and we live in Woodstock, Georgia. I have been happily married to Patrick Zomer for fifteen years.
Copyright, 2012. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, July 2012. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.
Publication date: July 12, 2013
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