Since the day they got married, George and Agatha Wall dreamed about having a large family.
They both grew up in large families — Agatha with nine siblings, George with seven. They longed for little feet running down the halls and delightful childish laughter echoing throughout their home. But after 11 years of marriage, the halls were silent.
“I try not to remember those days,” Agatha said. “It was hard. We tried from the very beginning, and we’ve never had any luck.”
George and Agatha, who live in Midland, Texas, went to many doctors and tried many treatments to no avail, but even still, they hung on to the dream of family. During one appointment, their doctor suggested they think about adoption, and then a new plan to grow their family materialized.
“When the doctor said you could always adopt, that’s when it clicked,” George said. “It became clear that if we wanted to have kids, the only way was going to be foster-to-adopt.”
The Walls knew a few neighbors who were involved with foster care and reached out to them. The families, though receptive to meet with them, were unable to at that time. So Agatha turned to the Internet to search for foster care in Midland. Buckner International, a Dallas-based non-profit charitable organization with Baptist ties, was the first link that popped up.
“When I talked to Sarah [Hataway], it was like she was expecting my call,” Agatha said. “Like it was planned so long ago.”
“It was just perfect,” George added.
The Walls began training immediately, fervently going through all the required courses and paperwork. They were licensed for foster care in July 2014.
And just a few days later, a toddler was found wandering down the street alone, far from his home in Odessa, Texas. Police took the little boy home and found it in complete disarray. The conditions were unlivable, and his mother was asleep while he and his baby sister were left unattended. Child Protective Services was called, and they decided to remove the children while they conducted an investigation.
At his job, George received a news alert on his phone regarding the story. The report was short and did not give a reason for why the children were removed, but George felt a stirring in his heart.
“It just clicked right there,” he said. “These are our kids. I could just feel it in my heart. I sat there expecting the call from Buckner.”
Two hours later, George received the call from Buckner asking if they wanted to take in the two children. He wanted to agree immediately, but felt he needed to confirm with Agatha. He had trouble reaching her while she was working with her family on a neighbor’s farm.
Agatha’s sisters kept asking her when a child would be placed in their home. She tried to explain the process but in her heart, she was pleading with God to guide her and make his will known.
“The whole day we were talking about kids and then George called and said there were kids available,” Agatha said. “I didn’t know in the morning that my life was going to change.”
“George said, ‘There are babies waiting. Do you want them, are you prepared for this?’ I wasn’t at all,” Agatha said. “We had no car seats, no cribs, nothing. And I said, ‘Yes, isn’t that what we wanted? Why would we say no.’”
On the way home, she stopped at the mailbox to pick up the mail. Inside was their license for foster care.
Lukas was just shy of 2 years old and Naomi was 3 months old when they were placed with the Walls. Agatha’s family came to visit right away. They were so excited for George and Agatha that they couldn’t wait to visit. They came with gifts — cribs, clothes, toys, anything they may need to care for the children.
“We were very excited for them,” said Agatha’s sister, Sara Krahn. “They have been wanting this for a very long time. We all came to see them and there was just so much energy in that house. It was a happy time for them. We love the kids. They are such a joy to us.”
In the beginning, it did not look like the children would be adoptable. George remembers coming home from a court case and thinking surely the children would be going home.
“It sounded like they would get their kids back for sure,” George said. “We didn’t have a chance to keep them anyway. When we came back from court, I said, ‘Let’s just pretend that we’re babysitting and not bond too much.’ But we couldn’t just pretend like that.”
“It didn’t work,” Agatha added.
“We bonded from day one,” George said.
Eventually, the case started to turn, and the parental rights were terminated. The day the Walls got the call asking if they wanted to adopt Lukas and Naomi, they sat down and cried. They would finally have the family they dreamed of.
One year later on Nov. 13, George and Agatha Wall officially adopted Lukas and Naomi on National Adoption Day in Odessa.
This story originally appeared at Buckner.org.