The Ranson's Story
Our journey towards adoption was not planned, but truly ordained by God. For the last twenty-one years, my husband and I have found ourselves assisting others in the care of their children while raising our own three birth sons. We have allowed over ten children to live with us over periods of time. It was no surprise to others when we decided to become foster parents. Due to the emotional separation that foster children experienced, we decided to foster sibling groups to alleviate the fear of further separation. Our first placement was a sibling group of three brothers. This was ideal for our family because this was a familiar combination. We felt that we would have an instant connection, since our three boys were now becoming young adults. We felt honored that God sent us three additional boys to assist in their growth.
On October 1, 2012, we opened our home to three boys ages 12, 8, and 5. Soon after they arrived, they began asking questions about their younger siblings. Their spirits were unsettled and they quickly became worried about the whereabouts and well-being of their brothers and sisters. In particular, they shared that their sister would turn 2 years old on October 4th and they wanted to see her. After many hours of listening to them, trying to console their fears, and settle them in (they still could not sleep and would not allow themselves to mentally relax), we made it our mission to find their siblings. After a day of unsuccessful effort, our wonderful agency and case worker assisted us in locating the other siblings. Soon the other foster parents and I were connected. We planned a birthday party for the 2 year old at our house days later. The reunion of the children was a true sighting of devoted love. The children sat on the couch all hugged up, tightly holding on to one another. They all breathed in unison and shared the same smile. This was a sign to my husband and me that these children must regularly be united. From that weekend on, they met monthly at our house for a sleepover. Those weekends were priceless and it became evident to everyone involved that they needed to be under one roof at all times to adequately function and be at peace. The other four siblings moved into our home on October 12, 2013. This day marked a day of true sibling reunion. The children were happy to finally be together to see each other on a daily basis so they could continue to grow and nurture their relationship. We celebrated their unification with a family picture, which continues to hang in our home. The thought of having to be separated again and not grow up together was a thought that lingered and concerned the older children.
My husband and I have never considered adoption before, but it quickly became a perpetual topic due to the situation of the children that we instantly bonded with and truly loved as our own. Although the number of children involved was overwhelming, the thought of them being separated troubled our hearts even more. We knew that separation of this sibling group would be devastating to them and could negatively affect their personalities, self-esteem, academic growth, and success in life, so we decided that we had no other choice. Adoption was not an option, but an ordained assignment. We truly believed that the children were sent to us to complete our family and we were to complete theirs. We needed them, just as much as they needed us. We were blessed to adopt all seven. Because we recognize the needs of foster and homeless children, in 2014 we began a non-profit organization, SWAGG Programs.