in General

our family of six

A couple years ago I wrote a post here called our family of five, sharing a bit about how death makes simple questions like “how many kids do you have?” difficult – or at the very least, strange. Our life is anything but normal.

We’ve got an exciting announcement – we’re adopting from foster care! Our great friend Jesse directs the Heart Gallery here in the Tampa Bay area, and for years we’ve known if we ever adopted it’d be through foster care, largely because of Jesse and her organization’s work. There are hundreds of children in Tampa at any given time who have no families, no homes to go to, and little hope. We know we can provide a home, hope, and be loving parents to some amazing child[ren!?] who’s experienced some loss in life.

There’s a 10 week class to be certified to adopt, which we’ve completed (with a couple make-up classes to finish in a few weeks). (By the way, this post was about one of those classes). From there, we meet with some people who’ve been working with us in the whole process and will help “match” us with a kid (or sibling group!) who they think goes well with our family. There’s some discussion, and we move forward either with the adoption process or the continuing search. We could have a new addition to our family for the holidays, or it could be a year.

Adoption will be bringing a burst of newness into our life, and we expect it will be much like many of the things we’ve been through in the past few years. A cocktail of 1 part difficulty, 1 part joy, and 2 parts work. We are so excited to begin this next chapter in our life! Out of the overflow of our hearts, we choose to help – to give.

It’s been interesting in these 10 weeks of classes to hear details on the foster care system, and how the people involved in their care talk about these children. They stress over and again – first and foremost these kids have felt loss. They’ve been ripped from their families, often in tragic situations. They’ve seen the lives they thought they’d have torn to shreds. They’ve wondered if they’ll ever feel their family is complete again. We’ve felt those things, too.

I encourage anyone who’s interested in knowing more about these children’s lives (and what’s coming in ours) to read a book called Three Little Words,  by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. Ashley lived in foster care here in the Tampa bay area. She describes foster care, how she felt about her birth and adopted families, and how things had to change in foster care. It’s a brilliant read, and was a New York Times best seller.

Losing two children before your thirtieth birthday changes the way you think about everything. I live in this pinball machine where I bounce around from sadness to joy to a desire for adventure to a need to feel to a deep need to help people. We can’t change what people have been through, but we can change whether they’re on their own in it.

We can change the way someone will experience it tomorrow.

A lot is going on in our lives. This is an intense year, and while we are busier than ever, we welcome the growth and opportunities. Robyn is an incredible woman, and I fall more in love with her every time I am with her. I am so proud of her. Charley is learning to walk, eat, and talk, slowly but deliberately and with huge effort. I am so proud of him.

We’re always surrounded by hurt, laughter, tears, and hope.


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  1. I love this update! I can hear your excitement and anticipation through your words! Praising God for the healing that you are experiencing and freely sharing.

  2. Omg! I am so happy for your family! Such a wonder thing to do. You both deserve all that you go for in life! Charlie will love a playmate! Beautiful update! I am so excited for all of you!

    I can’t wait to come for a visit when I get back down there in the fall!

    God bless all of you!

  3. Kyle & Robin, you guys are wonderful. You give me hope and strength to continue to move forward everyday. Joe and I wish you both a house full kids and all the noise, craziness, good health, laughter and love that come with them. So happy we have become friends…so sorry for the circumstances but happy none the less.

  4. I can “hear” the excitement in your voice, I feel excited for you. I was adopted! One of the greatest things you can give a child is unconditional love, your time and a family. I am SO happy for you. I can honestly say God knew what he was doing when he picked my family for me. Bless you! Someone(s) is going to be very lucky! 🙂 <3

  5. Awesome! Our family has adopted 2 children via fostering. Our daughters have blessed our lives abundantly. We now have 5 children and continue to foster. Love to hear about other Christians adopting via fostering.

  6. We have 3 bio children, 1 adopted 3 year old from foster care and 3 other foster children. Being a foster family is the hardest, most wonderful and fulfilling thing we have ever done!!! We will be adopting more through foster care. We know our family isn’t complete and its our calling!! You guys have been and will continue to be in our families prayers!!!! I can’t wait to read more about your growing family. God bless.

  7. Congratulations!! So exciting, as a foster/adoptive parent I just want to thank you for sharing your decision to adopt from foster care.
    So many people have a skewed view of what a foster family looks like, why we do it and everyone seems to think we are rolling in the dough because of it.
    God called us to this position. Even if we had to foot the entire bill ourselves to raise these kiddos we would. We are so deeply and richly blessed by these little lives who have come into our home, it is truly amazing. We will be adopting our first hopefully by the end of the year. She came to us at 2 weeks old and has been the sweetest baby, despite her very rough beginnings.
    You are going to be such a huge blessing not only to these kids God has for you but to all the many many people who read this blog and are touched by your experiences.
    Blessings blessings blessings!

  8. Hi:) My name is Monica. We found your posts/blog a few years ago as we followed Ezra’s story:) I have prayed for your family , and am thankful to have been a small part of your journey. My family is going forward in adopting a little guy from Ukraine. Adoption is such a huge part of my heart and my husband’s. It blesses me greatly to see any family advocating, sharing, and adopting. Thank you for posting this!


  • charley, charlie | The Matthews Story March 5, 2014

    […] Back in July I mentioned we’re adopting from foster care. This entire time we’ve had a specific kid in mind who really stole our heart, and we’re proud to say we’re now officially moving forward with adopting him! […]

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