The Story Behind the Story Part 1
So I figured it would be fun to share some insight behind the creation of The New Waiver trilogy. This will be my first blog post in a series that discusses how I created this project. Hope you enjoy!
Part 1 - The Initial Inspiration
It all started about two and a half years ago. I was driving to work one day listening to the radio as usual, still trying to wake up and come to my senses for the long day ahead of me. I really do hate scanning the radio in the morning because there's simply nothing ever good on. This morning was no different, so finally I just stopped on a local Christian station, 88.7 The Bridge, and decided to just wait for the talking to stop and the music to start. Within a few seconds I was captivated by the interview, John Waller talking about his recent adoption from Ukraine. I had been hooked on his music ever since I saw Fireproof. I must have listened to his song While I'm Waiting over a hundred times on all my early morning and late night runs during my husband's deployment. I kept listening, and soon they played his newly released song Orphan. I'm still not quite sure what happened when I heard that line, "Father of adoption, you adopted me. Father of adoption here I am . . . send me," but it was like this still small voice said, "Are you listening?"
Of course for the rest of the day and even the week that followed, I kept fighting that little nudge on my heart. Adoption? Really? Good grief, we had just gotten ourselves back together in our marriage. My husband had just finished his four years in the Marine Corps and I had just gotten settled into my new job in law enforcement. We had worked through a lot. Talk about the clash of two people . . . a Marine returning from a combat deployment and transitioning to the civilian world, and a woman who had just completed a para military police academy. Whew! Definitely was a time we'll both never forget, though God held us together and brought us through that much stronger. But kids? Yes, we had been married for three and a half years, but we hadn't even talked about having kids, let alone adopting! Besides, I was just getting established in my career and growing competitive in CrossFit. Both of us simply never stopped. How would kids possibly fit into that picture? I was more convinced than ever that the little stir in my heart was complete emotional absurdity!
The problem is, when God calls you to something but you resist or make excuses, He will see to it that He gets His point across. For the next month I simply couldn't escape it. Everywhere I went, I heard about adoption . . . on the radio, TV, Internet, roadside billboards. I even kept randomly running into people with unique adoption stories. Finally one day, I decided to share it with my husband. After all, I needed someone to reassure me that I hadn't lost my mind and it was just a "thing" that would pass. Contrary to my assumption, he was totally enthusiastic about the concept and asked what we needed to do to get started in the process! At that point, I finally realized that God truly was trying to tell me something. Amazing how stubborn I am sometimes!
So how do you adopt? Well that was definitely a broad question. I always knew of infant and overseas adoptions, but I discovered a third option that I was never aware of . . . foster care adoption. I'm not sure what I thought happened to the orphaned children in America beyond newborns, but clearly they had to go somewhere! After some prayer and discussion, my husband and I decided to give it a shot.
We began the long process of pre-adoption training and the homestudy. Sometimes it felt like it would never end! Even more, my burden for these children grew by the day. The stories of trauma, loss, and abuse were unfathomable. I simply wanted to adopt every one of them! I've been exposed to child abuse and neglect in my line of work, but it was never more real to me than during our training. Soon I realized that God's calling for me went far beyond just adopting, though that was also a very important part. I soon felt called to be a voice for these children and teens who are so often viewed as damaged or of a different social status than children with "normal" families. The thought saddened me, as everyone deserves an equal chance at life. I wanted to find a way to share that message with the world, to inspire those who had experienced trauma that they are still "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that they each have a unique calling and purpose. Additionally, I wanted to inspire others to reach out to these young people.
So by now, you're probably thinking, "well that's really a great story, Katie, but what does it have to do with writing a book?" Well, it actually has everything to do with it. Watch for my next post, The Story Behind the Story Part 2 - How does a Mathematician Write a YA Fiction Novel?