Alright, so fair warning. The story of how we got a dog is more than a story about a dog. Believe it or not it’s also a story of God’s hand intricately working in our lives.

Since the day Shawn and I began talking about buying a house in Texas, he has been strongly expressing his desire for a dog. Given that I am home most days and wasn’t eager to be the primary caregiver of this dog that Shawn wanted, I was…well, less eager. Not that I didn’t want a dog. I just wasn’t excited about the prospect of cleaning up poo from the carpet after changing dirty diapers, vacuuming dog hair from the couches, and dealing with the boys being awoken by a dog barking at a squirrel.

Still, I love Shawn. In fact, I love him more than I hate cleaning poop – which is saying a lot. So I acquiesced to eventually – some day, in the future, perhaps, probably, maybe – getting a dog. But then I gave Shawn a list of things this pretend-dog must have/do/not have/not do. For instance, I wanted a girl dog because dang it if there isn’t puh-lenty of testosterone in this house already. She needed to not be a “barker,” to be small enough that I could control her on walks with the double stroller, and not a shedder. I did not want a puppy. Having a puppy is a lot like having a newborn, and I’m cool with being done with that phase. She also needed to be large enough to help me feel safe when Shawn is out of town, and I of course wanted her to be gentle with the kids.

Easy enough list, eh?

So I have this good friend from North Carolina. Her name is Patrice, and she is on my top ten list of people I miss the crap out of. Patrice had been posting about a sweet little boy in a Russian orphanage who had EB. As I looked at the photos and read Anton’s story, something stirred in my heart. Shawn and I both individually prayed about adopting him, but we both felt God telling us that this wasn’t our path.

Still, I poured over pictures of Anton and prayed for him on a daily basis. After just a few days, a family had come forward who was very interested in inviting Anton to become their son! Later, Patrice texted me an address and asked how far away it was from our home in Texas. The address was of the D. family – the very family pursuing Anton’s adoption. Would you believe she lives ten minutes from us?

Of course you would. I, however was utterly shocked. It took months for V. and I to get together – despite Patrice being quite insistent that we would immediately hit it off – but we finally did.

And yes, we did immediately hit it off. Patrice, you were right. There, I said it.

Seriously, though. I quickly found V. to be an instant friendship that has been marked by genuine compassion and integrity. Friends like that don’t just happen every day, you know. Especially not friends who have the perfect black lab for whom they are looking for a loving home.

The first time the kids and I went to V’s home, Dallas completely charmed me. He rested his head on my lap and didn’t really move the entire time – even with four kids surrounding and crawling on him.

Can you see where this story is going?

The D. Family was so gracious to let us have Dallas right before Christmas, so it only made sense to make him Shawn’s Christmas present.

You guys, he is the perfect dog. He’s generally very quiet, but is definitely on the look out for strange noises and sounds when we’re home without Shawn. He lets us know when he needs to go outside, and is thrilled when J. Bug opens the door him to go out. He’s sweet and obedient, and he’s so incredibly patient with both boys. Even with boys who may try to climb him and put their super man capes on him.
Beyond that, do you think it’s a coincidence that our family – with our knowledge of and hearts for EB – would justsohappen to move ten minutes away from a family seeking to adopt a little boy with EB? Me neither.
I love that Dallas represents so much more than Shawn finally getting his dog. When I see Dallas, I see God’s hand in both the big and small things in my life. And I can’t help but be thankful. 

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