Introducing The Twins … What To Expect When You’re Expecting!!!!!!!

Posted on 06 June 2012 by Kari Gibson

My Life Is Crazy Too is a new series of reader submissions. This is your opportunity to share stories about life, love, and mommyhood to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. If you would like to submit a story to this series, email me. Today’s crazy guest is  Meredith Howard.

Sometimes LIFE is Bizarre.  That is the best way I can sum up our story…..Just Bizarre.  Just God!

In 2010, after the Haitian Earthquake, my husband and I decided it was time to pursue our long time desire to adopt.  We had talked about it for years, but decided it was time to actually DO something…not just keep talking about it.  We spoke with our 3 children (at the time ages 2,4,6) about wanting to adopt.  As best as they could understand, they were supportive.  We began pursuing an adoption from Ethiopia.  Our “plan” was to adopt a little toddler age girl.   No more diapers, we thought, and no babies.  Been there, done that 3 times.

During the process- at my husband’s insistence- we got certified as foster parents as well.  He just really believed that if there were children in the US who needed homes, we should start there.  Long story short, we got a call about our sweet foster daughter- Nancy- and had to make a decision in about 5 minutes (before meeting her) if we would want to be her parents.  Birth parent rights were just about terminated.  This was going to be a “done deal.”  We said yes, and piled our 3 kiddos into the minivan to drive an hour north to meet her.  She was precious.   Our 3 bio children fell in love with her immediately.  I ran out and rented Chris Rock’s movie “Good Hair” so I could learn to do African American hair.

After 3 months with us, and her calling my husband “Daddy!  Daddy!” she ended up being taken away from us (that is a whole other blog post in and of itself!).  We were heartbroken.  BUT, in our heart ache we knew this was the confirmation we needed to pursue international adoption.

In the fall of that year, an email went out from our agency entitled: “Family Needed for Twin 4 Month old Baby Boys with Possible Special Needs.”  Well, crud.  That was honestly my first response.  But we wanted a GIRL!  And just ONE at that.  Ugh.  But, these boys needed a home.  Isn’t that why we wanted to adopt a child in the first place?  To give someone a home who needed one?  SO, we tentatively opened the email to learn more.  The twins’ mother had died giving birth.  One had survived meningitis, and the other was severely malnourished.  We had their medical files reviewed by Dr. Aronson (who had already reviewed their files for 2 previous families who had declined their referral).  Truthfully, she scared the pee out of us……but we still knew- no matter what may come, these were our boys.

On New Year’s Eve, 2010, we arrived home with our boys.  They were so tiny- wearing newborn size clothes at 6 months old- and they could barely hold their heads up; but they were SO alert, and had the BIGGEST eyes you have ever seen!  We began physical therapy, and went through the gamut of medical testing.  They began thriving.  There were NO signs of any tissue damage on the MRI we had done on Asher (who had meningitis).   The boys were inching their way onto the growth charts….what little miracles!

In the summer of 2011, we got an email from a fellow adoptive mom who said there was a movie being filmed in Atlanta and they needed Ethiopian babies & children to be extras.  Cool, we thought- what a great way to meet more Ethiopians!  On a whim we sent in a pic. of the twins.  Immediately 2 people called us from the casting company, and then the casting director himself called.  “I am very interested in the twins,” he said, “Can you meet me downtown today at 5pm?”  Well, THAT is strange we thought…but maybe that is how they treat  “extras.”   We had NO idea.  We went downtown and he asked us to come back the next day to meet with the director, and that if all went well we would need to be back downtown the next day to “spend some time with Jennifer Lopez, so she could get to know our children, and they could become familiar with her.”
“We’re sorry,” we said,” What movie is this?  You want us to hang out with who?”  Seriously.  That is how it happened.  Told ya….BIZARRE.

You can see Sammy & Asher in theaters now making their big screen debut in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” as J-Lo’s son she adopts from Ethiopia.  We have been interviewed by several media outlets (Check out People Magazine this week- p.39!) and even attended the premiere in LA.  So many people are moved by the twins’ story.  It really is an “against all odds” type of story.  (Check out the beautiful  article my hubby wrote for the Huffington Post a few weeks ago about the twins’ amazing journey:
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  We want something SO much greater to come from this BIZARRE opportunity than just a little movie appearance, you know?  What an amazing opportunity to not only raise awareness about the huge orphan crisis, but also the desperate need for maternity/healthcare in developing countries.

You can follow along with our journey at
Much love to you, Kari, for allowing us to share this Bizarre, God story……. We hope this is only the beginning!
-Kindred, Meredith, Emerson, William, Carson, Samuel & Asher Howard

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