This couple from Ohio just agreed to adopt two sisters only to find out a surprise of a lifetime two weeks later – they were pregnant with twins of their own!
A family of two easily became a family of six due to a serendipitous turn of events. Calena Durel and her husband, BJ, experienced five years of infertility when they first got married. Calena and BJ have always wanted to adopt children who had no parents in addition to having their own kids.
But as their childlessness continued, the Durels decided to speed up the process to become foster parents.
In 2016, a few weeks before they were to become licensed foster parents, they were asked to watch over a pair of sisters for an afternoon. This was to allow their foster parents to have a break.
The couple said that they immediately fell in love with Aubree and Mariah, the two sisters.
“I took a photo of them that day because it just felt like we were supposed to be with them,” Calena said. “I sent the picture to my mom and told her, ‘I can’t imagine these girls not being in our home. There’s just something about them.’”
Even as they officially became foster parents themselves, the Durels continued to keep in touch with Aubree and Mariah, who are now 7 and 10 years old, respectively. They sometimes pick the sisters up from school or take care of them overnight.
“We had no idea where their case was going but we just had that tug that they were meant to be with us,” Calena said.
Aubree and Mariah had been placed under foster care before.
Two years later in 2018, the couple was asked if they were still interested in adopting the girls.
“We said, ‘Absolutely,’. A few weeks later, I started feeling sick and I thought it was the nerves over whether or not we’d get to adopt them,” said Calena.
But as it turns out, it wasn’t simple nerves – Calena found out that she was pregnant with twins, eight years after they first tried to conceive!
“I thought it was impossible. I thought God had this plan and it was for us to adopt,” she said.
Calena believed so because even before the knew about the pregnancy or the adoption, the couple was building a new home with five bedrooms
Talk about serendipity!
“We were just hoping God would fill the space,” she said.
In December, the family moved into their new home and in February, the twins Gavin and Grace were born, six weeks before the due date.
“Those few months were absolutely crazy but amazing too,” she said. “We went from zero to four.”
And just last week, the family formally adopted Mariah and Aubree in court.
“There’s nothing like that day,” Calena said. “The joy on the girls’ faces was everything to us.”
According to their mom, both Mariah and Aubree are loving their new roles as big sisters.
“Aubree is a first time big sister so she is over the moon about that, and it’s a whole new situation for Mariah,” she said. “She gets to be a big sister and do all of the fun things because she was kind of a caregiver before for Aubree.”
Though Calena says that it’s been “chaotic some days”, she says it’s the good kind.
“It’s all the joy we’ve ever wanted, just all at once,” she said.
Sometimes, the best surprises in life come in pairs! Share this story with your friends and family.