Our quest for a child has probably taught me and my wife more about prayer than any other thing. We, along with many other people, have prayed for years for a child. It has tested us in so many ways. It has shaped the way we approach prayer. We had to learn to trust-really trust- that God is good and he loves us. There have been some days in which this was really hard to believe.
Early last September we decided to pursue adoption.
At the beginning of May we were approved to be on the list of waiting families. We were prepared for another long wait. No problem. What’s another year or three?
The very day we were approved we were told of a mother who was choosing an adoption plan for her child who was scheduled for delivery on May 29th. We were cautiously optimistic. She would be shown 5 profiles including ours. Not bad odds if you ask me. It was all in God’s hands anyway. We had long accepted that.
May 29th came and went. We did not hear anything. We prayed for the parents and the child and hoped for a safe delivery. Wednesday- no call. Thursday- no call.
Then Friday came. The phone rang and the caller id told me it was the agency. My heart began to race. The agency counselor’s voice seemed hopeful. The couple wanted to meet.
The delivery went fine and as scheduled. A baby boy was born. A boy! Could he be ours, I wondered?
The kind of adoption we had signed up for is called an “open” adoption, which essentially means that the birth parent(s) desires to maintain some level of relationship with the child and the parents. Most of the time this means the birth mother. The biological father is usually not in the picture. So I was not expecting to be meeting with a couple, especially a married couple not that much younger than us.
The meeting was scheduled for a Wednesday. I was the pastor for a church camp all week, so I left Wednesday morning to meet my wife and drive to a nearby town to meet with the couple. I had no idea what to expect.
The new father greeted us warmly. He knew our profile and history inside and out. The mother was very quiet and reserved. At one point he said to her, “Honey, I feel like I’m doing all the talking.” She responded, “That’s what I married you for.” We all hit it off. We talked for over three hours with barely a pause. It was odd to think that this couple, not just their child, could be a part of our life from here on out. Fortunately we liked them from the beginning.
They had another couple that they were going to meet with so they could not make a decision yet. As we were beginning to depart, I offered to pray. The father smiled and said, “Absolutely! That’s exactly what we should do.”
In the room with us were two agency counselors, Jennifer and I, and the couple. As I reached out to take one of the counselors hands she hesitated and said, “Is it ok to include a Jew in the prayer?” Of course!
I prayed for the child and the couple and for wisdom for the difficult decision before them. I prayed for the counselors and for me and Jennifer as well. When we said “amen” we were all reaching for tissues, including our new Jewish friend.
There was a feeling that God was in charge of this. Whatever happened would be right.
We parted. I went back to camp. A few days later Jennifer got a call from the agency. The couple wanted to meet again on Monday. We chatted some more as before, but the father then got very serious. He took his wife with him out of the room. After about 10 minutes, they came back in. He pulled a laptop out of his bag, opened it, and put it in my lap. On the screen was a letter. He instructed me to read it. It began, “Congratulations, Paul and Jennifer, we have chosen you to be the proud parents of our son…” Wow. The letter went on to explain that they never met with the other couple amongst many other things.
After reading the best news of my life, I had no words. My wife was holding my hand very tightly. The father stood up and said, “It’s my turn to pray.” And what a prayer it was! What a man of faith he is. In the prayer he spoke of OUR new family. Four parents, one son, and a whole lot of love.
Two hours later we took our son home. Every time I look at him I see God’s love smiling back.
We send news and pictures every week to our fellow parents. Our new family is doing great.