Lord, Why Have You Been So Good to Us? - The Gift of Adoption
Beginnings was contacted by a WELS couple who adopted a baby born to a woman who had come to one of the Christian Life Resources Pregnancy Counseling Centers. Please note that Christian Life Resources does not handle adoptions. Clients have the right to choose the agency they desire or to arrange for private adoptions. The following is presented to help our readers see the joy that was brought to one family by a woman who chose life over abortion for the child within her.
FATHER: Two questions point to my major feelings about the adoption. Before the adoption the big question was, 'Will I love an adopted child as I love my primary school age child?' After the adoption the big question has been, 'Lord, why have You been so good to us?'
My wife and I were blessed to have a child. The doctors had told us that the odds of us ever having a child were astronomical, but God had blessed us. It was touch and go for a while -- the baby had to go to intensive care -- but now we have a healthy child in school.
Since we realized it was unlikely that we would ever have another child born to us, we discussed adoption. But, now that abortion is legal it is so hard to find a baby. My wife and I love children. Although we have been blessed by the Lord greatly with material things, my wife babysits. We felt like we were meant to have more children. We really desired to have at least one more child to raise for the Lord, to teach and to train as a Christian .
I'm sure your readers know about the difficulties of finding a baby to adopt so I won't detail that. It's enough to say that when we received a call to tell us our baby had been born, I asked, 'Why Lord? Why did You choose us when there are tons of people who would like to have a baby? Why have You blessed us with such a wonderful gift? We are certainly going to do our best to raise this child for You.'
I received my answer to the other question, 'Will I love this baby as much?' When I first saw the baby, when I look at him, when I kiss him, it is the same. The flutter in the heart is there, the feeling is there. It is just like when our other child was born. God has been so good to us!
When we brought the baby home I had a lot to remember. I had forgotten how much work a baby is, how totally dependent he is. Parents have to do everything for him. It is really wonderful to be chosen to be a parent.
Being filled with such an overwhelming joy I don't like to think of negative things. I've tried to avoid thinking about what would have happened if a certain woman had not gone to the Pregnancy Counseling Center. I just can't imagine, to put it crudely, someone taking a coat hanger and ending what we now have lying in our home in his crib.
I love to hold children. I remember holding our older child as a baby and I am getting the same wonderful pleasure again. Why has God been so good to us?
MOTHER: Every time I look at our baby I think "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good!"
The Lord has blessed us with two children with the arrival of our new baby. It was almost like he was completing our family, filling in a part that was missing. Before our first child was born. we had a lot of hopes and dreams and now they are being repeated. How exciting it is to watch a child's personality develop, to see his interests, skills and ideas come out. We are not planning what our children should be or do. Rather we are planning how we can help, how we can assist them in developing what the Lord has given to them. It's exciting to learn if God's gifts will lie in the area of music or sports or academics.
As I think of my two children, I feel the same love for them both. The only difference was in how we received them. On the one hand, with the child I gave birth to, there were the prebirth experiences of the baby's movement, of feeling him in the womb. But with my second child, I am much stronger physically. I have much more patience. It is easier to get up and go to him even in the middle of the night.
Perhaps my background helped prepare me for the experience of adopting a baby. My father died when I was about seven. Later my mother remarried. My second father had two children. I remember the way my mother took my stepbrother and stepsister to her as her own. She treated them just the way she treated my brother and me. They were her children too. The fact that in my family there were four children who did not all look alike probably helped me in not being particular about the physical appearance of the child God has given me. I wasn't concerned about hair color, eye color, shortness or tallness. Even though I appreciate the perfect baby God has given us, a beautiful baby, I wouldn't love him more or less if he were less than perfect.
I think the 72 hours from the birth of the baby until the legal adoption process could be finalized were the longest of my life. I remember that when we could finally go to the hospital to pick him up, I had butterflies in my stomach. I was so keyed up that when they handed me my baby, I could only see him for a minute. Then I was crying so hard I had to give him to my husband. It was like all the tension of the waiting was gone.
It is interesting to think back to the reactions of the hospital staff. When they brought the baby to us they were cold, clinical and professional. It was as if they didn't know how to treat us. But within minutes after they had handed the baby to us and watched our reactions, it all changed. One of the nurses gave me a big hug. There was a real warmth and friendliness. They were suddenly talking about "your son".
On the way home it was all too good to be true. I felt like I was in a dream world, afraid I would suddenly wake up in bed and there would be no baby. (Here again is the physical difference in not having felt the baby's life for about 5 months in the womb.) It was so hard to put the baby in the car seat when I wanted so much to just hold him. It brought back the painful memories of my first child, put in intensive care, where I could just look at him but I couldn't touch him. Babies need to be held and cuddled. It wasn't until I got home and the baby was in the crib that I knew it wasn't a dream but reality. God had heard our prayers and fulfilled our hopes. He had blessed us with our second child.
Experiences like this help us to remember special things from the past. I remember my grandmother telling me -- marriage is not 50/50, you have to give 100% if you expect to receive love in return. It's like that with children, too. I want to give 100% to both my children. One is just as much my child as the other.
I've thought about the future too, how to talk about adoption with my child. I want him to know he is a very special gift of God and I want him to know he is loved. Someday he will come to understand that he was loved by two mothers who have done all they could to see that he is happy and well cared for.
I also thank God for the Pregnancy Counseling Center. If there had been no Center, my child would never have been born. If he had not been born, we would not have the opportunity to give him a Christian education, to work to build a sound spiritual life for him. How thankful we are that God has given us another child to raise for Him.
Editor's note: About three months before the adoption, the adoptive mother had started to wonder — is the struggle and the waiting worthwhile? The emotional raising and dashing of hopes was so difficult. She had asked the question, "How much longer can I continue in this process?" The pastor's advice she received was — "God knows and understands, trust Him to do what is best."
[Beginnings *, Spring 1983, Vol. 3, No. 1]
* NOTE: Beginnings is now renamed Clearly Caring Magazine
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