Monday, July 3, 2006
Our first child: Wendy
This is Wendy at one day old.
I am infertile. I cannot carry a baby to term. When we were married, I was using birth control but three months into the marriage, we decided to go ahead and have children. I conceived almost immediately and miscarried six weeks later. Within a year, we discovered that I had endometriosis. After fertility drugs and several surgeries we looked into adoption. The cost was staggering. We knew that we wanted a baby more than anything but we also knew that only God could bring that about.
On August 1, 1985, we moved into a two-bedroom apartment and set up a nursery. Every evening, as a couple we would enter the nursery and pray that God would fill that crib. On Sunday, September 1, 1985, a friend approached me at church. She had just adopted a baby boy and she asked me if we had ever considered adoption. I told her that we had, but the cost was prohibitive. She said, “No, I know a woman who is going to have a baby in October and if I ask her, I think she will let you adopt the baby.” I was stunned. I asked Mark and we asked our friend to go ahead and talk to the birthmother. On September 3, my friend called and told me that the birthmother would be thrilled if we would adopt the child.
I was excited and terrified simultaneously. We scrambled to make arrangements. The first thing we looked for was an attorney to represent us. Did you know that there are many foul-mouthed lawyers out there who will charge you $25 for 15 minutes and then call you a baby-stealer? So back into that little nursery we went. We cried out to God and asked him to lead us to an attorney.
The next service at church, a dear sweet saint of God approached Mark and asked if we had found an attorney and slipped him the card of attorney she knew. This attorney not only understood adoption law, but he had worked for an adoption agency and was a devout Christian. (In fact, shortly after our adoption, he left his legal practice and went to the mission field.) We contacted him and he told us that the retainer was $300. Back to the nursery we went.
Mark was a student in our church’s Bible Institute at the time. The following Wednesday evening, a fellow student invited himself over for a home-cooked meal. There was nothing unusual about that and we enjoyed the fellowship. During the meal, the young man asked if we had gotten a lawyer. He was in business with his dad and began to talk about lawyers. Finally, he asked what the retainer fee on an adoption was. We told him and he pulled a check out of his pocket for $300 and said God had laid the amount on his heart.
There were so many miracles; I have to think hard to remember them all. A church pastored by a friend took up a love offering to help with our expenses and the amount was to the dollar the midwife fee we had to pay.
Now we just had to wait on the baby—and she made us wait. She was almost 2 weeks late. Finally, on October 23, the phone call came. A girl! And she had tons of hair!
Early the next morning, we left to drive the 300 miles to meet our baby. The memory of the emotions as I entered the room and saw that tiny (5 lb. 12 oz.) bundle lying in the cradle is still intense today. I gingerly reached down and picked up the 17-hour-old little girl who would grow up to call me Mom.
Wendy was our only child for 10 years. She and I share a special bond that is inexplicable. In some ways, she is just like her Dad. In other ways, she is just like me. Yet, in so many ways she will always be a mystery because much of who she is was determined before I met her.
I am still awed by the acts of God that led to Wendy’s adoption and the intense love of a woman who knew she could never give this baby the best and in love, gave her to me.
Wendy is in nursing school now. She is almost finished with her prerequisites. She was married young and her husband has left. She also has the most beautiful little boy in the world—my grandson, Elisha.
(The picture on the right, is Wendy at nine months; the day her adoption was finalized.)
on Monday, July 03, 2006