“Alison, I’m calling because I have a son!”
This is an exciting phone call to receive from anyone, but hearing it from my friend Sarah, I almost drove off the road.
See, Sarah and her husband Jimmy had been trying to adopt a child for over two years. For two years they had parenting books on the shelf. For two years they had a nursery ready, complete with a really geeky space-ship nightlight and snoopy decorations. For two years Sarah, Jimmy and their family and friends had been praying for a mother to make a choice that would make them parents.
On Easter Sunday, they finally received the call that changed everything. A couple in Florida had selected them to be the forever family of a child that they loved very much but felt unprepared to raise.
The tricky part was that Jimmy’s job had moved them from Florida to New York — a state that prohibits adoptions with agencies not licensed in the state. However, their social worker realized that their vacant home in Florida left them eligible to adopt in Florida for one more month.
In the next 36 hours, Sarah took a leave of absence from her job. They packed a U-haul with the baby supplies that had been placed in storage and they drove 1,151 miles to move back into an empty house so they could bring their son home.
A Wanted Life
I’m not one who likes to admit to having feelings, but when I arrived at their house and met Jimmy and Sarah’s son, I couldn’t stop crying. This little guy had been through so much and was so very wanted. He was wanted by his birth mother, whose love for him gave her the courage to choose life for her son. He was wanted by his birth father, who loved his son and supported his girlfriend through her pregnancy. Together they picked out Jimmy and Sarah to be their son’s forever family.
This child was wanted by Jimmy and Sarah, who after waiting hopefully for two years literally turned their life upside down and moved to another state with just a few hours notice to bring their son home. And this little guy was wanted by the family and friends who were there, rejoicing that a choice for life had changed everything.
As Sarah poked around the empty kitchen and attempted to make a bottle for the first time and Jimmy grinned because his son was already passing gas, “like his Daddy”, it felt like everything was right in the world. After years of waiting, there was suddenly this amazing little new life and love that was unconditional and renewed by this presence.
Sarah shared with me a card that had been given to her son’s birth mother. Her son’s birth mother had placed it in the bassinet in the hospital and wanted to be sure that Sarah received it. On it was an excerpt from Psalm 139:
“You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!” (Psalm 139:13-14).
An important part of being pro-life is to realize that life isn’t always planned, expected, convenient, or budgeted for, but life is always good. Life is always wanted. Life is always from God.
How You Can Help
Adoption is a choice that is difficult, but brings joy to countless families like Jimmy and Sarah’s. It’s also a choice that you, as a teen, can help promote:
- Are there couples in your church like Jimmy and Sarah, who are hoping to adopt a child? Pray for them and for all mothers making decisions about the life of their unborn child.
- Know the number of your local crisis pregnancy center and Catholic Charities offices (ask your youth minister or pastor if you’re not sure where to start looking) and give it to friends who share they are pregnant and don’t know what to do.
- Sponsor a child or a family through Reece’s Rainbow, a foundation that raises money to fund adoptions of children with down syndrome.