Kim and Adam Sanft wanted children. After four years of marriage and three unsuccessful IVF attempts, they were ready to adopt. This was not a hard decision for them. Kim had been working for a private adoption agency for more than a year, and had worked with both birth mothers and adoptive parents. She knew the process, but more than that she knew the love that existed in the hearts of all concerned. She felt a connection to them. She knew what a joy it was for babies to be placed in the arms of loving parents. And she knew of the sacrifice and love it took on the part of a birth mother to make the decision that would give her child the life she could not provide.
Kim soon came into contact with her baby’s birth mother. This mother loved her unborn baby and wanted him to have a home with a loving mother and father who had the means to care for her child. This was something she could not provide herself, but she could provide it for him through adoption. She called an agency she trusted, which happened to be where Kim worked. The call came late one evening. The birth mother told the agency representative to make the decision as to who would be the best parents for her child. She said, “Make the decision quickly. You will know better than I who is best suited to be the parents of my child. I’m going in for delivery tomorrow and I would like them to be here.”
Kim received the call. She said, “I felt overcome with humility and vulnerability. We had only been home two months from an adoption that had fallen through so our emotions were a little raw and we felt scared. Hopeful. . . but still scared and vulnerable.” She said they “quickly found the courage to embrace this opportunity and gift and felt a sweet assurance and calmness that this was right and we should take the leap of faith and go.” They were on the next red-eye flight, and brought newborn baby Dresden into their lives. He was a good baby, easy in every way.
Then things took a turn that required even more faith. When Dresden was about 7 months old they became concerned about his physical development. He wasn’t using his right side. They knew something was wrong and took him to a neurologist for testing. An MRI showed that he had hemiparesis, cerebral palsy, and cortical dysplasia. She said, “We were overwhelmed, uninformed, inexperienced, and unacquainted with the implications of these physical disabilities. We were scared.” She knew there was no cure and this would last a lifetime.
Then came the miracle. It wasn’t immediate, but over time they were connected to a place called Now I Can, located right in their hometown in Utah. “The amazing truth to this part of the story is that the program itself originated in Poland but a Utah family, about a decade prior, had brought the program here! What Dresden needed was right here at our fingertips! What a blessing!” says Kim. She told how he has become the organization’s poster child, because he has made incredible strides. She said, “His face is literally on the front of their building!”
She reported that Dresden is currently thriving and is “incredibly high functioning. He is doing all the things a 6-year-old should be doing.” In spite of the fact that he has issues and complications and has to work extra hard he is doing remarkably well. She said it’s because he is used to the hard work it takes and just does it. Kim says, “His personality is full of life, joy, kindness, and energy. If I were to tell you what I enjoy the most about him it’s his attitude. He simply has the best attitude about life in general and this is not something we gave him, this is an innate quality he brought with him into this life. We are blessed beyond measure to have him in our family.”
Having this child in their lives is a beautiful blessing, but was only the beginning of their miracles. Five months after they adopted Dresden, Kim found out she was pregnant. They were astonished. They had been through all types of fertility testing and, as mentioned, had three failed in vitro attempts. Now suddenly with no medical intervention, she was pregnant. They were thrilled.
Another beautiful boy was born into their family. They named him Manaia. Then two years later she gave birth to another boy, Ty. As if these weren’t blessings enough, two years later another boy was born to them, Jozy. Their family knows the meaning of “my cup runneth over.”
Kim said that she and Adam both felt that adopting Dresden might not have happened had they been able to give birth to their children before he came along. Although, she is quick to say, that after having worked in an adoption clinic, she always felt she wanted to be part of this process of bringing an adopted child into their home. In their case, the timing worked out perfectly for them to have this beautiful boy as their own.
In Kim and Adam’s LDS religion, faithful parents have the opportunity to take their child to the temple for a ceremony where adopted children can be sealed to their parents for all eternity. It is a sacred event, one that binds a family together in a special, beautiful way. One year after the adoption was finalized they were able to take Dresden to the temple with them. It was a joyous occasion, and one more beautiful miracle for this grateful family.
God has a plan for all of us. Your plan may be entirely different from the Sanft’s. But the message is the same. Hold on through the tough times, rely on God to guide you, and miracles will happen. They just do. Sometimes we may not see them until they are past, but they are there. They will come.