Kim and Adam Sanft wanted children. After four years of marriage and three unsuccessful in vitro 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. She had worked with 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 the sacrifice and love it took on the part of a birth mother to make the decision to give her child the life she could not provide.
When Kim shared her story, she started by paying tribute to 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. It 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 a similar situation 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 felt a sweet assurance and calmness that this was right and that they should take the leap of faith. They were on the next red-eye flight.
It was difficult for her to express the joy she and her husband felt as they brought this newborn baby into their lives. They named him Dresden. He was a good baby, easy in every way.
Then, things took a turn that required even more faith. When he 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 that 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. NOW I CAN is a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping children with disabilities overcome their difficulties and reach their highest potential. She said, “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!” 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. She said, “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.”
The Other Miracle
Having this child in their lives is a beautiful blessing, but it’s 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 all of a sudden with no medical help at all, 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. They know the meaning of “my cup runneth over.”
Kim said 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 the 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 their 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’s a sacred event, one that binds a family together in a special, sacred way. As soon as the adoption was final, they were able to take Dresden to the temple to be sealed to them. It was a joyous occasion—one more beautiful miracle for this grateful family.
We Never Know
God has a plan for all of us. Yours may be entirely different from the Sanfts’. But the message is the same. If you hold on through the tough times and rely on God to guide you, miracles will happen. They just do. Sometimes we may not see them until they are past, but they are there. They will come.