From the moment I found out that I was pregnant with my birth son, I knew I had to view it as a miracle. My sister had experienced great difficulties conceiving, and my sister-in-law had suffered a miscarriage just weeks before. Although that made things a little more difficult on my end, I knew that any child was a blessing and to make it through the next 8 months I needed to start seeing the positives, not the negatives. So I began to pray for my child. I prayed that he would always feel love, and that he would grow healthy and strong.

When I decided that adoption was an option for me, my prayer changed a little. I kept praying for my son’s health and strength, but I also prayed for guidance in looking at families. I prayed that my head and my heart would agree, and that I would know which family this little spirit belonged to.

Finally, I found them. They weren’t what I thought I was looking for, but when I read their profile and saw their pictures, I just knew it was them. They were EXACTLY what I was looking for. So I began to pray that they would respond to my email and that they really were as good as they seemed.

I met them! I carried a prayer in my heart that I could be strong and that they would be able to see ME, not just a woman potentially carrying their child. I prayed that they would like me, and that I would be good enough. In retrospect, it seems silly, but I couldn’t imagine any greater heartache than to be told “no” by my son’s prospective parents.

During the final month of my pregnancy, after they said yes to being his parents and after I made a birth plan, my prayer was completely different.

For their child, I prayed.

I prayed that I would have the strength to place, that I would have a clear mind to understand everything that I was about to put myself through. I prayed for my heart to be full, and to begin seeing my child as their child.

They had never been parents before, and it was possible this would be their only chance. I knew with every fiber of my being that they were the ones, and so I prayed for them. I prayed that they would be able to be good parents. I prayed that they wouldn’t doubt themselves. I prayed that they would get enough sleep. I prayed that they would remember me.

I also began to pray for something none of us ever believed would happen—I prayed that, if it was all possible, she could experience pregnancy. All she wanted was to be a mother, and although she was the most amazing mother I could have wanted for my son, I still wished that I could have given her that gift, too.

The days after placement turned to weeks, then months, then more than a year had passed. Our relationship grew and as I continued to pray for my healing and my son’s well-being, I began to pray for the next step on their journey—they wanted to adopt again! I prayed for the woman who would also be willing to break her own heart to build their family. I prayed that we would connect and love each other.

A year passed, and with it came a wedding for me and a baby girl to call my own. My new little family continued to pray for my birth son’s family, and for the child that we knew was coming to them . . . somehow.

Another year passed, and a miracle happened—a successful IVF procedure! She was pregnant, against all the odds, and would be expecting a little boy. My birth son would have a brother!

Surprise, I was pregnant, too!

I prayed that she would have strength through her pregnancy, and that she would view all of the amazing changes her body was going through in a positive light. I prayed that her tired legs and back would find relief, and I prayed that her husband would know how to help her through labor.

I met her new baby when he was 6 weeks old, just a few days before I would deliver my new baby. The only thing I felt was gratitude and joy. The most miraculous thing that had ever happened to me, the birth of my children, was now shared by the woman I had placed complete trust in and come to love as my sister. I prayed their family would feel the love we had for them, and the gratitude that was in my heart.

Our boys grew, and we relied on Skype dates and emails to stay connected from afar.

Soon, a new miracle occurred . . . she was pregnant again, without any medical intervention. Oh, how we hoped for a girl! My prayers became the same—for strength and health for their family, for the blessings that they would need.

It has become so natural for me to pray for them. My daughter sometimes includes them in her nightly prayers, though she has only met them once that she remembers.

I sometimes search myself for the emptiness that others assured me I would always feel. I think I know where it is supposed to be, but it has filled. It has filled with thousands of prayers for people who would have been unknown to me my entire life, had God not brought us together as an answer to each other’s prayers. My prayers brought me peace and love for an experience that I had been sure would destroy me. Instead, it has saved me.

So again, as always, for their child I pray.