Newlyweds Michael and Linda Smith were perplexed. They couldn’t get pregnant. And before they knew it, they weren’t newlyweds anymore. . . and they still had no children. The standing joke each month was “Well, should we get French doors, or try to get pregnant?” Test after test, procedure after procedure. . . and when the doctor said that there was hope–a 1-3 percent chance–it became clear. They would seek to adopt.
Always open to the idea of adoption, when they began to move forward in the process, they were both finally filled with peace. This was the right decision for the Smiths. It was 1993 when they got the call and a beautiful baby girl was placed in Linda’s arms. “She looked me in the eyes, let out a deep sigh, then fell sound asleep,” Linda recalls. “When she looked at me she touched my soul, and we were bonded as closely as I imagine any mother and child could be.” Linda tells friends that if she had been able to bear a child, it would have been Claire. “She has my mom’s mannerisms, my personality, and is so much like her dad–it is uncanny and sometimes loud.” The Smiths see clearly that Claire’s adoption was an answer to prayers. Their gratitude runs so deep that, even on tough parenting days through the years, Linda and Michael have been able to recognize that being parents is the sweetest gift. “Heavenly Father left her in our care and we will do everything in our power to make Him glad He made that choice.”
Claire has always known she was adopted. Michael and Linda have told her, since she could understand, that her birth family loved her so much that they gave her another loving family. In 1993 open adoptions were becoming more and more commonplace. But when they were matched, these birth parents requested a semi-closed adoption. They would send pictures through the agency just three times. No identifying information was shared. Even still, the Smiths have felt a closeness with Claire’s birth parents. “Regardless of the circumstances, both birth mother and birth father are making a huge sacrifice in placing their child.” When Claire is ready to begin the search for her birth family, Linda and Michael will be her support.