Slam! Bang! Bounce! The racquetball zipped forward and back, bouncing around in the tiny room and echoing each time it hit a wall. We’d both gotten pretty good and were an even match. With just a half hour in the room each weekday, Brad and I would work off the lunch we’d just eaten together.
As a university student, Brad’s lunch hour varied—but I had a great work situation and was able to trade lunch times so we could be together for an hour or so each day. In our mid-twenties, we had our first child just a year and a half after we wed. But time ticked by and the large family we had dreamed of wasn’t happening. We threw the word “adoption” around almost as many times as we’d hit the racquetball. But the word and the ball did the same thing—they just bounced around until we called it quits.
Years passed. After the heartbreak of miscarriage and the near-despair of negative pregnancy tests, we finally added to our family a second time. But child number two was growing up fast and we just knew there were more children.
We are a faith-filled couple and believed God put it into our hearts to want children. For so long I just couldn’t understand how our prayers for this righteous desire weren’t being answered. I couldn’t understand how we could have such a strong desire for so long but not see the results we wanted. What I really didn’t understand was that although there would be more children for us, it was just as essential that I (and my husband to some extent) learn to bend my will to the will of our Father. It was a tough time.
One day I opened the newspaper and read a small PSA. Guam Social Service Department urgently needed a foster home for a specific little girl. The article described the infant’s situation and it pulled at my heartstrings. All of a sudden, my desire to have children changed to a desire to help children. We began our foster parent paperwork immediately.
Brad and I talked about the great need on that small island and realized that while we were doing some good for children in need, that very act could help us through while we waited for our children to be born. The day we turned our completed paperwork in to the Social Service Office, the clerk asked if we’d like her to file our application for adoption as well. “You do adoptions here too?”
“Well,” she replied, “technically, yes. But there hasn’t been a non-family adoption in at least a dozen years. The islanders keep their kids within their extended family.” But the word stuck in my mind . . . adoption. What if we fostered a child and then were able to adopt? It was more of a wish—a daydream, really. But it was fun to consider. More and more we talked about adoption. People cautioned us not to get our hopes up.
And then the call came. It was our 11-year wedding anniversary. “We have a little boy. He’s 5 weeks old. He needs a home now and he’s adoptable.” It was the miracle we’d been praying for over the past ten years—only we didn’t know that’s what we were praying for. When we turned our will over to God, trusting that He was looking out for our greater good, and when we followed promptings to help His innocent children in need—then our hearts were turned to adoption and we grew our family the way He intended us to do.