Early on, before we had adopted any children, we decided it would probably be in the best interest of our children if they were all Caucasian, like us. Our first three children were white. Friends even thought they looked like us. I remember when they were all under four years old and we had moved to a new area. I was talking with a woman at church and told her our children were adopted. She said, “No, they aren’t! They look just like you. You’re pulling my leg.” I loved it.
Then John came along. We had moved to California. It had been four years since our last baby was born. We wanted another baby and had been praying, as we always did, to find the one God had chosen for us. When we adopted our children we would open every door, plow every field in our search. One day a woman at a church meeting gave me the name of a woman who years before had helped doctors place babies into adoptive families. We called her and gave her our name and phone number. She didn’t hold out any hope, saying, “I can’t help you. I haven’t done that for years.” We convinced her to take our name and number anyway, just in case.
Three weeks later my husband, Gary, called me from work and said, “I was just sitting here and had the thought come to my mind that you need to call that woman who has our name. I think she may have lost it.” I did as he suggested. She answered the phone and said, “Hmmm. Interesting that you should call. I lost your name and number. I don’t have any information, but I lost your name.” Pure inspiration on my husband’s part. I gave her our name and number again. She reaffirmed that she had no more contacts and likely wouldn’t be able to help us. Because of the thought my husband had had, we felt certain a miracle was in progress.
A couple of days later she called. “The strangest thing happened,” she said. “A doctor I used to work with just called and said he had a baby who needed a home. He’s only two days old, and is Mexican-American. Are you interested?” I was immediately overwhelmed with a feeling that this might be our son. She gave us the doctor’s phone number and left it up to us to follow through. I called my husband and we made plans to meet the doctor at the hospital that afternoon.
He was adorable. Black hair and brown skin, with a large bump on the side of his head. The doctor let us hold him. It was such a sweet experience. We asked the doctor about the bump. He said it was a hematoma and would go away within six weeks if we kissed it every day. It did not matter. We adored him right off. The doctor said we should go home and think about it, then call him in the morning and let him know if we wanted him.
We got into our car and barely started the drive home when Gary said to me, “We don’t have to think about this. He’s our son.” I said, “You’re right, he absolutely is.” We knew it! He turned the car back around to tell the doctor, but when we got there he had gone home. Early the next morning we called him and told him we were sure we wanted to adopt this little boy. He told us we could have him immediately. That afternoon we loaded up our children and went to the hospital. The nurse brought him out to us and everyone was beyond excited. It was a moment we’ll all remember.
Now Parents of Four
Our son Michael was ecstatic. He had been praying for a little brother for some time. He already had two sisters and figured it was time for another boy in the family. We were willing to take a boy or girl, so we suggested he change his prayers and leave the choice up Heavenly Father, so he did. But I’m guessing he was secretly praying for that little brother. All three of our children were so happy to have a baby to love. We kissed the bump on his head every day and in six weeks it was gone.
We named him John because we had read it meant “gift from God”. We knew he was definitely that.
This little boy was a joy to all of us from the moment we brought him home. He was happy, bright-eyed, and so lovable. His big sister Lynda carried him around on her hip like a little mother. He was adored. We had spent so many hours working with our special needs child, Carol, that watching this little boy grow and develop was such a pleasure. He caught on to everything fast. His little body was very coordinated and not long after he learned to walk he learned to stand on his head, which we could hardly imagine a little guy like him being able to do. He enjoyed the spotlight. Suddenly all of our kids were trying to stand on their heads, doing cartwheels and all kinds of antics. It was lots of fun watching them grow up together.
Happy in His Skin
Being Hispanic was never a problem for John. He was our child and that’s all there was to it. I wondered how he would handle it as he grew. I had no need to fear. One day when he was about eleven years old, I was driving him and his buddies to a scouting event. We passed a group of migrant workers and one of his friends said, “John, are you one of them?” Without hesitation he said, “Yep. And if you think it’s easy swimming across the Rio Grande you ought to try it.” They all laughed and that was the end of that. I knew then he would be just fine. His sense of humor has always been his trademark. He also enjoys singing and has a great voice.
He grew to be a wonderful man. Graduated with a degree in business management. He married and has five children, with three sons who look very much like him. And they can all sing, including his two adorable daughters. What joy they’ve brought into our life. They’re all a gift from God.