When You Want to Adopt and Your Spouse Doesn’t

Holding on with faith can bring about miracles.

Joy Lundberg June 27, 2014
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Cindy and Bruce are the parents of six biological boys—the picture of a happy family. But Cindy always felt there were supposed to be two girls in the family. Since she could not have any more children of her own, adoption seemed the best option. In fact, she began to be almost obsessed with the idea of adoption. Only problem was, Bruce, a military chaplain, felt strongly against it. They already had a big family, they both worked full time, and he had deployments coming up. For him, six was enough.

Still, in Cindy’s mind, the idea of adoption could not be dismissed. She felt it in her heart and in her bones. The idea was screaming in her mind. She knew there were girls out there who was supposed to be her daughters. She would discuss the idea with her husband regularly. He would emphatically say, “No, no, no!” She was not deterred.

When you know something is right, you get someone else on your side. What better advocate for her cause than God? None. And so she prayed. She prayed that Bruce would feel the urge, the whispering from heaven that there were children out there that should be theirs. Months passed by and still no change.

Bruce and Cindy Brewer's adopted daughters, left to right Samara, Leylah, Amina, Heavenly, Honesty.

Bruce and Cindy Brewer’s adopted daughters, left to right:, Leylah, Samara, Amina, Heavenly, Honesty.

As time passed, Cindy’s feelings were growing stronger. How could it be that both she and her husband, could be praying sincerely about God’s will their lives and both get different answers? Cindy knew her husband was a loving, honest man. Devoted to following God’s will in his life. It was all so confusing.

One day, she had the strongest feeling that Bruce’s deceased dad, was somehow working on the other side to bring these girls into their home. Her first thought was that she was crazy, but the feeling was so strong. Still, even if she did not just imagine that, how could she tell Bruce?Cindy said, “When you and your husband disagree, you just don’t play the “dead dad” card.” Instead, she prayed. “God, if I did not imagine this. If Bruce’s dad really is helping us find our daughters, then you need to tell him. I cannot.”

Bruce and Cindy Brewer with their six sons, one daughter-in-law, and three youngest adopted daughters, before adopting their last two daughters

Bruce and Cindy Brewer with their six sons, one daughter-in-law, and three youngest adopted daughters, before adopting their last two daughters.

Five days later Bruce woke up in the night sobbing. He was so entirely overcome he could not speak for some time. “I saw my Dad” he said. “I mean, it was a dream but it was so real. All these years since his death, I have always wanted to see him one more time and it never happened. What I don’t understand, is why now? He was there in my dream, and it felt so real.” Cindy laid there in bed holding her breath. She knew this was a message from God coming to him through a dream about his father. She asked what his father said in the dream. He said, “Nothing. He just smiled at me. It was so peaceful.” To Cindy, this was a confirmation that they should start adoption proceedings. She told Bruce what she had felt, and what she had prayed for. Still, though open, Bruce could not yet find peace with adopting.

Months passed and Bruce dreamed about his father again. Still Bruce had no peace with the idea of adopting. But with time, Cindy began to accept that even if it is “right” to adopt, it is still “wrong” if you and your spouse don’t have unity on the matter. She had to trust in him that he must find his own peace, and he could not act without it.

Finally, she gave up praying about adoption and just prayed for peace in her heart and the ability to accept that they would not be adopting. She said, “more than anything, I just wanted unity in our marriage, so I prayed for unity and peace.” It took some time to find that peace, but in time, God answered her prayer. One day on her way into work at the university where she teaches German, she was overcome with peace. She uttered a prayer of gratitude.

When she arrived at her office, the phone rang. It was Bruce. “I have made an appointment with an adoption agency for this afternoon. Are you available?” She could not believe her ears. “Yes, yes! Of course, I can.” Why had it taken so long for him to come on board? She has since decided that it was their time to learn to trust God and each other and keep praying.

It took six months until they were matched with an expectant mother who would be placing her baby for adoption. After reading the profiles, the mother had chosen Cindy and Bruce. They were ecstatic. The agency set up a time for them to meet the birth mother and complete the arrangements. They felt a strong connection with this young woman who was carrying their baby, and she felt connected to them, as well. In fact, when asked what they would name the baby, the birth mother said, “Please name her Rachel. I love that name.” Interestingly, it was the very name Cindy and Bruce had decided upon. The birth mother said, “Will it be her first name or middle name?” Cindy said, “Yes, her first name. Her middle name will be Marie.” The mother made a small gasp and said, “That’s my middle name.” They had no idea. She was pleased.

It’s Not Just About the Adoptive Parents

They planned and waited. But when the time came, the birth mother could not part with her baby and said no to the adoption. They were beyond heartbroken. It had seemed so right. The birth mother said, “Thank you for everything. You restored my faith in God. Knowing you has given me the courage to be a mom.”

Cindy was again distraught and confused. She said, “I wondered how God could walk me down this path of flowers to have it end with such overwhelming heartache.” She knew it wasn’t just about her, but also about the birth mother and her journey. Still, the loss was almost unbearable. She said, “I mourned it as though my baby had died. I could hardly bear it.”

One year later, the adoption agency called and said they had matched them with 18-month-old twins from Germany. It seemed perfect, German was a second language in their own home. Again, plans were made. Again, the call came that the babies would not be available for adoption after all. More heartbreak. She said, “I told Bruce, ‘Apparently God does not want us to adopt. I’m through trying. It’s too painful.’”

Don’t Give Up

Bruce said, “I have such a powerful feeling of peace. Let’s give it just a little more time.” At 3pm that very day the phone rang. It was the adoption agency. “We have a baby girl for you. The baby will be born tomorrow. The birth parents want to meet you for dinner in two hours. Can you make it?”

Cindy was so scared. She said to her husband, “I don’t think I can do this. I can’t take this level of heartbreak again.” Bruce was firm, “we should go. God has placed this baby in our path.” As they rushed to ready, Cindy was still empty and afraid. That’s when their 9-year-old son, who had been taught to read the scriptures, came to them and said, “I know you are supposed to adopt this baby. Look. Mom, I just read this.” He pointed to words by Isaiah. “The children whom thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the first, shall again in thine ears say: The place is too strait for me; give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine heart: Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate.” (Isaiah 49:20-21)

Cindy burst into tears.

They considered it a confirmation from God and went to meet the birth mother, hoping once again to be blessed with a baby daughter. The next day, Cindy held her daughter in her arms for the first time. She was beautiful. They named her Amina, and she was and is adored by all of her doting brothers.

Now here’s the rest of the story: Since then, the agency called them again, and again. They have adopted five beautiful little girls, three as babies and the last two at ages 6 and 8.

How it Affects Their Boys

One day, Cindy said to her sons, “I’m so sorry I don’t have more time for you.” One of the boys expressed the sentiments of all. He said, “Mom, don’t apologize. We wouldn’t be who we are without our sisters. I’m a better person because we did this.”

Isn’t it amazing how prayers are answered? Cindy said, “I came to understand that God’s purposes are not always what we imagine. For us, my job was to know that we should adopt. Bruce’s job was to know when and who we should adopt.” So we see that both of their prayers were answered in God’s way and his time. As difficult as the path may seem at times, things do have a way of working out. Just keep on praying and working toward your dreams.

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Joy Lundberg

Joy Lundberg and her husband, Gary, are the parents of 5 children, all of whom were adopted. They are also the proud grandparents of 20 grandchildren. Joy is a prize-winning lyricist and has written/co-written several books and articles about marriage and families with her husband. Learn more about her on their website.


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