We all know that before a child can be born, it must be conceived. The same happens when a child is born from our heart through adoption. This journal entry documents the journey of Danny Boy’s story from conception to the moment he was born from our heart through adoption.
It was the summer of 2008 when I loaded up our ten children and headed down to the San Joquin Valley to visit my parents. While visiting, I picked up my mother’s Bible for our morning devotions. Inside, I came across a note in the side margin that said something about me having a daughter and naming her Deborah.
I shared this note with my husband, Joe, and we agreed to commit the matter to prayer. We knew very well that if God is the one that put that in mom’s heart, then no amount of time was going to change His promise. Soon after, we moved to Kansas where we continued to pray about adopting another child. After a year of prayer and discussion with family and friends, we felt confident that we were to complete a home study for a private adoption and wait for God to bring “Deborah” to us.
As the days turned into weeks and each week turned into months, we continued to wait cheerfully. There was a beautiful detail that started to unfold through the waiting process. As we would pray for “Deborah” we would start to think maybe that we should pray for a little boy as well. We didn’t understand why but believed we would have a little boy joining our family along with Deborah. We weren’t sure of the details, all we knew was that as we would pray for “Deborah” we would begin praying for a little boy who we started calling, “Daniel.” The Lord would bring this little boy to mind often. We were falling in love with him and didn’t even know who he was or when he would be joining our family. My mother, who was still living in California, was unaware of what was happening in our home and prayer time. I remember the morning she called me to tell me that she had a dream the night before of a little boy named Daniel that was so vivid it felt real.
Time continued to pass; it was now the summer of 2011, and our home study was about to expire as we continued to wait for a child. We decided to take a family trip to California where I shared with my parents that we were considering whether or not God wanted us to update our home study. Mom encouraged us not to grow weary in waiting. Have you ever noticed doubts seem to surface when we’re waiting? I wonder why that is? Why do I expect God’s answers to be quick? We have so many examples in the Scriptures of people having to wait.. so why does it seem so trying?!
Saturday, June 25th, Joe and I sat in bed early in the morning talking about this subject when I said, “Is it wrong to ask God for another sign?” Joe encouraged me that he didn’t feel there was anything wrong with asking God to confirm we heard his voice. A few children entered the room and shared in our discussion, we all agreed that we would continue to wait and pray. No more than 15 minutes later, I went to my office to work on the computer when I discovered an email from our attorney letting us know he had information on a little boy that needed a family. This little boy had been born with Duchenne’s (DMD) and the family that had planned to adopt him decided they needed to decline. Instantly, I knew this was our Daniel. He sent the information to us, talked to my Joe a few times about things to consider; we made several phone calls, and finally called him back to say, “Go ahead and give the agency our information. If this is the Lord, then they’ll contact us.” Now between me and you I had my doubts that there was anyone out there that would pick a family of ten children but… I was just doing what we felt God had told us to do.
So we waited, and we waited, then Monday went by and no word back. I figured they must have found a home for the baby and was trying to tell myself to stop dreaming about him, but I just kept thinking that our Daniel might be arriving soon. I rushed around the farm to finish the projects that we’re on my ‘to do’ list. Tuesday, June 28th, I received an email stating that we had permission to contact the social worker in charge. I did so, left several messages and then heard nothing, well, at least for a few hours! It’s amazing how SLOW time goes by when I’m waiting. Eventually, I did get a callback. Discussed things about Daniel in detail, shared about our family in detail, and then was asked to submit our home study to her. The adoption worker also informed me that two other families were under consideration, so the waiting resumed. Wednesday went by then Thursday when I received the call saying they had decided on a family for the baby and asked if we were still interested. I didn’t know what to think! Now, time seemed to speed by so fast. We discussed details and made arrangements to meet our son for the very first time on July 1st at 9:30 am. It seemed unbelievable and yet so perfectly natural at the same time. No feelings of anxiousness, no sense of worry, nothing except complete peace (mixed with the excitement of course) to meet our son!
Thursday night I had to drive six hours to pick Joe up from the middle of his work week so that he could be with me to sign papers. We didn’t get home until 4 am and then woke at 7 am so that we could be ready and not a moment late for our special appointment. Well, I had my directions wrong and even though we left early we ended up being a few minutes late and having to call for directions. It’s funny how moments like this remain so vivid in my mind, and yet the details around them are a blur. For example, I remember taking a deep breath and holding my Joe’s hand as we walked into the agency. I know there were people in the room, but I can’t tell you how many or who they were. My eyes found Daniel and I only gasped and then came the tears as they handed him to me. Joe’s eyes filled with tears as he leaned over my shoulder and said, “Hello son.” I remember hearing someone in the room say, “This is going to make me cry.” The social worker provided us with a private room where we took our son, Daniel, and just gazed at the perfection of his little frame while we held him in our arms. Eventually, we discussed the adoption process, papers signed, questions answered, and now we were ready to take our little boy home for the very first time.
Joe and I agreed to take a long way home so we could enjoy the few moments alone with our precious son before all his siblings were going to be crowding around him. Eventually, we arrived home to the children who were full of celebration and expectation for their baby brother’s arrival home. As I sat admiring the handiwork of God in the life of Daniel, I remember whispering into his ear, “Grow strong Daniel and declare the Glory of God.”
I’ve decided I’m not going to let Daniel waste one precious second of his life waiting for something else rather than what he has now. Daniel has today, he has this moment, this second, just like you and I do. None of us are guaranteed our next breath! Therefore, it is in my heart, and my dear Joe’s heart, to raise Daniel in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Daniel was created to Declare the Glory of God, today, right now, exactly like he is!
The Lord has done great things for us!