The Birthday Gift
This week we are in the hustle and bustle of birthday party preparation and celebration. While my daughter’s birthday is actually not until next week, we are having her party this weekend. Even though my husband has been unemployed for over a year now, we make every effort to make sure we celebrate my daughter’s birthday.
You see, we never thought we would have a child for whom to celebrate birthdays.
After many years of infertility, God had us seek the mission field. After five years on deputation, God closed the door to the mission field. We were left wondering “what now?” We started to pray and research about adopting.
We had never pursued adoption before. We had always felt that adoption was a purposeful choice led by God and not just a consolation prize for infertility. That is the reason we had not researched it.
After much investigation and prayer, we had no peace about going after adoption. One morning while we prayed about the situation, we surrendered it God. We literally prayed that if God wanted us to adopt, he would have to do it all. He would need to bring us the child to adopt and provide the funds for the adoption so that we knew it was his will and not our own. We told God we would rather be childless and in his will than to force a family that was not his design. We knew this was the right choice.
That night we attended a family gathering. It was one of those types where the whole family celebrates the birthdays in that month. We wondered about one family member who had stayed while all the others left. Eventually, we discovered why.
“Betsy, I’m pregnant, and I want you and Mike to take the baby.”
She was almost three months along. Her situation was such that keeping the baby would be a hardship. She knew she did not believe in abortion.
She had prayed about it.
Now she was offering her baby to us.
I was speechless which does not happen frequently. My first response was, “Wow.” She told us somewhat about the circumstances, her concerns, and when she was due. She knew we would have to think about it (to say the least!).
Obviously, since we are preparing to celebrate a birthday now, we said yes!
It was amazing to consider what we had surrendered to God in the morning, he provided for us the same evening!
But remember there was more to the prayer that morning. We prayed that if it were God’s will, he would provide it all. While we had researched adoption, we had not saved any money for the costs. One would think that private adoption would be cheaper since it is consensual, but it is not! There was no way we could gather the money we needed by the required deadlines. Yet God answered that part of the prayer as well. Family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers gave to help fund the adoption and everything needed for a newborn. Maybe we chipped in about $300 of our own money.
So, a birthday party around here means more than just a My Little Pony cake and new birthday outfit. It is a day of gratitude to my family member who chose life and chose us to be the parents of her baby. Most especially, it is a day of thanksgiving for answered prayer and one of the greatest holiday gifts he provided for us.
Now if you excuse me, I need to blow up some balloons and wrap some presents!