by Jodi Weaver
So again I want to say, I thank God for “unanswered prayers” because if it had not been for them, my life would have been so much poorer. I still pray that someday we will be able to be parents “for the long haul”. I know that I will never again experience a pregnancy, because I have had to have a hysterectomy; but we are still pursuing adoption. I know that if it is not in God’s will for us to parent a child again, that He has so many more riches planned for us than we could ever begin to imagine. And my prayer is that I can continue to give GOD all the praise and glory for my faith, my strength, and my LIFE!!
Does that sound familiar? It should. It was the final paragraph of the article “Unanswered Prayers” that is on our website. In March of 2001, when I wrote that article, this was the end of my story. But all of that changed in a heartbeat during one prayer of total surrender.
During the summer of 2001, Tom and I began to feel the pull towards adoption again. To say the least, just the word adoption was enough to put fear in our hearts, but we felt that it was something we needed to look into again. I started doing research on the internet, but I was just half-heartedly looking. Once again, the cost was enough to put me off. Then one day I was talking to a friend and she asked me the question that I had been asked a hundred times before. “Why don’t you adopt?” My answer was the same as it had always been. “We can’t afford it!” She looked at me and with one sentence, sent me into a tailspin. “No, but God can!” I felt as if I had been physically slapped. I prided myself on my faith and how God had seen me through all the trials in my life, and yet I did not trust Him with this? I just stood there staring at her and finally said, “Your right.” I walked away and needed to process what had just happened.
In December, I sat down and wrote a letter to send out to all of our family and friends, instead of Christmas cards. In this letter we dealt with a couple of things. Below are excerpts from that letter.
“The Lord has really convicted us that we are not giving Him the opportunity to give us the child of our dreams. No we cannot afford the cost of an adoption, but HE can. So with this in mind, we have decided to take a HUGE leap of faith and start the adoption process with an agency. We are still searching for the agency that He has for us, but I know that we will find it when the timing is right.
The other issue that the Lord has been dealing with us on is including all of you. For several years now we have had loved ones tell us, “I would give anything to help you get a baby”. The Lord has made us realize that “it takes a community to raise a child” and we have been cheating all of you out of a blessing that He has planned for you as well. We have not given you the chance to help us get a baby.
We know that without God and without all of you, this dream is impossible. But with God and with all of you, it WILL become a reality.”
We set up an adoption fund and took that leap of faith. Then on December 31st, we had a special prayer service at our church. Tom and I went to the altar and laid our desire to be parents there at His feet and left it with Him. My prayer went something like this “Lord, I know that you are able to accomplish this thing that concerns us today, so I am laying our desire to be parents at Your feet. If You want us to adopt, You will have to do it and do it in such a way that no one can ever doubt that this is from You.”
On January 6th Tom and I met with some friends for lunch. While we were talking she handed me a magnet and said “I don’t know why, but we were pulling out of the driveway and I made him stop so I could go in and get this off our refrigerator. I just felt that I needed to give it to you.” When I looked at it, I noticed that it had the information for an adoption agency out of Little Rock, Arkansas. I put it in my purse and continued talking. The next day, I kept thinking about it and took it out and laid it on my desk at work. On Tuesday, January 8th I could not ignore it any longer. I felt such a compulsion to contact them. I can’t even describe it. So I picked up the phone and called the agency. A lady named Debbie answered and when I asked if she would send me some information about the agency she said that she would, but wanted to ask me a few questions. One of the first questions she asked was “What kind of baby are you looking for?” —WHAT?! I couldn’t believe it! It’s not like we were shopping for a car or something!—“The child God has for me” was my response. She explained that all couples had this set vision in their head about the baby they wanted. I told her that I didn’t have any set expectations or visions. I wanted the child God wanted me to have regardless of sex or race or anything. I stated that I knew that if it was God’s will for us to adopt, then He would supply that child. She then asked me how we felt about a baby that might have some special needs. When I asked what she meant she said, “Well, what if the mom was a drug attic that continued to use during the pregnancy?” I told her about my special education background and then told her, “Debbie, I have been pregnant 4 times and never once did I ask for or expect God to give me any kind of guarantees that I would have the perfect baby. Why would I expect that from an adoption?” There was total silence on the other end of the phone. Finally, Debbie said, “You are the answer to my prayers”. She went on to tell me about a birthmom and her baby girl she was pregnant with. It seems they had presented this birthmom to 15 different couples that just couldn’t take the chance that there would be something wrong with the baby. After an hour on the phone, we had been matched with this birthmom and we had never even filled out an application.
Things moved pretty quickly after that. The next night in choir, I told them that we really needed their prayers, because we had an opportunity to adopt a baby girl, but we needed to come up with about $18,000 in a hurry. The next morning, when I spoke with Debbie she told me that we needed to sign a contract and needed to pay $6,000 by Monday. We had all of $456 at this time. I went into the office of my friend Karen and told her what I needed. She said, “We know that this is the baby God has for you and that He already has the money waiting for us, we just have to find it. So we are going to pray that He will just show us where it is.” So she prayed with me there in the office. Debbie called me later in the day to see how it was going and at that time we had $4000. She told me that one of the couples, that had said no earlier had called and said they had changed their minds and were interested in the baby. She said she knew that we were the parents God had for this baby, but without the contract and the money there was nothing she could do to make sure the other couple didn’t get picked. It was now about 4:00 and when I hung up the phone, I started praying “Lord, I know You are in control of this situation. Please help us to come up with the rest of the money that we need and do it in such a way that the owners of the agency can have no doubts that this is Your will and that You are in control.” I had barely said amen, when my phone rang again and it was Tom. He told me that our banker had called him back and although they did not do adoption loans, he had found a way to loan us $10,000. WOW talk about answered prayers!!!! Not only had God supplied the $6,000 that we needed to sign the contract, but He had supplied an additional $8,000 for good measure. The contract was signed and the money was sent on Friday, January 11th, just 12 days after our prayer of surrender where we laid the desire to be parents at Jesus’ feet.
Now we just needed to raise the rest of the money. My father made the comment on the first day “There is no way they will ever get that kind of money”. By the time it was all over he was amazed at God’s provision! We had friends coming up to us with amounts from $5 to $700 saying, “We want to be a part of this blessing!” The people at work organized a garage sale that raised $1500. We just sat back and watched God move and it was wonderful to see. God had also worked in a way we didn’t realize or expect. He had not only supplied us with a baby, but He had done it in a state that had totally different laws than Texas. The birth mom was from Tennessee. In that state, the birth mom had to sign the paperwork before the judge and they only had 2 weeks to change their minds, instead of 6 months. We would still have to follow Texas laws about waiting 6 months to finalize, while going through post placement visits, but we knew that the birth mom could not come in and take this baby away from us during that time. The relief was unbelievable!
The pregnancy progressed and I received sonogram pictures in February. It was so weird to look at these pictures and to think that this was going to be my daughter. We received the call on Saturday, March 16th about 3:00 saying we needed to head to Tennessee. So Tom, my Mom and I all jumped in the car and headed out. We were on our way there when we received the call that she had been born and was doing great. By Tennessee law the birth mom must name the baby, so she was named Angel. Though we named her JoAnna Ruth, we liked the fact that her “birth name” was Angel because she was definitely our little Angel! Finally on Tuesday we were allowed to take her “home” from the hospital. Of course “home” for us was a hotel room for the next couple of weeks. We were amazed at how perfect this precious baby was. She went through some pretty bad withdrawals the first few days, but that was the only outward sign of any problems.
We discovered another way that God worked in this adoption, although we didn’t see it until she was almost 11 months old. We were getting very frustrated because we couldn’t seem to get all the paperwork in order so that we could go to court here in Texas and finalize the adoption. When my friends and family would start worrying and asking about the delay, I would always respond the same way “God gave her to us in His timing and He will complete it in His timing!” and I truly believed that. Finally, we had a court date set for February 14th. We were going to get our sweetheart on sweetheart’s day. During the night of the 13th , I was praying and praising God for His wonderful gift and asking Him to make sure everything went smoothly. I “heard” an almost audible voice say to me, “Don’t worry! Don’t you know what today is?” I tried to figure out what the significance of the day could be other than Valentine’s Day and then it hit me. JoAnna was 2 days away from being 11 months old. What is the big deal you ask? When we were ordered by the judge to give Joseph back to his birth parents it was 2 days before he was 11 months old. It was as if God was showing me just how much He was in control. I felt the greatest peace after that. Nineteen years and 8 months after my first miscarriage, God had officially given me my daughter. The adoption was final and she was now our daughter for life. GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!!
God answered my prayer to become a mother. It was a long 20-year battle with a lot of heartache, but every step along that road made me the person and the parent that I am today. If there is one thing that I would like to impart to people reading my story it would be this “Don’t ever sell God short! He is more than able to accomplish the concerns of your heart, but it will be in His timing and in His perfect will!” I had to finally accept that I would never be a parent and totally release that desire to Him before He could do the awesome work in my life that He wanted to do. One thing that I would like to say to those considering adoption is never go into adoption with the attitude that this is the last resort but rather that “Adoption is God’s perfect choice, not our second choice!!!”