By Lorraine Triggs
For my husband and me, the story of how we built our family through adoption has become a stone of remembrance, a reminder that God heard and answered our prayers for a son.
He even answered my very specific prayer to have a baby before Thanksgiving, but first the back story to our adoption journey.
The journey began in May of 1994 when we got word that a teenaged girl and her parents wanted to place her soon-to-be born baby with a Christian couple. After that call, it was a blizzard of paperwork, interviews with social workers and the dreaded home study. The only sticking point in our otherwise smooth process was money. The agency wanted us to have all the costs paid upfront. We didn’t have nearly all of the funds, even with the adoption benefit from my workplace. Undaunted, we knew that this baby that was to be born in a few weeks was our new little one. The support for adoption was a lot different back then than it is today, both within churches and the Christian community and in the culture at large. We did have family and friends here at College Church who had gone before us in the adoption journey, and that was a help.
When this little one was born, she ended up spending the first few weeks of her new life in the hospital for a variety of issues. Eventually, we made the heart-wrenching choice to pull out of the adoption, especially when the insurance companies wouldn’t cover the pre-adoption medical costs. God, however, was at work in the birth mother’s heart and she chose to parent her baby.
It was a satisfying ending to a difficult time, but we still didn’t have a baby. What we didn’t know was that God had another baby for us, one that hadn’t been born yet.
Fast forward to Monday, November 14, 1994, I confessed to my husband that I was praying for a baby before Thanksgiving, which that year was 10 days away. My husband gently said that even if we don’t have a baby in 10 days, it doesn’t mean that God won’t answer our prayers for a child.
On Tuesday, November 15, my husband called me at work with the best news ever—a baby boy had been born the day before, and his birth mother had chosen us as his parents. Tuesday, November 22, we brought our son home—two days before Thanksgiving.
Oh, yes, the adoptions costs. A week or so earlier, a large, outstanding freelance check came through for us. We had written off ever getting paid from the author, but here was the check—for the exact amount we needed for the adoption. Things didn’t get more providential than that.
When our son was three months old, we met his birth mother. We were happy to be able to thank her in person for making the right choice to give life to our son. As she held our baby, we told her, “You know, adoption is a Bible word.” She looked at us and you could tell this was news to her. “It describes how we become part of God’s family.”
It’s good for me to remember all of this some 22 years later.
It is a reminder of God’s goodness to us and the goodness of adoption, even though our son’s young adult path isn’t the wisest one at the moment nor the one I would have chosen for him.
In my worse moments, I have thought, “If only he were my biological son, he’d be on the right path” as if somehow the Triggs genetic code could have prevented our son from sinning. Biological or adopted, our children, and their parents, are sinners. The story isn’t over yet—for our son, or for us. Ultimately, our faith is not in ourselves, each other or our son. Our only hope is God.
Salvation, like adoption, is a Bible word written and breathed out by a loving, sovereign and omniscient God. It’s a reminder that my son’s story is not over yet, and I am not the author of it. I can’t manipulate the chapters or the ending of my son’s story, but I can and choose to trust the One who has adopted us as children of God, transforming our hearts in the process.
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