Answered Prayers: The Miracles of Birth and Adoption
Part 1 of 3
Even before our marriage, Sue and I shared a love of children and a strong desire to raise a family. We had both enjoyed very happy, traditional childhoods in two-parent families in the lower-middle-class suburbs of Detroit and were eager to provide similar experiences to our own children. Our love for children also led both of us to pursue teaching related careers during the first few years of our marriage.
Unfortunately, we were unable to conceive a child. It is difficult to fully express the emotional distress of realizing that one may never have children after so eagerly anticipating the joy of parenthood. We were both devastated by our failure to conceive a child and embarked upon several years of medical testing, fertility treatments, and praying.
I believe in the power of prayer and know there is no greater way for God to be revealed than through answered prayers. It has been my habit to pray many times a day throughout my entire adult life. God has always been there for me and I am confident that even though I don’t hear an audible response, God is guiding my actions. So even though we were worried and disappointed, we trusted God to bless us with children. We knew that God responds on an appropriate timetable but were certainly discouraged as the years continued to pass.
We lived in Detroit, and for several years I had been going across town to Dr. Robert Leach at a clinic in Beaumont Hospital for testing and fertility treatments. After having no success in increasing my sperm count through hormone injections, he and I agreed to discontinue treatments. Even though my sperm count was extremely low, another fertility specialist recommended by Dr. Leach convinced us to try in vitro fertilization using my own sperm. Those attempts also met with failure.
Failing at in vitro fertilization forced me to reluctantly resign myself to the reality that I would never father children of my own. That realization led to months of dejection and depression. Agreeing with Dr. Leach to “give up” my infertility testing and treatment was doubly troubling for me as a devout Christian—it seemed I was also giving up on God. As it turned out, even though I couldn’t see it at the time, God was certainly not giving up on me.
Part 2 of 3
After several more failures, we ultimately made the decision to try in vitro fertilization with donor sperm. Since we had always planned to adopt children anyway, the thought of having children conceived from a donor’s sperm was not objectionable to us. Even so, we questioned whether this was God’s will for us or simply a convenient rationalization.
Even with a donor’s sperm, all attempts at conception failed. Sue and I were ultimately told by numerous doctors that neither of us would ever produce children. My sperm count was almost nonexistent, and Sue could not conceive even after several attempts at in vitro fertilization.
We became even more depressed for some time, but since we had planned on adoption anyway, we began that process. Over many months the depression abated and we eventually became very excited over the prospect of finally having young children in our home.
Our excitement was tempered somewhat by the fact that the adoption process was long and tedious. The lengthy applications, the need for medical exams and references, and the visits and interviews by social workers all seemed highly bureaucratic and time consuming. There was also significant cost, tremendous legal work, and much documentation.
The process was well worth the effort: Over time, we succeeded in adopting two Korean orphans, Heidi (at age nine months in 1975) and Dena (at age five months in 1979). Those adoptions were followed by a local adoption in Michigan of a special-needs infant, Denise (at age two and a half in 1983).
Denise was special in many ways since she came to us unexpectedly with only a few days’ notice. A social worker contacted us to ask if we would consider adopting Denise immediately to remove her from a difficult foster home environment. We visited her on a Tuesday afternoon and felt led by God to welcome her into our home on Saturday of the same week.
Raising and loving our three girls has been one of the great joys of our married life. Each child has been a blessing in her own unique way, and I am convinced God gave us infertility as a gift. The early difficulties with fertility most certainly accelerated our plans to adopt and gave us the sheer joy of adopting and raising Heidi, Dena, and Denise.
But as we were to later learn, our infertility was not the only gift a loving God was willing to pour out upon us. We were to receive three miracles in fairly rapid-fire succession from a God who knew exactly what He was doing.
Part 3 of 3
After sixteen years of marriage, assuming conception was not possible for us, God blessed us with the miraculous birth of our son Zachary in 1986. Only eighteen months later along came the miracle of Cornell. And a very short five weeks later, along came the miracle of a vasectomy! We concluded that five children was quite enough and wanted to make sure another little miracle didn’t surprise us.
When we made the decision that I would undergo a vasectomy, my physician referred me to an urologist at a small clinic associated with Beaumont Hospital. When I looked up the urologist’s name and address, I once again thanked God for not only divine influence but also a divine message. Detroit is a huge metropolitan area, with hundreds of local clinics and medical specialists. Yet out of all these, the urologist to whom I had been referred was located on the same floor in the same medical building as Dr. Leach, the fertility doctor who had unsuccessfully treated me so many years before.
My eyes watered with tears of remorse as I realized that in that very clinic I had given up hope of ever conceiving a child. Dr. Leach and I had given up on medical science, but I had also given up on God. I viewed this uncanny “coincidence” as a reminder from God that the births of Zachary and Corey were true miracles and answers to prayer. God had heard my prayers, and long after we had given up hope, God remembered us and answered those prayers—on divine time.
On the day of the vasectomy, although I was quite nervous about the procedure, I was excited over the thought of finding Dr. Leach to tell him the purpose of my appointment. He remembered me, and I watched excitedly for his reaction as I told him I was there to have, of all things, a vasectomy after the totally unplanned and unanticipated, natural conception of two sons in rapid succession.
After a few long seconds of speechless, wide-eyed amazement, he congratulated me and without further comment returned to his patients. I thought it odd that Dr. Leach didn’t really say much in response to our miracle, but on further reflection I suspect he wasn’t ready to admit that he had failed where only God could succeed. I suspect I was not the first such patient for whom medical science had failed where prayer had accomplished the seemingly impossible.
As I look back on our history, I firmly believe that the real blessing in this story was not the birth of the boys, but rather the temporary infertility. The infertility triggered our efforts to adopt. It has occurred to me many times that the message here was to trust God to answer prayer on an appropriately divine timetable.
In our case, Sue and I are reminded and thank God daily for the blessings of both the natural births and the adoptions as we interact with our five beautiful children and our two grandchildren. God has given us the family we always dreamed of in those early years of marriage, and we are grateful for and humbled by the greatness of that gift.
Comments from the Original Post
What a blessing the Lord had prepared you and your a huge family
I was adopted from Japan at 7 months old
My pareants are American. I was surrounded by Americans, while my father was stationed there
Being raised in the Air Force Base, remained
in Japan until I was 5 years old. Came to America on the Queen ship Mary. My childlike faith that I would find my family in Japan
Came true for me, in 1992.
By a Stranger I met only one time, then 5 yrs later, step by step instructions
I called Fumiko and she helped me find my family in Japan met my mother on Television
In Tokyo. Its been the greatest miracle in my life. My father who put me up for adoption
Took me from his mothers arms with my sister Mie who was 3, said he was taking me out for a while never came w me. They cried for many years daily, but it was worth my being adopted
Because My father came to visit me 2 1/2 yrs ago w his mistress and she translated for us.
He accepted Christ Jesus into their hearts.
I prayed for 6 months
Forgiveness is Gift
My father went back to Japan saved
All this was worth it to forgive my father
And now he is saved.
Im a Soul winner for God
Thank you for your Sacrafice and
God Surely blessed your family
Heather Scott 2.25.15
Thank you so much for this encouraging message. I married my husband 3 years ago aged 49!He has grown up children, I have never had children and never been married but always wanted both. Age 15 I started gathering baby clothes and toys which aged 53 I still intend to use. I have been praying several times most days for babies. I even have names! Please pray for me that Jim and I have manifestation as soon as possible, Than kyou so much Love Heather,( Australia)
Im so encouraged and brought back afresh to the knowledge that God is God who honours His word. Im going through a testing time and praying to hear from God for direction. Im praying for God’ miracle concerning my application for leave to remain in the uk. Seeing this testimony, i know miracles still happen and God answers prayers.
An awsome testimony to the power of prayer, and witness to why we rely not on our own understanding, but God’s.
Lisa Newton 2.19.13
This story is truly an inspiration! I have been trying to conceive for the past six years and I am considering adopting, but I am afraid that if I adopt, that would be like losing faith in God and giving up on His power. What do you think?
Isn’t this the story of Isac and Ishmael?
This was such a beautiful story about believing in God’s miracles and not giving up. My husband and I tried to have a baby for years…endless tests, IVF, medications, and ended up with heartbreak after 6 miscarriages. We decided to give it one LAST try…naturally. Nine months later we were blessed with a healthy 10.5 lb baby boy. All that time, we never had answers…until a month after our baby was born. I had an undiscovered autoimmune problems. Throughout the sickness and doctors telling me to wait….we were blessed with a healthy baby girl. Yes, I believe in God’s miracle. Throughout those uncertain years, I began to pray and develop a relationship with God…that grows stronger everyday!
This story is such an encouragement. I had ovarian cancer & a total hysterectomy so my life-long dream of being a MOm died. But even after my surgery, the LORD promised I would be a Mom, my husband @ the time of my cancer died of a heart attack, & I would not have wanted to be a single parent (the LORD knows & sees all) so I am remarried & my hubby & I are in the adoption process. It’s been 4 yrs for us now, but we were in inactive status for almost 2 yrs while having custody of my niece’s children. Your story encouraged me & reminded me that God is in control.
Jennifer, I understand how you feel but i want to ask you to not give up and trust in God. I am 48 and was already having symptoms of early menopause. Prayed and tried for 16 years but all in vain. Finally I stopped asking but instead started carrying out good deeds as God wd want me to with this thought behind my mind: God I trust you so if pain is what i deserve for praying to you then i accept. I went on with that attitude for a year and just for last time sake, I tried my 7th IVF for one last time 3 months ago and i am pregnant! Doctors are saying its a high risk pregnancy but i know that all is going to be fine because i trust that this is my God’s Gift to me! Since the news of my pregnancy till today, i have been praying out of gratefullness day and night and I pray to God that he answers your prayers too so u too can sing his praises soon!
This story did touch me, I had tears in my eyes. My husband and I have been trying to have children since we have been married 23 years But everytime I conceived I would misscarry at the 2 month mark. That happened 4 times, Now I have given up on it. I am now 45 years old. And going into early menopause. I still long to have children. We don’t have the funds to adopt. I just don’t know how god has planned. I too gave up on God and the disappointment and depression have been almost unbearable. I just started to go back to church and try to have some kind of fellowship in my life.
we are still waiting for our miracle. for 28 years now. There has been endless distress and depression. How much longer?
Patti Bailey 8.8.12
Awesome story. I had a daughter in 1977 and the doctor said I wouldn’t be having any more due to complications. Well sure enough 20 yrs went by and no more babies. However God wasn’t done. I became pregnant in 1995 with our son Chance, named that for obvious reasons. Since he was born we have had several children in our inner city neighborhood need temporary housing to avoid being placed in foster care and we were able to provide that. Then we wanted a permanent sibling for our son and in 2003 God sent us a 2 year old autistic girl who it turned out had a 4 year old sister. We got them both. God wasn’t finished giving us children yet though because in 2007 we received a call from the hospital. Our girls mother had just given birth to another baby girl and that child needed to be placed within 24 hours. This baby we named Hope because she had underdeveloped lungs was extremely small and was born with drugs in her system. While we were working very hard to help Hope with her health issues we received a call from the jail to let us know that it was possible that we may getting yet another child from the same mother and sure enough in 2009 we got the call that there would be a court hearing in 2 days and that we should be there if we wanted this 2 month old baby to be with her siblings. And so we went to court and given that baby too. I thought for sure that God had to be done. After all I was 53 and my husband was 57 but nope he wasn’t done yet. In 2010 we were back in court to be given a baby boy 6 weeks old from the same mother. As difficult as life is with 6 children most of whom are special needs I have to admit I wouldn’t do it any differently if given the chance.
Let go, and let God is a tremendous lesson. It’s amazing how he knows what we need, as well as how he can exceed any of our expectations.
Chuck Failla 7.3.12
Thanks for another inspirational message. This one particularly resonated with me since Carmen & I also had significant challenges with fertility — there was no more stressful time in our lives. Those years disappointment were followed with tremendous joy when our 2 children finally arrived. I enjoy your story telling and am always so impressed with your commitment to share your experiences with such personal detail. Keep up the great work!