(Nancy Davidson is a regular reader from South Dakota. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few months back when she drove out to Denver to join us at a prayer meeting. Today, she tell a family story of amazing reconciliation and solidarity -CJ)
By Nancy Davidson
In just a few days, our family will be celebrating the Baptism of my great grandson, William. What a journey it has been ! This day would never have come but for God’s graciousness in hearing the cry of those who put all their trust in Him. God’s love is, for us, all wrapped up in this beautiful package we affectionately call Little Will.
Will’s biological mother, my adopted granddaughter, Beth, was at the time of his conception homeless and living on the street. She has suffered from mental illnesses since childhood, and although all possible means of helping her to achieve the education and skills necessary for living independently had been employed, at age eighteen she ran off to be on her own. Her mental illness was greatly exacerbated by this move, and she eventually ran out of options for housing in any shelter or facility. She refused to come home.
Over a year ago, she became pregnant. She was happy about it, and she fantasized that she would be the perfect mother, that she and her child would live happily ever after (on the street). When my daughter, AnneMarie, learned of the pregnancy, she tried to enlist the aid of the “system” to help Beth, but little by little it became obvious that there was no solution to be found. The child was truly in danger of being born into a very precarious situation, full of possibilities for serious harm. What to do? She prayed intensely for God’s guidance and help, and was faithfully vigilant in keeping Beth as healthy and safe as she could under the circumstances.
When the time drew near for the birth, AnneMarie made a plan to ensure the safety of her grandchild. She obviously needed to take custody of him immediately, since he would be in imminent danger if the system allowed Beth to take him “home” from the hospital. Some of the incidents that had happened during Beth’s years of treatment included criminally abusive and violently destructive behavior, sometimes involving younger children. No, the risk of allowing her to take the baby from the hospital was very grave indeed. So the plan to gain custody of him began with trying to persuade her, by pointing out the obvious difficulties of someone in her circumstances being able to care for an infant, and helping her to reach her own conclusion that she simply was not able to be a good parent at that time. Through this process, accompanied by the faithful prayers of many, mother and daughter experienced a certain level of healing. Beth, who up until then had been entirely rejecting her mom, who had been under the delusion that her mom was somehow her enemy, began to listen to her and trust her with a childlike trust. That in itself was a miracle!
So Little Will arrived safely into the world, the papers were signed and everything put in order, and AnneMarie was able to take him home. The tension and exhaustion of the past several months, the frustration and uncertainty, and the hoping against hope was soon replaced by a tremendous sense of relief, joy, gratitude and wonder at the goodness and compassion of God.
But that’s only half the story! Enter Holly and Jerry. Holly is the daughter of my dearest friend in the world. She had undergone several surgeries to correct the destructive effects of years of painful endometriosis, with the hope that she would then be able to become pregnant. During the fifth and final surgery, she nearly lost her life, but once again God heard our pleadings and granted our petitions. Now she and Jerry decided that they would try to adopt a child. They were in the beginning stages of that process at the same time that AnneMarie was in the process of trying to save her grandchild. It so happened that, one day when AnneMarie and I were visiting my friend Kris, Holly and Jerry’s struggles in trying to conceive and the devastation they were experiencing came up in our conversation. Kris mentioned their intention to adopt a child, and AnneMarie stated at the time that she had someone in mind who might want to adopt Will. There the matter was left.
Shortly before the baby was due, AnneMarie called me, asking if I thought Holly and Jerry were actually serious about adopting. I replied that yes, I knew they were actively pursuing adoption, and also that they were very discouraged by the long, arduous and incredibly expensive journey ahead of them. Even more frustrating was the fact that they had been told that, if the outcome was successful, they would not get an infant – they would get an older child and he or she would have some sort of disability. They were at that moment reconsidering the adoption option. AnneMarie wanted to talk to them. Unbeknownst to me, she was looking for just such a couple who might be interested in adopting Will. What happened next was a whirlwind of miracles intermixed with all kinds of fearful complexities which required great fortitude and perseverance in faith, hope and most especially trust. You know that Scripture that tells us that “God works everything together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose”? Well, it’s absolutely true.
Within days after his birth, Little Will was in the arms of his future parents, and it was one of the most precious, astonishingly beautiful glimpses into the heart of God I have ever witnessed. God created Will not only for His glory, but certainly for our joy. From the first moment of his existence, Will was destined to bring joy into our lives. Who but God could have brought it about that my great grandson would also become my dearest friend’s grandson, and the answer to the prayers of a young childless couple who had all but given up hope that they would ever hold their own infant in their empty, aching arms? Who but God could have given my daughter the courage, tenacity and unfailing love to find a way to rescue this precious child. . .not to mention the heroic love it has required for her to entrust him to someone else? I stand here amazed, even speechless sometimes, contemplating it with awe.
God created us for love, and one of the ways He has created for us to be able to experience his love and also to learn to love like He does, is family. My family, together with Kris’ family, have learned a great deal about God’s love through Little Will. Our families are now one, and our oneness has come through the gift of a child to (what used to be) two separate families. God is good. He is very, very good.