Adopting Hope

St. Joseph, certainly the archetype - and surely the Patron - of adoptive parents.

St. Joseph, certainly the archetype – and surely the Patron – of adoptive parents.

Ordinary Miracles

(This lovely story by our reader, “A Quiet Person,” speaks for itself. Sometimes out of the mouths of babes comes the font of wisdom. I suspect Our Lord uses them because He has fewer filters He has to get through to get His message spoken clearly. Also – and in conjunction with this, I include here a link to a Youtube of a lovely composition by the European composer, Daniel Knaggs. Knaggs is a friend of the French theologian, Peter B., who compares notes with many things with me on occasions and whose counsel I value. Daniel sent this to me during the time when I was praying for strength and fortitude. Enjoy – CJ)

By A Quiet Person

I am a single mom of two wonderful, unique, beautiful teenagers. It is like they were made for each other. They love each other deeply and even at a young age they were cognizant of what a special relationship they had. People have even commented about how close they are.
I gave birth to my first at the age of 42 (which is one not-so-little miracle right there). The Lord knows I did not deserve him, but He blessed me anyway. Even so, I desperately wanted another child. The desire was so deep that it was really hard to reconcile that with the reality that I might not have another child. I failed miserably with acceptance. Then it happened! I became pregnant again. But it was not to be. On April 6, I had a miscarriage. You know how there are some dates you will never forget? April 6th was one of those for me.
I did not handle that well either. My marriage was not going well. Finances were a disaster. Prayer life? I was just beginning.  I had recently come back to the Catholic Church after having taken every wrong turn a person could take for most of my life. But at least I was back. Meanwhile, adoption, something I would like to have considered was not a viable option either, especially considering our age and all of the other circumstances. In fact, we did not even talk about it. Why even bother? Then one morning in late summer, our son who was 3 and a half announced as clearly as can be and right out of the blue, “Home-study for adoption. Adoption? OK. Adoption. “
Silence. Stunned silence. His father and I looked at each other in shock and then we looked at him. “Sweetie, what did you just say?”  we asked him gently. Surely both of us had misheard.
“Home-study for adoption. Adoption? OK.  Adoption.”
There was absolutely no context for this. We had not been exploring adoption. It is not as if we were considering our options where he could have overheard us discussing the process, thus hearing words like “home-study” or even the word “adoption.” We had no friends with adopted children where he could have picked up these words. There was nothing from a TV show he would have been exposed to. I was with him all of the time so I would have known if those topics had been discussed in his presence. I cannot think of where he could have come up with these words. I looked at my husband, both of us still in awe and I said right then and there,” We are going to adopt!” He agreed.
Circumstances did not improve on any front. But this adoption was meant to be. In spite of all of our differences, we agreed on this.  And so we proceeded. For anyone having gone through an adoption you already know how stressful it is, how uncertain, how fraught with difficulty it is. One of the most difficult aspects of the process is that you have control over nothing. This adoption, though, was going remarkable quickly and smoothly. There was a ton of paperwork, but one piece in particular was especially  important. It was from the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service: Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application For Advance Processing Of Orphan Petition, which is just the formal way of saying you are good to go.
And, yes, you guessed it. That letter is dated April 6, exactly two years to the day, after my miscarriage. Two and a half months later she was home.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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41 Responses to Adopting Hope

  1. Judith Johnson says:

    Great post. I am adopted and love to hear about others.

    Like

  2. Judy says:

    God’s ways inspire both awe and delight. Amazing and joyful story!

    Like

  3. SteveBC says:

    I always react to stories like this first with something like, “How amazing,” then I remember how improbably normal this kind of apparently chance event is. It happens far more often in our lives than chance could allow, which is what is really the amazing part of this kind of story.

    It’s also one of my principal reasons for *knowing* that a spiritual realm truly exists and that those who are there take a deep interest in us. It always brings to my mind and my heart that we have much help, but we often do not remember or recognize that help.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. In this troubled earth you had a miscarriage but in God’s divine order you gave birth to a tiny saint who –for reasons only God knows– may be working in Heaven to bring another soul to the communion of your happy family. You observed the coincidence of the date, April 6. God often uses dates to call our attention to His work. May He continue to bless your family abundantly, I have the feeling that at least one of your children will be taking Sacred Orders one day. Thank you and thanks to Charlie for publishing this lovely story,

    Liked by 3 people

    • marie says:

      Carlos, this brought tears to my eyes. After my third miscarriage I was inconsolable. That is, until the day a kindly old lady assured me that my babies were saints in heaven, who looked upon the face of God and intereceded for us. Within a few short years I gave birth (also at a fairly late age) to my two wonderful children.

      Quiet Person, thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

      Thanks also to you, Charlie, for suggesting these hope-filled stories. We truly need this kind of encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mick says:

        Marie, like you, I was inconsolable after my second miscarriage, until someone gave me a reminder much like the one you were given. Except in my case, it was from an article that I had previously seen an Michael Brown’s Spirit Daily website a (I got it out of a file and reread it when I needed it after my second miscarriage). Here’s a link to the article which brought me such peace:

        http://www.spiritdaily.net/deaconrichard.htm

        It is such a comfort to know that our little ones behold the face of God. It’s also nice to know that I can say, “Mommy needs a favor; will you please speak to the Big Guy for me?” 🙂

        Quiet Person, thank you so much for sharing your story. It is miraculous and beautiful, as are your children.

        Like

        • marie says:

          Mick, thanks for this amazing article and yes, it is a great comfort to know we have some personal ‘ambassadors’ in Heaven 🙂

          Like

  5. BootsOn says:

    So beautiful, precious Quiet Person. I cried. I have three sisters who have grown their families through adoption and have stories of God’s fingerprints all over them. It is so amazing how God picks out the people He wants in our lives ….like the community here. Loving this refuge of kindred souls.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kris says:

    Charlie, I really like these posts on how Christ personally touches our lives. I have a whole slew of little ways that I know my angel has protected me, my family, etc. And I know of so many things that my family and I have all seen clearly the hand of God in, even when the story was really a tragedy to start with. These are the stories of hope that we must always remember as we go through whatever happens to us. Thanks to you and all for sharing. them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. christiaria says:

    Today is the day my husband and I received the first photos of our daughter-in-waiting, whom we would finally meet and adopt three months later in China. What a day! Words fail to express the gratitude I feel to God for the precious gift of her life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Quiet Person says:

      Oh my goodness! I totally understand.Those first photos are powerful! I took my daughter’s referral photo, printed it out through the computer on computer fabric/paper and made a lovely quilted walling hanging out of it, including this quote in it, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.” 1 Samuel 1:27. I used fabric from some of her first baby clothes in the wall hanging as well. I had even thought about trying to make a little business out of that because I figured (and still do!) that everyone who has gone through the adoption process would cherish having their special memories put together in such a way. (I am actually a starving artist type, emphasis on the word “starving” with no business sense at all. Maybe after the Storm . . . ?)

      Liked by 2 people

  8. abyssum says:

    The post of what ‘A Quiet Person’ wrote ‘made my day.’ Beautiful! Thank you, ‘A Quiet Person” and Charlie. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit !!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Michelle says:

    Wow! Just wow! So beautiful!
    Reminds me of when my husband and I were first married, sitting on the living room floor discussing finances. I was probably discussing how I couldn’t make a budget work on paper. Not possible with our income vs bills. My son, who was 1 or 2 at the time, walks over and gives us hugs at that moment. We knew it was God telling us that He’d take care of us. (Which he has!) Don’t you just love how God can use our wee ones to communicate with us! 🙂

    Like

  10. Erin says:

    Your story is beautiful! It gives me hope.

    I keep praying that God will send me a good and faithful husband like St. Joseph. Please ask his intercession for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • marie says:

      Erin, St Joseph is one of my favourite saints. I will certainly pray for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barb129 says:

      I will pray for you Erin! I had a friend who prayed to St. Joseph and St. Andre Bessette for the blessing of a good and faithful husband. She met her husband the following year on St. Andre’s feastday. =)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mick says:

      Erin, I will pray for you. God bless you and your future husband.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erin says:

        Thank you to all. Please know you are in my prayers as well. I live near Austin, Texas. As you might have heard Texas has been hit with flooding. Please keep all of those affected in your prayers too! Many of the counties (i think 40 or so) have been declared disaster areas. We got a lot of rain here, but we’re not in the path of any water via creeks or rivers.

        Like

  11. Steve says:

    For those of you that don’t already know me, I am Charlie’s brother Steve. I start out with this to let you know that those of us in the family call him “Larry”, as that is his middle name. Although he chose to use his first name with his friends and all official aspects of his life, he is still “Larry” to us, so please indulge us with this!
    Larry, I love these articles that you have started publishing about the everyday miracles. So many of us felt that miracles were things that just no longer happened because we don’t see the big, world changing flashy miracles that occurred during the time of Christ on earth. I feel overjoyed when I see that miracles are still occurring all around us, every day, and we see them if we just open our eyes to God’s great plan. From my miracle of the fish, to the miracle of the tire that was falling apart yet held, to the miracle of the son that asked about attending confession out of the blue, to this miracle, they happen all the time! It gives me great hope and inspiration to not only know that miracles are occurring, but that more and more people are recognizing them for what they truly are, God showing us his love for us. I encourage all that read this column that, if you have had a miracle in your life, please share it with the group! By reading about someone else’s experiences, it gives us an opportunity to step back and recognize the miracles that are happening all around us, thus allowing us to see a small portion of God’s plan and love for us. I really think that this can be useful as we enter the Storm. God Bless!

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks, Steve. I often tell people they have it backwards. So many tell me if they could just see, they would do. But I say we all know how to do the right thing…and that we can’t see until we start to do.

      As for Steve, I held a peculiar and unique position of authority within our family. I was like a third parent. Oh, I played and rough-housed and got into mischief with my siblings. But I would switch seamlessly into “parenting” role. As I got older, I got fascinated at how my brothers and sisters knew immediately when I was being brother and when I was in secondary parent role. It was underlined how striking this aspect of my role in the family was one day when Steve, at about six or seven, enthusiastically gushed to us all that when he grew up, he was going to find him a wife and a Larry and start a family. He got a fine wife – but Larry’s are few and far between.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Steve says:

        I actually remember saying that to Mom! To my child’s mind, Larry wasn’t so much a name as it was a position, like Mom and Dad! To me, I thought it was natural for a man to get a wife and a Larry!

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are right, Steve. We all get a mom, pop, Larry, and bride. You were Lucky to get one of your own, I got this generic Larry. There was post-war Larry shortage over here and we all had to share:

          Liked by 1 person

          • SteveBC says:

            Carlos, you have outdone yourself. What a laugh!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            Carlos, you are cracking me up! “Generic Larry”?!! Oh, what awesome childhood memories this picture brings to my mind. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • mvislander says:

            pick two, porcupine!

            Liked by 1 person

          • CrewDog says:

            Hey Carlos,

            I’m sure you are more “In the Know” about what’s happening’ “down there” so when Ya get the chance please take a look at this and give us your take:

            http://www.aim.org/aim-column/catholic-group-exposes-red-influence-in-the-vatican

            Charlie is not a big fan of AIM but without insider info I’ve got to keep my Radar Up on all quadrants. I quit putting $$$ in Mission Collection Baskets when it became common knowledge (early 80s) that funds were ending up in the coffers of Communist Guerrillas in Latin America/Africa. To this day, I am very careful about who, exactly, gets my religious/political donations!
            …. and in the aftermath of The Storm the survivors that are left to pick up the pieces need to know, exactly, who/what went wrong … and where the smoke of satan came from!!

            GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

            Liked by 1 person

        • CrewDog, the situation is not good. That article is for the most part, correct. I commented on that a few years ago in this interview:
          http://catholicexchange.com/a-tri-lingual-catholic-blitz-an-interview-with-carlos-caso-rosendi
          “These days 1 in 4 South Americans baptized into the Catholic faith as children will identify themselves as agnostic by age 20. We are bleeding souls at a pace that is both scandalous and sad to contemplate…”
          I am fighting but few have joined my puny effort in the last 10 years and sometimes I get very tired. Recently I wrote a long article in Spanish about cultural Marxism. That article was lifted by some Conservative magazines. Well, that’s a start. But the truth is we are inviting young and old to come to the Church to fight the good fight, even when those in the upper echelons do not share our view. The red tide was announced by Our Lady, we are not immune to the “errors of Russia” but that does not mean we have to acquiesce.
          My imperfect and puny efforts may be small but a few souls have changed course towards salvation by the grace of God since I started publishing those sites. Even if ONE soul was touched, it was worth the effort.
          What is happening up there in the high hierarchy is — in my humble opinion — disgusting but God is in charge and He allowed it for a reason. I am obedient to Christ and to those who serve him well. At this stage I am preparing mainly for reconstruction –which I believe is closer than many in the world may think– and I am working as hard as I can to direct souls to salvation in Christ. Those who decide to follow Marx after being given the treasure of the Gospel are only worthy of my pity.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Bob says:

        And Charlie says we all know how to do the right thing. Do we? And how well are we at choosing between several seemingly good choices to make our best decision of which of seemingly good things is the best right choice? Most of us should, hopefully, be good at choosing the good from the bad and yet St Ignatius and others remind us that choosing the best of several options is more difficult. Perhaps a discussion on how we discern among various choices would be worthwhile as during any storm or battle choices must be made and quickly and in calmer times we have the option of prayerfully weighing options, seeking guidance if the decision is important and waiting for that peace which confirms, as best as we can what is right.

        Like

        • Judy says:

          Yes, sometimes one is forced to make a decision quickly without background knowledge regarding the concern. Maybe that is when the prayer of Miraculous Trust comes in. I have been using it a lot lately.

          Like

        • Steve says:

          Bob, please remember the rest of what Charlie (Larry!) said. We all should know right from wrong. I believe that what he is trying to say is when we have to make a decision from multiple potential “right” choices, we can’t freeze up and make no choice, we have to step out and make a decision. As long as we hold to Christ, even when we make the wrong decision, fruit will be born from that decision, even if it is only to teach us where we went wrong. The problem usually lies in people making such decisions based on vanity (deciding on what we think we can control) or out of fear (deciding on the path of least resistance). No matter how difficult the path, we need to attempt to make the decisions that we feel best keeps us reliant on Christ and allows us to be a beacon of hope to others.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Bob says:

            Good answer brother of Larry. I have tended to be too slow to act sometimes out of fear of making a wrong choice but I forgot that if I try to trust God He will either make the decision right or prevent me from making a wrong turn.

            Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      Steve, is this your initial comment as you start helping us all at the site? If so, from one Steve to another, welcome!

      I’m sure the similarity of our names will cause serious confusion for some. I know it confused me already, because I saw “Larry’s” comment to your comment here first and had to see if his first two words were thanking me or someone else!

      Charlie, you’re going to have to call me SteveBC from now on or confusion will run rampant. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steve says:

        SteveBC, I am not one of the family members that is helping out with the site! I do try to read every post that Larry puts up and comment when I feel moved to do so. I stay in fairly regular contact with him and we discuss pressing issues. Trust me, though, just because I am family, Larry does not share any more with me than he does with everyone on this site! As he has stated in the past, he feels that many of the things he has been shown would only be a distraction, and I agree with him.
        Thanks for the welcome! Larry actually posted a story about me (https://charliej373.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/workaday-miracles/) which I shared with him about a miracle that occurred for my son and I while on a hunting/camping trip. I believe that was the story in which he started the posts concerning everyday miracles. Also in post, he shares some of the story of my conversion to the Catholic faith.
        Although I tend not to comment very often, I do try to read all the articles, as well as all the comments, and I get a real blessing from everyone’s inputs! It is such a comfort to know that we have a community out there that is working to keep the faith and soldier on!

        Liked by 1 person

        • SteveBC says:

          Steve, I understand the distinction now. As in your last paragraph, I too do the best I can to keep up, and everyone here has provided me with great information and many blessings, for which I am increasingly grateful.

          Like

  12. Karen says:

    Thank you for a beautiful reminder of how God speaks to us in so many different ways, especially through innocent children!

    Erin, praying with you to good St. Joseph for a loving, godly husband for you!

    Like

  13. Susan, MI says:

    Quiet, thank you for sharing your beautiful story of how God uses little ones in our lives. I distinctly remember being extremely exhausted parenting our 2 and 4 year old daughters. And, quite frankly, was having a pity party about how I have to “take care of everything and everybody” and never have anytime “for me.” As I was saying goodnight to our 4 year old, she says, “Mommy, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” Whoa… I sat up a bit straighter and smiled a sheepish smile. I knew I had just had a divine reality check.

    “Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy.”

    From the RITE OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE – 1962 RITUALE ROMANUM, Instruction on the Day of Marriage by The Most Rev. William O. Brady, S.T.D., Archbishop of Saint Paul

    The quote above is often used by local priest. Usually to describe how his parents have lived the sacrament of marriage in their home for 60 plus years. Needless to say, the perfect love thing always seems to escape me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. connie says:

    Quiet, thanks for being a sign of hope. These little stories, like yours also brings a great amount of joy. Please continue to be a sign of hope and go after your hearts desire Erin, speaking of hearts desire, don’t give up. Prayers going up for you now. I asked St Jude to help me find a husband- he did and we have been married 16 years now.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A Quiet Person says:

    Charlie, let me explain to you what a funny and wonderful coincidence it was for you to connect the music of Daniel Knaggs to my ordinary miracle story about my two kids. First though, I want to thank everyone for letting me share our story. It was so gratifying to read your thoughtful comments. Meanwhile, my kids and I are going through some brutally difficult times with no particular end in sight. Looking for a sign of hope myself, a few nights ago I decided to show the kids the post on this site. They were delighted to see their own story being a sign of hope to others and were deeply touched by so many moving and validating comments. I was like a soothing balm for our many wounds.

    I had listened to the music of Daniel Knaggs when you first posted it Charlie, but it wasn’t until my son saw it that he made the connection for me. “Mom, that’s Mr. Knaggs!”

    My response, “Get out of town!”

    “No mom, really.”

    “Get out of town. Now!”

    Well, it turns out that Daniel Knaggs is actually “Mr. Knaggs” to us. He was my son’s high school Spanish teacher for 9th and 10th grades just a few years back! He was an amazing person and teacher and I was ever so grateful that my son had the opportunity to get to know him, if only for a little bit. My son had a particularly rough 10th grade year during which time we would talk about good role models for him, people he admired that he could look up to. Mr. Knaggs was at the top of the list.

    So Charlie, how it is that you decided to connect Daniel Knaggs to us I don’t know, but it sure makes for a wonderfully small world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Wow, Quiet! That is, itself, another little ordinary miracle. One is blown away at the big miracles, but how dearly I love the gentle little caresses Our Lord sends us constantly. The theologian, Peter B., is a mutual friend of both Daniel and me. Daniel was moved to send me that song he composed during a period when I was struggling a bit. I just thought it fit perfectly with your story. A little whisper, a gentle caress from above.

      Like

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