Before Cheryl and I married, we talked about children. Cheryl wanted to have two children, and I really did not want to have any, so we agreed on having one child.
Early on in our marriage, we were having difficulty achieving this goal. I remember the day well when Cheryl had exploratory surgery. It took longer than expected, and the doctor came and spoke with me. We agreed that since the "findings" were not so good, we would wait to tell Cheryl when she was feeling better. The doctor wanted to be the one to give her the news.
The surgery of course took a little something out of my wife. Later that day, Cheryl awoke in pain and wanted to know. I gave her the news as gracefully as I knew how. This is a "blow" only a woman can truly understand...
Now most of you reading this might not know my wife that well. We all know Rome wasn't built in a day, but then again, Cheryl was not on the job. After giving Cheryl the news, she already reached for the yellow pages searching out adoption agencies before I went to bed that night.
I was not at all sure about adoption. Actually, I was flat-out apprehensive. What if the child doesn't like me? What if she has strange behaviors? What about the cost not to mention the legal repercussions? You know, this is a partial list.
Well, I reluctantly agreed to go to a meeting at Hand in Hand and gather some information. This at least gave Cheryl some hope. It was the very least I could do for my wife in her time of suffering. She has always loved children.
On our return trip that evening from Albion I marveled at the beauty of the evening sky, the kind that makes you wonder about God's work. I knew in that instant that I wanted to make this happen for my wife. Doing this in spite of my fears is the thought that came to me. I then voiced my agreement with Cheryl. She was just beside herself!
To my surprise, what I thought to be an act of sacrificial love really turned out to be a beautiful gift to myself. Oh sure, the apprehension would return sometimes during our two year wait, along with moments of shear angst when learning what is required in an international adoption.
But do you want to know something? Adopting Sonya is the very best thing I have ever done! My daughter is the "apple of my eye".
I have come to realize what a precious gift a child is. I cannot imagine loving a biological daughter any more than I love Sonya. I am sure all the parents out there know what I am saying. For those of you contemplating this decision, I cannot say enough good about becoming a parent.
It was my brother-in -law, Rick, who casually remarked to me a few years back, "There is nothing better than kids." Rick doesn't have a clue how that comment stuck to me.
"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord." Psalm 113:9