Oct 28, 2015
by Katie M. Reid
At an adoption training at Bethany, my husband and I met Kris and Joanna, a couple from a nearby town. In the course of our conversation we talked about Ishmael and Isaac from the Bible (a son born from impatience and a son born as a fulfillment of a promise*) and how—as hard as the adoption wait was—we wanted to wait for our “Isaacs,” and trust God to grow our families in His timing.
It’s easy to say that, but much harder to live it out as you wait month after month and experience “no” after “no” in your adoption journey.
Several months later, my husband and I were presented with an opportunity to bring a baby boy home within the week. Our empty arms would be filled at last! But after a difficult weekend of prayer and unrest, we felt like he was not to be our son. It seemed crazy to say “no,” but I didn’t feel a mother’s heart towards this baby, and my husband didn’t have peace about the situation.
I worried about this baby and hoped that he would soon be placed with an adoptive family. I felt guilty for saying “no,” but guilt is a terrible motivator for parenting a child.
It’s hard to say “no” when you can’t see your “yes” around the corner. But it was the right answer for us, and God gave us the strength to get through it.
We attended another Bethany meeting and were excited to see Kris and Joanna again. They told us that they had been matched with a baby. I was so happy for them, but also sad for us—that we were still waiting.
When Joanna told me the date of her son’s birth, I realized that the baby who was a “no” for us had been a “yes” for them. They beamed with joy—their son was a perfect fit for their family and an answer to their prayer. I confessed how we had been called about their son first, but God had made our decision clear.
Joanna cried, “Thank you for being sensitive to the Spirit. Your courage to say ‘no’ made it possible for our son to come home to us. I am so grateful. You are a part of his story.”
Our “no” was their “yes.” He was their Isaac, their child of promise. We shared a sacred moment as two adoptive mamas realized the eternal impact of our decisions.
A month later my husband and I received our “yes.” All the waiting was worth it as we held our Isaac in our arms at last.
Hebrews 11:11b “... [Sarah] considered Him faithful who made the promise.”
That summer, with full hearts, Joanna and I met at a park and went for a walk. We pushed our sons in strollers and laughed—like Sarah might have when she heard the news that she would have Isaac after decades of waiting. It was another sacred moment.
You don’t often get to see the rest of the story when you say “no,” but I’m thankful God gave us a glimpse of how He worked behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes.
As Joanna and I walked together, our sons in tow, we turned a corner—from waiting to promises fulfilled—and we saw the faithfulness of God.
*See Genesis 16 and 21 for the biblical account of Ishmael and Isaac.