"Lord, when did we see You...?" (Matthew 25:37, NASB).
In November 2001, Janet received a phone call from Sarah, an employee of Christian Services of Oklahoma. It had been 10 months since we had completed the paper work for our adoption, but we had not seen any progress in finding a child. With Sarah's call, we believed that things were changing.
In Oklahoma City, a little boy had been born. The original adoptive parents had backed away from adopting him. The birth mother was heart-broken. The adoption agency that had been handling the adoption was contacting other agencies, seeking at least 4 couples who would like to adopt baby Sage so that the birth mother would have a good group of potential parents from which to choose.
Baby Sage was a little black boy with problems. He had a very rare condition similar to Down Syndrome, but less was known about it since only a few cases had occurred in the United States. Sage had 6 fingers on each hand, 6 toes on each foot, a cleft palate, webbed fingers and toes, and maybe a few other cosmetic problems.
When Janet called me at work, both of us were excited about the possibility of adopting Sage. We said, "Yes! We want to be on the list for the birth mother to choose us!" I walked away from the phone to share the good news, and to prepare to take some time off from work to care for our new child.
A few days later, Sarah called Janet with the bad news. We had not been chosen. When Janet called me, I had a hard time finishing my job that day. I was frustrated, sad, and a little confused. I came to believe that God had chosen another family for Sage because he knew that it would be better for the boy. But why had he put us through this? Why had our hopes been raised and then dashed?
I discovered the answer a few years later. A co-worker had been paying attention to our ordeal. She had seen my excitement at finding out that we might be adopting Sage. She noticed the frustration and disappointment when we were not able to adopt him. She told me, "After seeing how you and Janet were willing to adopt a little boy like that, I will never tell anyone to have an abortion again! I never knew that there were people like you two who wanted a baby so much."
Sometimes we do not know the impact of our lives...especially when we are living in disappointing moments. In Matthew 25, Jesus judged the sheep, and they were shocked to discover that the little unnoticed things that they had done for others had been noticed and appreciated by the Lord. On judgment day, I want to be among the surprised sheep, the people who have cared about others without thinking much about the attention that it might bring to themselves.
For anyone reading this blog who may not know, Janet and I were blessed to be at the hospital in January 2003 when our son Christopher was born. We met his birth mother and were able to take him home from the hospital a day later. We had to wait, but God gave us a great gift on that day.