By Doug and Ann Pifer
For those of you who are interested in pro-life ministry, I need to alert you. This is not yet another young parent writing about the spirituality of child birth. No this is a grandmother writing about the miracle of an open adoption. In case this term “open” makes you shake your head, roll your eyes or close your mind, I ask you to continue to open your heart to another vision of God alive in today’s world.
Our family journey is a typical, happy way of 42 years of marriage, four delightful children who all grew up and married wonderful spouses. Doug and I have been blessed to see “our children’s children.” Each arrival has been miraculous in its own unique way.
Seven of our grandchildren came directly to us after a nine month pregnancy. Our first granddaughter however arrived in a flurry of surprise with only eighteen hours notice and eight hours of travel.
Her adoption was a miracle as a gift from a young mother who loved her baby girl enough to place her in the care of selected, eager new parents. Our family can vividly remember our first description of Wesley in Andrea’s arms at a San Antonio airport.
Eight years later we still continue to pray for her birth mother who somewhere, I’m sure, still wonders if Wesley is OK. Yes, Sarah, she is fine. May God bless you with a peaceful heart. We love her dearly.
Our latest encounter with the living God came in June as 7 pound 2 ounce Mia was born. Earlier this year, her birth mother had asked our daughter and son-in-law to consider parenting her child.
With great hope and anticipation as well as anxiety, our entire family quietly awaited her birth, all the while praying that her birth mother would have the courage to follow her adoption plan. Assisted and counseled by a loving agency and with the support of her parents, Jocelyn gave birth on June 5 as her child’s adoptive parents sat outside the hospital nursery.
Several hours later we were honored to meet Jocelyn and yet no words could express the gratitude and joy we held for this courageous young lady. Her own mother stood bravely by and seemed absorbed in witnessing the joy her daughter’s sacrifice would mean to our family.
Even the doctor commented supportively on this unselfish act of love. Being jointly named Mia Caroline, this tiny child entered into the care of a new family that day in the hospital. Two days later, before her departure from the hospital, Jocelyn visited for an hour with Mia and then gently handed her to our daughter to be loved for the rest of her life.
Only God could have known Jocelyn’s pain of this release yet wisdom to do what she knew was best for her child. “No greater love has anyone, than to lay down one’s life for another.” That gesture of love is as true a miracle as any biological birth process. Only God’s love could have made Jocelyn’s gift possible to our family.
Life now continues as our family comes to know this beautiful little girl. Her parents now adjust to being a family of four all because one young birth mother had the courage and wisdom to live out her adoption plan.
My prayer today continues to be that other young women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies have the support of our church, their family and friends. May we put our prayer and efforts into encouraging the dignity of the “option of adoption.” May we, as a faith community, offer these young women our support, prayers and acceptance instead of our condemnation.
Doug and Ann Pifer are members of St. Martha Church.