“Back in the mid-1990s, I first met Alice and Cheri when they came to the church our family had attended for a number of years in Sanborn, NY. The day we met was certainly planned by God. After hearing of the work of SonRays Ministries, I was very interested in the ministry and introduced myself to the both of them. I met with them over the next few months a couple times, however, my involvement in the ministry was limited as my husband had accepted a temporary transfer to another state with the company that he worked for, and I joined him shortly thereafter. Upon returning home to our NY residence on a weekend in Spring, our youngest son, who was living at home and working in NY, approached me with a situation regarding a young woman who was pregnant with a child to whom he was the father. He was at a point in his life where he was searching for answers. He also told me of the confusion he was experiencing because of the physician who was treating her at the time, had not only brought children into the world, but openly had abortion material. Alice and Cheri from SonRays counseled me to follow in helping both our families. Our son had arranged for us to meet with the birth mom and her parents to discuss the services that SonRays had to offer and if those services could assist them. It became more evident to me, as God’s plan began to unfold, that the birth mom and her parents were very receptive to the offer, as they were already considering adoption but were unsure how to proceed. A second meeting was arranged with Alice and Cheri where they gave an overview of the adoption process and the birth mom accepted.
As the months past, our son and I met with the birth mom a couple of times to reinforce our support for her decision and to follow up with SonRays Ministries in receiving adoption information. That summer, I received a phone call at our out-of-state residence that a baby girl was born and we were invited with our son to visit her in the hospital the next day. As I traveled back to New York, many emotions hit me as another grandchild was to be born. One I would not have the opportunity to watch grow up with a family full of uncles, aunts, cousins, and her biological father and grandparents. After raising five children of our own, my husband and I knew this was going to be a difficult time, not only for our son, but for our entire family. My prayer at the time was focused on helping not only our family, but the family of the birth mom as well. God knew this would take an effort on everyone’s part in order to do the best for the child. On a beautiful summer morning in Western NY, my son and I traveled to the hospital to meet the new baby girl. The hour or so we spent with her will always be recalled as memorable. An excerpt from my journal from that day reads as follows: “I held you for about an hour and your dad sat next to me playing with your hands and touching your head. I could see the pride in him as he looked upon his daughter. I could also see the beginning of the internal struggle knowing he was about to let you go. After praying for you together, leaving our small gifts we had brought and placing you back into the arms of Alice, we left for home.” I quickly realized the circumstances of this situation were becoming more traumatic than I could have ever imagined for my family. My son did not carry this baby and go through all the emotions that the birth mom had, but from his vantage point, the emotions that he was feeling of not sharing in his child’s upbringing were real. The next few days were very chaotic for all of us. My husband, son, and I had several discussions about raising the little girl together. Our other four married children sought out alternatives to adoption. One of our sons, now a retired Army Colonel but a young Captain stationed overseas at the time, was confronted with the fact that his wife wished to adopt a child. We all knew deep down inside that the plan had been set, the baby would be adopted, and that God had pulled it all together. Two days later, our son and one of his brothers went to the court to sign the paperwork. At that hearing, our son took the time to ask permission of the judge in attendance if he could speak in order to convey to the court the feelings he had for the child as well as the decision the birth mom made. It is my understanding from speaking to my other son that the judge commended him for his thoughts, as all other men in his situation simply signed the paperwork and walked away. There were some tears shed that day by those few participants in the room. I was proud of my son as well as his brother.
Upon returning to our out-of-state residence the following week, my husband and I visited the church we were attending at the time. During the service, I had the opportunity to give a testimony of my previous week’s visit home, sharing how our family and our son struggled with his decision to place in adoption. After the service, a young woman in her late twenties came up to me and told me that she was adopted and that she loved her adoptive parents dearly. But until she walked into the church that morning, she continued to harbor much bitterness against her birth mother and father who “gave her up” for adoption. The testimony of God’s power in the life of our family moved her to tears. She never realized until that day that perhaps it was one of the most difficult decisions for her birth parents as well and she thanked me for sharing my story. I could see how God was beginning to use this testimony not only for our family, but to share with other families as well.
The process of adoption is not easy, but it is the best alternative to what society offers for unplanned pregnancies today. Through all of these years, the time surrounding the birthday of my son’s adopted daughter is a time of high anxiety for our son as he relives the past. Our son and his wife have two sons and a daughter and I know he longs to reunite with the one he placed in adoption. He knows it was the best decision for that time in his life and always appreciated the work of Alice and Cheri and SonRays Ministries for their guidance. God’s work through a ministry such as SonRays continues to change lives today. As a family, God has blessed us with 13 grandchildren, one of whom has joined HIM in Glory. We, as a family, wait for the day when we will meet our son’s adopted daughter, our granddaughter. Our son also waits for that day as well, so he can celebrate her life and their future lives together, knowing the void in them both has been fulfilled by a faithful and loving God.”