Guest Post by Susan
My oldest daughter asked me to tell about the adoption of her sister. The names in the story have been changed to protect my adopted daughter’s privacy.
A little background of the family dynamics before I get started: my husband has one brother and one sister. His brother (John) is married to (Mary) with no children and his sister (Lucy) is not married and she had at this time 4 children living a son, and three daughters. Her youngest daughter (Anne) is whom this story is about.
I already had two children, a daughter and a son. I found out through the family that my nephew and two nieces were visiting John and Mary after Anne’s birth. It soon became known to John and Mary that the children had been abused. They contacted social services about the abuse. We all knew that Anne was living in this situation.
One night in September I had a dream that it was Christmas time. All I remember about the dream is a Christmas tree, me and a little baby girl. After waking up from this dream I had a distinct feeling, this baby girl was Anne and she was to be my daughter. We did not live close to the family, they lived on the east coast and we lived in the central part of the states. I was perplexed by how we would become her parents, but I knew it was to be. At that time all I could do was to pray for her safety and that there would be a way provided that we would have her at Christmas time. I prayed daily for her.
In October there was a custody hearing of Lucy’s children that John and Mary were taking care of. I decided this was the opportunity that I had prayed for. I felt if I went to the hearing, certainly the judge would not let Anne continue living in an abusive situation. John and Mary had told me they would not be able to care for another child. Having no children of their own and taking on three abused children was quite stressful for them. I decided to drive out for the hearing. I drove out and stayed with John and Mary. At the hearing, John and Mary were granted custody of the 3 children. The judge told Lucy that he had no doubt that the children were abused by her live-in boyfriend. What happened next astonished me, the judge knew Anne was in the home and he stated that since no evidence of abuse to Anne, she could remain in the home.
Hearing was over. I couldn’t believe that the judge would allow a child to remain in a home with a man known to abuse children, but since he was charged with abuse and no charges were forthcoming, she could remain there.
I came home from that trip so baffled and let down. I continued to pray, but Christmas came and went. Doubt began to creep over me about the dream from September. The New Year came and the months started to go by, and I still prayed for Anne. Lucy finally left her boyfriend in the spring. Lucy and Anne moved in with Lucy’s mother. More doubt about the validity of the dream really started to take hold.
In April, my husband and I went to the temple. While in the sealing room contemplating over Anne, a clear impression came, “In the Lord’s time.” I knew then that Anne would be by daughter, but I needed to pray and put her into God’s hands. Though the dream showed Christmas, that didn’t necessarily mean the Christmas after the dream took place. I knew I needed to change my prayers. Right then in the Celestial room I prayed again for Anne’s safety, the Lord knew best for Anne and that I had to trust him. I had been praying to compel the Lord’s time to be what I wanted. I was wrong to do that. I totally put it in his hands at that time, and prayed he knew what was best.
The very next day I got a call from Mary that Lucy talked to them about taking Anne. They couldn’t do it, but did suggest to her to call her brother and me. My husband and I decided to call Lucy and offer to have her and Anne move in with us. That way Lucy could go to school, or work, but still be by Anne. We felt we needed to give her the option to stay with Anne. Lucy said she would think about it. The next day she called us and said she would not live with us, but asked if could we take Anne till Lucy got back on her feet.
We drove out to pick Anne up about a week later. Anne was 9 months old. My son was 1 year, 9 months, and my daughter was 4 years old. Six months later we went to court and were granted custody of Anne. We didn’t push adoption at this time. We wanted to give Lucy time to secure some education and get a job. Lucy did go to school and got a job. A couple of years later, I called Lucy up, the first thing out of her mouth was, and “You want to adopt Anne now? Have your lawyer send me the papers and I will sign them.” Lucy needed to be able to come to terms with letting Anne be adopted by her brother and myself. We adopted Anne after she turned four years old. The next week our family went to the temple to have Anne sealed to us. What a joyous occasion that was. My daughter and son were able to come in and see their sister sealed to our family. From this experience I learned patience and to trust in the Lord. Our Heavenly Father works in his time. He know best for us.
I want to thank my oldest daughter for asking me to write this story. I have told it before, but have never written it down. I love all my children whether born or adopted.