Note: This was originally published in 2019, and has been updated.
(LifeSiteNews) – Twenty nine Christmases ago – our ninth together as man and wife – my wife Valerie and I experienced an unexpected miracle.
After discovering we were infertile early in our marriage, we had employed the help of doctors to the extent our consciences would allow, and when that proved unfruitful we quickly and happily went to work with an adoption agency. A few years and thousands of dollars later, amid soul-crushing disappointment, we reluctantly gave up our hope of ever having children.
We resigned ourselves to childlessness and tried to find comfort in the possibility of a lifetime of increased disposable income, of travel and other little luxuries. Over the next few years we put the thought of raising a family out of our minds. Or at least, we tried to.
Then something extraordinary happened.
Four days before Christmas, shortly after I had arrived home from work, the phone rang. On the other end of the line was a neighbor who explained that her sister was a foster parent for newborns, and that she was caring for a two-day-old baby boy who might be a difficult placement because he was biracial.
“I understand this might be a door you don’t want to re-open,” she said, “but I thought I should let you know. Are you interested?”
A bit dazed by the call, I thanked her and hung up the phone. My mind raced. Did I really want to risk tearing the scab off this deep wound, knowing that this could be another heartbreaking dead end?
I said a quick prayer, and when my wife walked in the door I suggested we go out for dinner at our favorite restaurant.
Halfway through our second glasses of wine – amid the Christmas decorations and carols softly playing in the background – I told her about the phone call and popped the question.
Over the next few days it was wonderful to witness the pure joy, peace, and hope return to my wife’s soul after having steeled herself against the pain of childlessness. Our celebration of the birth of the Christ Child that year took on new meaning as we at last could enter into the joy and anticipation of Mary and Joseph in a way that we hadn’t been privy to previously.
Although it took a while to undergo another home study, Michael came to us just before Easter and, in a sense, resurrected our lives. For us, Michael was and always will be a miracle.
A second miracle
Then, nearly two years later, another equally extraordinary event occurred.
A few days after submitting the paperwork to the same agency seeking to adopt a second child, the phone again rang. It was the head of the agency. I naturally assumed she was simply calling to acknowledge receipt of our application. I was wrong.
“Mr. Mainwaring, you’re not going to believe this but Michael’s birth mom just contacted us. She is eight months pregnant by the same man, and they both want you and Valerie to have the child.”
Goosebumps popped up all over my arms and legs. At that moment I knew I was witnessing – and in the middle of – another miracle, a perfect answer to prayer that went beyond our wildest dreams, something that would never have occurred to us to even ask for.
Just a few weeks later, we brought home Christopher. He, too, is and always will be a miracle.
I’ll never forget that Christmas week nearly three decades ago, when out of the blue God showed His love toward us after we had given up hope.
When we were completely unable to give each other a child, and every path had been blocked, God displayed his munificence toward us. Not once, but twice.