Category Archives: baby

Retro CPO: “This Day Could Be My Last”

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication. This month’s Retro CPO article was written by Teresa, a beautiful birth mother. It was written in spring of 2008.

I look inside myself, desperate to see-
on a mission to discover the “brand new” me.

Am I so different than I was before,
when crack was my god and his servant a whore.

In my memories, I can see the streets.
I feel the loneliness, despair, and defeat.

My body was always exhausted.
I was forever on the move,
money to make,
things to take,
not a second to lose.

The trick was to stay in motion,
not to let thoughts enter my head.
There was a baby growing inside of me.
when I was so dead.

Did I know I was hurting the baby?
I had to be aware.
The problem was deep inside of me.
I didn’t have the ability to care.

I moved without direction,
no concern for my path.
Why plan for the next day,
when today could be my last.


The following is the “rest of the story”, as told by Cheryl Bauman in 2008.

At that point, Teresa called out to God and asked Him to send someone into her room at Hillcrest, someone that she could trust. Within seconds, He sent a wonderful nurse into her room, and within an hour, I was at the hospital with life books and a promise that CPO would not only find the perfect family for her baby boy, but that we would provide her with all she needed to turn her life around.
Today, Teresa has an excellent job, is growing emotionally and spiritually, and trusts the Lord with her life. She has an awesome relationship with her son’s adoptive parents, and has a renewed relationship with two of her daughters, who live in another state. She has 10 months of being clean and sober, and lives in our transitional home. Gone are the days of being in prison, using drugs to numb the pain of an excruciatingly horrid childhood, and making money however she could. Today, Teresa has begun to believe us when we tell her how precious she is to God, and to us. When I look at her, everything CPO has done to minister to girls and women in crisis pregnancies in the last 25 years seems totally “worth it.” God is so incredibly faithful.


“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT

Volunteers Matter: Ashley Ledbetter

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from a dedicated volunteer, Ashley Ledbetter.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: After hours phone calls, interviewing parenting moms and writing their stories for the blog, photography for CPO events like the Easter party and Birth Mother’s Day.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: Since the beginning of this year.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: We have friends who have adopted through CPO and my friend  mentors a CPO birth mom.  We also found CPO on the internet when trying to choose an adoption agency. After we pursued DHS adoptions, God told us we needed to use CPO.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about CPO that drew you to us?
A: Well, because we have to for our adoption to be finalized! But it worked out because I actually wanted to volunteer last year but I had just delivered Siren and we were still settling into Tulsa. I ended up putting it on the back burner and then we became a waiting family so it was time to volunteer!

Q: What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: The opportunity to serve a baby AND birth mother. The opportunity to have an open adoption and try to experience that reality.  Initially we thought of adoption as a “win,” because the baby is being rescued from a home that can’t take care of it, and because we gain a child into our family.  Later we started seeing it more as a “loss,” because the baby has this deep innate need for their biological parents and the solution for the brokenness coming from that separation should be reunification.  The solution should be an equipped mom and dad, a healthy household, a clean, safe, loving environment… so without that adoption felt like a “loss” for everyone.  Ultimately, we are now seeing open adoption as “adoption.”  Not a win or loss, just the receiving of an entire family unit (however big or small in each case) into our family unit.  Through open adoptions we can experience the win and joy of receiving a child into our home, we can redefine reunification by encouraging and nurturing healthy relationships between our adopted child and their birthfamily while also developing a new union between ourselves and our adopted child’s birth family.  And since CPO is a Christian ministry, we can do all of this with Jesus at the forefront of our plans, relationships and actions, without which, all of these hopes would ultimately be unattainable.  Because God is at work in this organization, we are eager to be at work in it too.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: I think because God has put it there, but also because I can relate.  I grew up in a non-Christian home and I have made most of the mistakes I have heard some of the birth moms mention in their own lives.  I can relate to broken relationships, sometimes wreckless behavior etc. Also, I love babies and children (nannied for 5 years before having Siren), so both beneficiaries of CPO’s focus are people that are close to my heart.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I put way too much pressure on myself- because I was glued to my phone all day on Valentine’s Day worried I might miss a call!  Maybe also that is hard to motivate myself sometimes to serve, until I am serving, and then its easy and fun and I can’t wait to do more. So I guess I have learned that my heart really does WANT to serve, and it’s important to carve away everyday obstacles and distractions to really protect that time to give to others and to give to the Lord. Because I need to serve more than I need to wash the dishes… but I forget that’s true when the sink is full of last night’s pots and pans.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work through CPO?
A: Oh gosh, I have seen one of my closest friends raise a baby boy they adopted through CPO, that could be enough right there. I think any time I hear a story, of adoption or parenting, it’s pretty evident that God has planned these families with intense attention to detail and personality and circumstance and timing.  Even when we didn’t have a baby yet I kept hanging on the day in October that I KNEW God wanted us to use CPO. I was crying and telling Chase we have to drop DHS and use Crisis Pregnancy Outreach instead and he was like “I know.”  Those days are God’s hand at work.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: There are so many different ways to help. You can be involved a whole lot or you can do something very small once a month or once every few months.  It’s worth it. Just check it out and find a place where you fit.  I came in willing to do anything, even though one of the only things I was secretly hoping to get to do was photography.  I didn’t think there would be a need for photos because there is such a need for phone answering and office type work, and I found out on one of my first days that CPO was actually in need of some photographers for BMD!  Praise the Lord!  So, even if you think there might not be a place for you, God probably has a place for you.  And if He DOES have a place for you, it’s probably a place you would love to be in.  So check it out.md4a

When One Became Two

Today we hear again from one of our wonderful CPO birth moms, Angela McLaughlin. She shares her vulnerability with us regarding what it was like to know that the adoptive family for her son Sammy was looking to adopt again.

As I get older, I naturally have more stories to tell. And because my mind often works at warp speed, on it’s own agenda, I think a lot about these stories. I find myself telling the same stories over and over. You know, the ones your friends interrupt you to say that they’ve already heard it. These are the stories that we’re proud of. These are the stories where we did something good or brave or funny. But what about the stories that we don’t tell? The ones that make us uncomfortable, or lead us to learn things about ourselves that we aren’t proud of?

As you may have guessed, if you read my posts for this blog (here, here, and here), I’m extremely proud of my open adoption. I’m constantly amazed by this little family of love. I’m even more amazed since the Domers decided to adopt again. Abigail is now 15 months old and she’s truly incredible. She’s feisty, sweet, and cute. Man, is she cute. I’m enamored with her, so much so that I’ve heard from Samuel on several occasions “But you came over here to play with me!”image1

But it wasn’t so easy in the beginning. CPO has been asking me to write a post on this subject for awhile, and I’ve always hesitated. I couldn’t really figure out why. It seems pretty straightforward: Write about your feelings regarding the Domers adopting for a second time. But the post just wouldn’t write itself. I struggled with it, and after some careful thinking, I’ve figured it out. It’s not a story that starts with me being brave, or funny, or even particularly good. It’s a story that starts with jealousy and insecurity and doubt. And as I’ve realized, it’s a story that touches on some things that are pretty tough to think about. But, I’m ready to tell it. I hope it’s important, I hope it may help other people and I hope it will finally get CPO to stop asking me to write it. (I’m definitely kidding). So, here it is. The story of my reaction to Samuel getting a little sister.

It started with one of those questions that you never in a million years think you’ll hear. The parents of your child asking you how you would feel about them becoming parents again. I don’t remember exactly what I said, although Christina could probably tell you, she’s terrific at remembering things like that. But if I had to guess, I’d bet I said something along the lines of “Oh, I think that’s great!” And then the concerns set in. Concerns that were rooted in jealousy, insecurity and a narrow view of love. All the things I aimed to end in open adoption, and there they were, coming back to haunt me.

My first concern was about the birth parents of the new baby. What if they weren’t stable? What if they were rude to Christina and Damon? What if they were needy or demanding? I worried that I wouldn’t get along with them. I worried that there might be tension between the Domers and the new birth parents. Which would mean stress. Which would affect Samuel. And me! I admit it now, I was jealous. I had some of the same fears for myself that I had for Samuel. Admitting this brings me to the heart of the issue.

I’m a highly sensitive, emotionally high maintenance person. I can be incredibly anxious, and change and the unknown can have a crippling effect on me. It’s been an incredible blessing my whole life, and an immense struggle. And wouldn’t you know, I see Samuel struggling with the same issues. This is where I began to have serious concerns, even more serious than the ones I mentioned previously. I made an adoption plan for Samuel because I want him to have the best life possible, because I want him to always know that he is loved and have every opportunity in the world to be happy. And in my mind, especially in the first few days of her birth, I felt like Abigail might threaten this.

That’s right. I’m not proud of it. But I felt like Abigail might be a threat to Samuel’s happiness. Here’s the thing: Abigail was born under extremely dangerous circumstances and she spent the first month or so in the NICU, fighting for her life. There were some serious questions at times. Would she make it? And if she did, what would her condition be? And then Samuel broke my heart. One of the first nights after Abigail was born, I went to pick Samuel up and take him home. Christina and Damon asked me to step in, along with Damon’s sister, to help him understand and cope with what was going on. As it got later in the evening, he began to get more and more agitated, until finally he burst into tears, saying “I want my mommy and daddy.” I was helpless, and all I could do was cry with him.

A little biography- I have a younger sibling who struggles with mental disability. I love him dearly, but there were many times in my childhood and even now as an adult that I feel exactly the way that Samuel felt that evening. When you’re a highly sensitive person you require people to treat you a little more delicately than others. When you don’t get that treatment, which can be time consuming, it can be crushing. A sibling with a disability takes a lot of time. It can be extremely difficult to deal with, and I was terrified that Samuel would not get what I thought he needed. I was not only mourning my past, but I was afraid I would be mourning his future as well.

It’s more clear to me now that I was being selfish. And that despite the evidence I had in front of me, that I was not placing my faith in the love that built Samuel’s world. I may start to sound like a broken record, but LOVE builds open adoptions. Love builds all families. I loved Abigail from the moment I met her. I’m incredibly thankful for her, because she’s already taught me so much. She taught me to be brave, not to give too much thought to the odds against you, and to let my doubts go. She’s taught Samuel patience, self control and sharing. And while he’s still my number one, in some ways I’m able to be closer to Abigail. I’m not grieving over the loss of a child, so I’m less inhibited with her. I’m able to give her affection in a way that doesn’t cause me pain, something I’ve only been able to do in the last couple of years with Samuel. I’m so thankful for that.


That’s my story of the Domers adopting again. It’s not always a pretty one, and there are definitely some moments that I’m not proud of. Open adoption is like that. Making one family out of two or three or four isn’t always easy; we all have different stories we want our lives to tell. At the end of the day though, maybe it’s best we take a step back and let the story tell itself. Because while we don’t always get the ending we want, if we can keep love in the forefront, it’s gonna be a good one.

Retro CPO: His Joy Comes with the Morning

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication.

This month’s Retro CPO article is a letter written to a grieving family at Cheryl’s request. This particular family had recently experienced a stillbirth of the child they had hoped to adopt, something that unfortunately happens on occasion. This letter also can be of comfort to families who have experienced the heartache of an interrupted adoption. It was written in spring of 2007.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. H.,

Last night I had a dream about a baby who died right after birth. In the dream, my wife, Lynn, and I were in the hospital, holding the baby, but the baby couldn’t survive and died.

As I thought about why I was having this dream, I recalled the experience we had about 10 years ago in Hillcrest Hospital, holding a baby girl who was born prematurely- a girl we were planning to adopt. The girl died shortly after birth, as Lynn was holding her. It was a heart tearing time for us, and it took time to overcome the grief of the experience. Lynn still has ongoing contact with the birth mother and grandmother. They consider Lynn one of their closest confidants, and they call her to invite her to birthday parties and such. Our pain was quelled through time and prayer.

But the greatest blessing that came out of this experience is that some months later Cheryl was alerted to a baby that had just been born, and the mother told the hospital staff she wanted to place the baby for adoption. The hospital called Cheryl, and because of our recent experience, Cheryl thought of us. We got a call the day the baby was born, asking if we wanted to adopt. Although the baby we lost was a girl, and this new baby was a boy, we had a sense that we should proceed and adopt the boy.

We have two birth children, and three adopted children. Of all our five children, this boy who came from out of nowhere has the most pleasant disposition. He is always optimistic, friendly, singing to himself, and simply fun to be with. His teachers and others are always commenting to us what a remarkable child he is. He became a Christian at an early age, and he loves the Lord. He is simply a joy to have as a child, and we consider him (as we do all our children) a gift from God. We will celebrate his 9th birthday this Sunday.

I share these things with you, not knowing you, because I believe God allowed me to have that dream last night to bring all this to memory. And then I saw Cheryl’s email below with the news of your tragedy. We don’t know how God will work in your circumstances, but I am convinced of one thing – He will work in your circumstances. And, in His way, He will eventually turn this sorrow into joy. Please be encouraged – He will bring comfort as only He can. And you never know ho He will use this in your life and your birth mom’s life. We will be in prayer for you and the birth mom.

In Him,
Bruce Cluttercpo-14

Get Your Shop On!

We are very excited to announce that CPO’s online store is officially OPEN!

We have lots of awesome stuff. There’s apparel (shirts, onesies, hats) for all ages, coffee mugs, tote bags, and more.

Lots of us already have our CPO gear! Don’t be left out!

And best of all, a portion of every sale goes to support CPO!

The link is always in the top menu on our website, or you can click here to shop now.


Retro CPO: Thank You

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication.

This month’s Retro CPO article is a letter to Cheryl Bauman, written by a birth grandmother, in Fall of 2006.

Dear Cheryl,

I love being a grandma! I can have such a horrid day and feel emotionally drained, but when I see my grandbaby, I am recharged and totally zoned out in grandma land. It feels so good to be around Zachary. I love that little boy sooooo much that I just want to gobble up those cheeks forever. He is such a joy in my life, and a joy and blessing to my daughter and the adoptive family.

The adoptive family, Dennis and Melissa, allow us to be a part of little Zachary’s life. His birth mother, Michelle, watches him through the day once a week during the summer. During school periods, the adoptive family creates times that we can spend with this amazing little boy. They have never said “no” to us seeing him, and it is so very apparent to us that little Zachary belongs to them. They love him, play with him, and nurture him just as if he were their own biological son.

Since I’m at work while Michelle is watching Zachary during the summer days, I have her video him listening to me talk over the speaker phone to him. I don’t want him to forget my voice. He might not get to see me much during the summer because I’m so busy, but at least when I do see him, he can match my voice up with my face and give his grandma a big smile.

When I am at Dennis and Melissa’s house with my daughter, I see my grandson’s sweet little face light up with joy with his mom and/or dad come home. Little Zachary has a  big brother, Mason, who adores his little brother.

It’s been almost nine months since Zachary was born. Going backwards in time to my daughter’s decision about keeping the baby or making an adoption plan was a difficult time period. She fought her own desires and emotions to keep her child and put this sweet, little, innocent baby ahead of herself. She was then faced with answering and sorting through difficult questions of what was best for her child. In the end, she decided her child needed to have the benefits of a two-parent, Christ-centered family in his everyday life who are financially stable, drug and alcohol free, and emotionally ready to love someone else’s baby. Once my daughter made her decision, there was no turning back. No matter how emotionally difficult her decision had been, she stayed focused on the baby’s needs and not her own selfish thoughts or feelings. She was truly amazing.

I’m very proud of my daughter. She mad a wise and difficult decision that I could not do when I became pregnant with my first child at age 17. I, too, was unmarried. I raised my son the best I could, but because I had not been raised with the nurture, love, and the right kind of attention that all children need, I really did not have a clue how to provide that for my own son. Unfortunately for my son, he was raised by a very immature, emotionally unstable mother–me. The real story here is about the unborn child. He is the one who cannot make decisions about his life, and is at the mercy of his birth mother. If I could do it all over again, and I knew that I could be a part of my son’s life while he was growing up, I so would place him with a loving, Christ-centered family that I could hand pick myself… just like Michelle did.

Had Zachary been raised by his birth mother, his life would be so different. HIs birth father is very troubled. He is mentally ill and self medicates with street drugs. He also has anger problems, is controlling, and gets in trouble with the law.

My daughter has moved on with her life and does not have any contact with the baby’s birth father. She has decided that although she still has deep feelings for this troubled young man, she is not going to let anything jeopardize her happiness or her visitation with her son. She is now dating a Christina young mad who treats her like the center of the universe. She very much feels like a mother for Zachary. She is very protective and close to him, just like a mother should be. Michelle is a senior this year and plans to go to college next year and become a dentist. All of the promises made by the birth father are gone and have  faded long ago, but it has been for the best, because now Zachary is free from having to live in turmoil with a father who isn’t stable and makes all of the wrong decisions, and a mother who is trying to finish school, go to college, and work at the same time, so that her future may be secure on her own some day. My daughter’s life is back on track, and she feels great about her son and her future. I see a happy ending to this story, grandma included.

What I never thought possible in a million years came true for my pregnant, unwed, teenaged daughter, Michelle. She had a baby boy and placed him with a lovely Christian couple to raise as their own, and made the decision to only date young men who had a plan for their lives. These are two huge blessings that I hand on to each day and thank God for!

Thank you, Cheryl, for allowing God to lead you in your mission with CPO. This is an awesome organization. I cannot begin to say thank you enough for all of the help through Michelle’s pregnancy, labor, the emotions, the FREE counseling, and everyone’s thoughts and prayers.



Volunteers Matter: Amanda Hudson

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from a volunteer who is an adoptive mom of two CPO cuties, Amanda Hudson.

Q: In what ways do you volunteer at CPO?
A: I volunteered as the Mentor Coordinator for a short time, and I also have helped with the CPO gala. In addition, we have served as a host home for waiting families from out of state, and have been able to be a part of helping to provide Christmas to a CPO mom in need.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I started volunteering in December 2013. There are so many places where someone can volunteer within CPO. I think volunteering really allows someone to familiarize themselves with all the different facets of CPO.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: We knew numerous people that had been involved with CPO, but my friend, Carrie Szatsmary, has been a close friend of Cheryl Bauman for years. When I expressed our desires to adopt, Carrie reached out to Cheryl and told her about us. I had actually gone to high school with some of Cheryl’s children, and we knew previous volunteers of CPO, as well as adoptive parents.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer at CPO versus other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: I chose to volunteer at CPO because we have always volunteered at various organizations, but adoption is close to our hearts, and I believe that we are called to this organization. When we came to CPO we needed an organization that would treat us as a real couple with real life hurts and not just another waiting family to check off the list. The way CPO is with you through every step of the process really drew us to the organization.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: My husband and I fostered children before we adopted. Adoption, fostering, and loving children the way that Jesus adopted and loved us is what makes CPO’s cause so special to me.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began volunteering?
A: I have learned that I need to be more organized! I have also learned that I need to exercise more faith. It is my nature to worry, or try to fix things, and volunteering at CPO has exposed me to many people from different walks of life and taught me to let go. There is something so much greater than myself at work in this organization and volunteering has shown me that even in terribly difficult circumstances, there is hope.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: God’s hand is all over CPO. It would be hard for me to pick one specific element, but for me personally, I witnessed how faithful God is through how He ministered to my husband and I because of CPO. As a ministry, CPO has restored my faith in God’s faithfulness to His children. When my husband, Kent, and I initially came to CPO, our hearts were broken. After failed fertility, the loss of our son, and very difficult fostering situations, we felt hopeless. God’s hand was ALL OVER our adoption. From us matching with our birth parents, all the way up to finalization, I watched God’s hand at work. We were blessed with our first baby, our daughter, Maris, on March 21, 2014. When we decided that we would like to adopt again, I never could have dreamed that we would be welcoming another baby so quickly. We received a call on March 7, 2015 telling us we had been picked to adopt another baby. On March 10th, our sweet daughter, Marion, was born. We had always said that if God dropped a baby in our laps we would know it was His will for us to adopt again. As my dad has said regarding Marion, “He didn’t just drop her in your laps, He put her in your pocket!” As someone who thought I might never have a baby, I stand in awe of how God has used CPO to minister to us.
CPO is a ministry that He used to give us the ultimate gift. There are daily stories of adoption, successful parenting in spite of crisis situations, and children whose lives are forever changed because of God’s hand on this ministry. As a ministry, CPO has changed the lives of many mothers who have placed and parented alike. It is amazing to watch what God has done in the lives of so many CPO mothers through this organization.

Q: What would you say to anyone who may be considering becoming involved with CPO?
A: I would say to them that there are so many ways to be involved with CPO, and you can give a little time, or a lot of time depending on what you choose to do. I would also say that volunteering is critical, because it shows you the many different parts of CPO. For example, as a waiting and now adoptive CPO parent, my perspective of CPO as an organization would have been completely different if I had not volunteered and gotten to meet parenting moms, and some of the other people involved with CPO outside of waiting families. I have also met amazing friends through CPO that I would never have been blessed to know otherwise.


Retro CPO: The Almighty’s Art

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication.

This month’s Retro CPO article is a poetic tribute to birth mothers, written by one of our fantastic counselors, Jane Waters in May of 2004.

From the very first session, when therapy began
You could not yet see your part in His plan.
God is at work to turn dark into light
Transforming your pain with His infinite might.

You cautiously tell me about all of your pain
That it all feels so ugly, like a permanent stain.
There are so many problems, so where will you turn?
Well, I know Our Father, and from Him you will learn.

As you search for what’s best, it feels like too much,
Your desperate heart needs God’s healing touch.
In the midst of the pain in the darkness of the hour,
You look, but cannot see, God’s almighty power.

I watch as you grieve, weep, bargain, and curse
You suffer intensely but put baby’s needs first.
After months have gone by, you finally see
Adoption is the answer that sets your heart free.

His peace now flows through you and blankets your heart
As you choose the way for your child’s perfect start.
Blessings to others radiate from your choice.
Heaven applauds and the angels rejoice.

To make the decision to give life anew.
Fills the canvas of life with a brilliant new hue.
So, thank you for letting me be a small part
Of the healing that you now know as The Almighty’s Art!



At CPO, women feel safe.

At CPO, children play freely.

At CPO, volunteers are dedicated.

At CPO, women learn to trust.

At CPO, we come together.

At CPO, we celebrate accomplishments.

At CPO, we live.

At CPO, we thrive.

At CPO, lives are changed.

Retro CPO: From My Heart to Hers

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication.

This month’s Retro CPO article was written by an adoptive mother, Shonni Hassoldt, in the summer of 2005.

As I walked into the hospital room where I knew she lay, I felt so unsure, nervous, and hesitant. In one of the most wonderful times of my life, how should I respond to the one who just gave birth to our little boy and had made the painful and courageous decision to give that precious child to another to raise?

For years, Steve and I had hoped to be chosen by a birth mother to parent her baby. Yes, we have six children, yet deep inside we knew that God had more for us. With excitement and a determined trust in God’s best, we waited. Finally, on December 1, 2004, we received the exciting news that a birth mother had chosen our family for her baby, which was due any week!

I felt so blessed, but even more than that, I felt very honored to be chosen by this woman I had never met. I wanted to somehow communicate what was in my heart: not just gratitude, but a deep feeling of God bringing our hearts together in a uniquely special way, through the wonder of adoption.

Now, two weeks later, on the threshold of her hospital door, I trembled with the excitement of seeing our baby and our birth mother. With a quick prayer that I would say and do the right things to comfort her and help her feel at ease, I walked in with our 11-year-old daughter, who had come with me.

There she was. I walked right up to her and hugged her. She was so beautiful and so gracious. Before my eyes was a stranger, yes. However, she was just a woman, like me, only in a different situation. How I admired and wondered at her strength! She had the courage to make an adoption plan for her baby, choosing lovingly to endure her own pain. We spent time talking and getting to know one another. She smiled and talked and put ME at ease. I was so anxious to see the baby, but it was almost an hour before they brought him in. Finally, there he was, and I hesitated again. What was my role in this situation? I wanted to rejoice over our new baby, and I wanted SO MUCH not to forget this precious lady who had just given birth to him and loved him deeply. God in His GREAT LOVE helped us find our places in a little hospital room. What were those places? Two women openly adoring the miracle of this tiny little baby and sharing the deeply intimate love of two mothers.

Now, our little boy is six months old, and like all children, he is a blessing and a gift from the Lord. We all enjoy him so much. I love sharing with our birth mother what our little boy is doing, what he looks like, and how everything is going. She will always be a part of us. She gave us the most precious gift one could give, and she will always hold a piece of my heart. And, in my heart, there will always be a place that belongs only to her. Our baby is a blessing, but the true miracle took place in a little hospital room, when God brought two mothers together, and a baby found home.