Oh what a glorious day it was when I held my very own three day old baby for the first time! Born of another, yet entrenched in my heart for all time and eternity--my precious, precious son. He made me a Mommie, and fulfilled a deep desire of my heart.
When I learned that single people could adopt in Oregon, I looked into it. I believe each step was ordained by God, as I began to make inquiries. I had an appointment for inquiry and was told a baby was to be born in three months. This baby had a placement arranged, but the prospective adoptive father had dropped dead from a heart attack, and understandably the wife backed out of the contract. The birth mother was most anxious to have a secured placement for her baby and had given the doctor forty eight hours to find another placement or she would go elsewhere. This baby was offered to me. I was floored, as I expected to wait several months or years before a baby became available. I asked her for six hours before I gave her an answer.
I fled to my parent’s home. Only Mom was home and I told her about the offer. We dropped to our knees at the living room couch and prayed about this momentous decision. After we concluded, we stood up and looked at one another and said in unison, that we felt it was a gift from the Lord and I should go forward with it. So, I did....and never looked back.
The early years were so fun and so much work! Jonathan was a sweet baby, who smiled, laughed, and didn’t know a stranger. He loved everyone and was well-loved in return.
Early on he developed a love for music--as a toddler he was in constant rhythm whenever music was playing. A busy, inquisitive child, he knew all of the neighbors by name and if he was let out, he visited them all regularly. They all gave him goodies and I threatened to put a bib on him that said, “please don’t feed this child!”
In my journal during these preschool years, I wrote in 1966, “Jonathan is now seventeen months old and oh! so busy! He is on the go every waking minute! What a thrill it has been to watch him grow and develop. He is a continual joy to my heart.” and in another entry in 1967, “My children continue to be a source of never ending joy to me. As I look into their sweet faces, I never cease to marvel at the goodness of the Lord in giving them to me. I’m sure Jonathan is the busiest two year old living! He talks continually, leads us all a merry chase and is the pet of the house. as I tuck him in nightly, my heart is thrilled anew that the Lord gave me this wee boy as my very own to nurture and love.”
During his second summer, I was on the staff at the Cannon Beach Conference Center. He knew every staff person by name that summer, and on his second birthday, he sang Jesus Love Me to a crowd of two hundred in the dining room and never missed a word or a beat! That was the biggest birthday party of his life!
By the time he was three, he was “preaching” to us. He would sit everyone down, pass out Bibles or hymnbooks to all, and grab a plant stand for his pulpit and began his monolog. The neighbors used to drop by just to see and hear him “play church”.
Little did we know what his fourth year was to bring.When Jon was four he had Scarlet Fever. Altho it was treated, he was left with lethargy, a daily fever, a very abnormal sed. rate, and an enlarged spleen. After several months of testing, I received a call at school from our pediatrician and he told me his blood work revealed abnormalities which could be leukemia. He said we would repeat the tests in one week, and if they were the same, the testing would go further.
This robust child had many difficult months ahead.
This robust child had many difficult months ahead.
This was quite a bomb to be dropped in the middle of the school day. I went to the teacher’s bathroom, dropped to my knees in front of the toilet, and wept and cried and fought one of the greatest battles of my life, as I finally surrendered this beautiful, lovely little child of mine to the Lord for His will to be done with this little life. I don’t know how I got through the rest of the school day.
Everyone prayed during that week before the next tests were to be done. They were done and returned. They showed nothing wrong!! I believe we had a miracle. The doctor thinks the first lab was in error. Whatever it was, my heart rejoiced mightily, and I was full of thanksgiving to the Lord for His goodness and His kindness in sparing my sweet, sweet boy.
Eventually we received a diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis which was to plague him off and on through his teens, but burned itself out by the time he entered his twenties. Thankfully, he had no joint changes, altho he had some very painful flare-ups over the years. He still has to be careful of strep infections and is always medicated if one occurs, for prevention of onset of new symptoms.
When Jon was born I had a fifteen year old foster daughter. who had been with me for about a year. They became fast friends. He adored her and she adored him. When he was four, she married.
After the wedding practice, as I was putting him to bed, he said to me, “Tomorrow is for ‘weal?” I said yes and then he said, “Will Sissie still live here with us?” I had explained this to him before, but reality set in that night, I think. I told him no she wouldn’t, but would have a new home with Mike. He sat up in bed, and said, “Allwite then...I’m marrying her!!” He did love his “sissy”..and missed her terribly when she was gone, altho we saw them often.
We got through that fourth year. It was a long year with many tears, prayers, and questions. I praised God as we reached a healthy fifth birthday!!
...to be continued in future posts