by Jennifer Duncan
From the time I was very small, one of my greatest hopes was to be a mother some day. I loved playing “house” with my dolls, and when my baby sister was born, I delighted in helping care for her. I volunteered happily to rock her in our front porch swing or push her in the stroller. Years later, I assumed that the typical pattern would unfold for me, when I met and married my husband.
But early in our marriage, we realized that we would not become parents in the usual way. Along with this realization came a deep assurance that this was God’s plan for our family, and that it would be a source of great joy, not disappointment.
My husband and I felt strongly that adoption was the alternative we should pursue, so we began applying to adoption agencies. To say the least, this is a tedious and discouraging process. “There are few, if any, newborns available,” was the usual word given to us. So we adjusted our expectations, agreed to take a child of any age or background, and proceeded with determined focus.
We were presented with several possible answers to our dreams for a child. At one point, we even set up a little-boy bedroom for a four-year-old we expected to be placed with us. But he was never allowed to come. Another time, the court considered placing two toddlers in our home, but again, the decision was made to place them elsewhere. Even though we were so willing, so ready…we were disappointed over and over.
After several months of effort and optimism, I began to have my doubts. We had felt assured as we prayed about this process, that this was God’s plan. But now, I wondered if we had rightly discerned the will of God. Had I misunderstood? Was my confidence only a product of my own misplaced hopes?
“Lord, You know we want to follow Your plan for our family,” I prayed one morning, “And You don’t owe me any explanations. But I’d just like to know…are we ever going to have a child?”
From this prayer, I turned to the next reading in my daily devotional plan. It was Psalm 113. There, nestled in this sweet psalm of praise, was this verse:
“He shall make of the childless wife, a happy mother.” (Psalm 113:9)
At that moment, this verse seemed to be placed there just for me. It was just the reassurance I needed…to keep wading through the paperwork, to cheerfully endure the scrutiny, to keep trusting even in the face of disappointments, and to wait…and wait…and wait. I knew the promise was coming.
Less than a year later, we received the call, “We have twin baby boys we’d like for you to come to see. They are seven weeks old, and ready for adoption.” This time, there was no disappointment, no delay, no detours.
I learned a lot about trusting God through that experience. I learned that His faithfulness is based squarely on the promises and principles of His Word. I learned to wait with hopeful expectation for what He has promised. And I learned that His gifts, like our precious baby boys, are always a delight.
God does not always give us exactly what we think we need, and sometimes His answer doesn’t look exactly like we thought it would. But always…always…He is faithful to give what is right and best for us. And even if He never gives us any more than He already has, we can say with confidence:
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3
Jennifer is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is mom to two grown (twin) sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law and four granddaughters. Her late husband, John, pastored two churches in Barry County, Missouri, and one in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Jennifer serves in teaching, music and lay counseling through her church, Arnhart Baptist Church, Purdy, Missouri. She also enjoys leading retreats and Bible studies for women.