One of the most difficult things in life is watching your kids wade through a puddle of broken dreams. Read part one of this story here
And now, for the rest of the story.
Nine days later, the phone buzzed. A teen had given birth. She wanted her baby boy placed in a Christian home. In the country. One with siblings. “It was the most insane moment of my life,” says Raelyn. “We were in the middle of harvest. I called Jeff but the cell coverage was bad.” Jeff laughs. “All I heard was, ‘Baby. Hospital.’” When Raelyn arrived, she yelled, “There’s a baby waiting. Let’s go.”
Jeff’s combine began spewing smoke. The mechanic shook his head and said, “It needs a part. It’ll take two days.” Jeff thought, Here we go again.
Like eager kids on Christmas morning, the two rallied babysitters and took off. The birth mom was peaceful and grateful. She said, “I can’t believe I found you. Would you name him?” “You help us,” said Jeff.
“I love the name Ezra,” she said.” “So do we,” said Raelyn.
A judge would reject the adoption twice and offer the birth father the opportunity to contest it. But he didn’t. “God called us into this together,” says Jeff. “We didn’t fear losing him.” One year from the day we stood in that Walmart parking lot Ezra’s adoption was finalized in court.
Today, as we visit, his sister, six-year-old Sophia feeds him, comforts him, and soothes him with loud country music. Macy, age three, dresses him funny, and shows him how to hold a kitten. Claira, four, is convinced that her brother came straight from heaven via the front door. It’s hard to disagree.
Jeff and Raelyn are not naïve enough to think that all will come up roses from here to eternity. But they believe God never calls us without equipping us, and they have a message for those who are hunkered down, waiting and hurting and praying and hoping: Don’t give up. “God’s schedule seems so much slower than mine,” Jeff admits. “But all along we clung to the seemingly ridiculous notion that He was working even this together for our good. So we just tried to take the next right step.” As for what they would tell adoptive parents, the two say in unison: “You’re awesome!”
As grandpa it is my duty to shoo away the cat and bounce this laughing little boy on my knee. “This is the way the Ezra rides…” And suddenly I’m laughing too. You see, Ezra is the Hebrew word for “Help.” When I prayed for “help,” I had no idea God would take me so literally.
Want to read more from Phil?
Of perfect love and salads My wife has been, without a doubt, a kind and compassionate woman. Until yesterday. Yesterday…
Hilarious advice from child chefs A little boy was asked to pray before Thanksgiving dinner. He squinted at the food…