Another year had passed when George and I decided we would go to an adoption agency and see if we would qualify for a baby. We went through this long grueling procedure over the course of a year and finally our home was `set-up’. The agent told us all we had to do now was to wait for a baby to come available. Once again the prospect of finally becoming parents overwhelmed us with joy.
As we were anxiously waiting for that precious moment to arrive when the adoption agency would call and say our baby had been born, another disruption occurred. George came home from work one afternoon and said “Honey, I have orders. We are going to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina”. That wasn’t so bad since we were only moving fifty miles and figured we could just continue with the adoption. Wrong again, we were changing counties and would have to go through the adoption process in that county.
We thought we could just have our adoption agency transfer our paperwork to the new county and wait for the baby to arrive. We soon found out that this is not the way agencies worked. Since we had moved to another county, we had to go through the entire procedure all over again but in this county there was a two-year backlog of applicants and no social workers. By this time we just completely gave up on the idea of adoption since George would only be there one year before moving again.
We were at Camp Lejeune about three months when George was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for three months of duty. I could not see staying there by myself so I packed up my belongings and went to Mississippi to stay with my parents.
I was outside washing my dad’s car on a hot summer day as my parents sat on the porch and watched, when the phone rang. I ran inside to answer it and that phone call changed my life. It was from my sister, Billie, who worked for the Telephone Company in New Orleans. It seems that the day before, while on coffee break, several ladies were discussing their children when Billie said to one of the women, “I wish my sister and brother-in-law could have a child. They want one so bad and they would make wonderful parents.”
As the ladies began to leave the lounge, one lady stayed behind to talk to Billie. She told Billie that her landlady’s niece, in a far-away state was pregnant and they were going to put her in an unwed-mothers home in a couple of weeks. This lady asked Billie if she could mention George and me to the landlady. Well Billie had a phone number for me to call in this far-away state, so I could talk to this young lady.
I called that number and this sweet, child-like voice answered. I explained to her who I was and she said she knew. She said she would be happy to come to Mississippi and live with my parents and to let George and me adopt the baby. After talking to her I thought “Oh how can I do this without talking to George?” I knew there was no way I could call him in Cuba.
As I was out on the porch sharing the conversation that had just taken place, with my parents, the phone rang. It was George calling from Cuba! He was on one of those two-way radio/phone patches and all he could understand me to say was “a baby” and “a plane ticket” during all of the `over and outs’ of that type conversation. I finally made him understand that I wanted him to call me on a regular telephone. My parents were on an eight-party-line telephone system and all the community would be able to pick up and hear the news, so I went to my sister Mary’s house in Brookhaven. George called me there within twenty minutes.
Plans were made and the ticket was wired to this young lady. In just a few days she would arrive in Jackson, Ms. All I knew was what the color of dress she would be wearing and that’s about all she knew about me. I knew she had to be a very brave and special person to consider this proposition that I had offered her.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that my Father may be glorified in the Sort.” John 14:13
As the plane cleared the runway and taxied toward the terminal, I thought my heart would stop. I was wondering what she was like and what my baby would be like. Soon I saw this beautiful, sixteen-year-old young lady, with a red dress, walking down the ramp.
“There she is”, I said to my sister, Mary. “She is so pretty.”
As she came closer to us, she looked up with those tired and frightened eyes and said “Sarah”.
“Yes” I said to her as we embraced.
She became a part of our family for the next few months. We loved her and she loved us. She called my parents MaMa Reid and PawPaw, just as the other grandchildren did. I could not have asked for a sweeter friend than what she turned out to be. My brother, Wiley, and I led her to the Lord one evening and she was baptized in our little church.
She said to me, “I have a new life now and I am giving you one.”
She would always refer to the fetus as my (Sarah’s) baby. Our son, Ky, was born and given to us through adoption. He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. When he was placed in my arms, I cried for joy and thanked God for this miracle of birth. My family was now complete!
Berthelson, Sarah, He Guides my Path. Dairfax: Xulon Press, 2002, p. 54-58.
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