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‘I knew God wanted me to handle the adoption’

by ervte

“Perth was quite provincial in the 1960s: being pregnant and unmarried was unthinkable, a shameful disgrace. I was so naive; I only knew I was pregnant for five months. I was also self-centered and had other plans for my life. So when my parents arranged for me to be sent to Melbourne to have the baby and put it up for adoption, I went along with it. I was not forced. I let it happen.

Then I moved on with my life, adoption being my only dark secret. I’m normally open, but I buried this and didn’t tell anyone.'I knew God wanted me to handle the adoption'

In 1981 someone very close to me died. We were on the beach together when he was carried away through a crack and drowned. It was terrible; after that, I was a mess full of turbulent and painful emotions. When this intense grief was over, I began to ask questions. Until this point in my life, I had striven to be happy, but now I wanted to know what life is all about. Was there a God? If so, who was he? Was he good or a monster who takes away people you love? I was looking for reality, whether it was fun or not.

At the time, the only Christian I knew was a friend, Colleen. She had visited me before the tragedy and talked to me about God, but at the time, I saw it as just being enthusiastic about religion. Then, after the disaster, she returned and shared the gospel. This time I was ready. I wasn’t prepared. I suddenly understood three things: something very wrong with the world, the fault in me, and Jesus is the answer. I was born again. I had very little theology, but I believed in Jesus.

After that, it was a process of learning and change. I have also come to see that God does not like secrets. Suddenly, in 1989, after nearly 25 years, the buried secret of the baby I had given away was dragged into the light by the Holy Spirit. There was something about adoption everywhere I looked – on the TV, on the radio. At the same time, adoption laws had changed, allowing contact between biological parents and adoptees: it was no accident. I knew God wanted me to deal with it. He wanted to restore us. I was told her name was Susannah and I wrote her a letter.

Susannah turned it down. She politely replied that she didn’t want any contact and didn’t know how to deal with having two mothers. Years passed, and I prayed for her. Although this was a blow, I later saw God’s timing and that this was only a first step; neither of us was ready, and I think it would have been a train wreck if we had met then.

Then, in 2014, the problem somehow reawakened in my heart. Maybe I can try again. I sent forms to the agency, but while waiting for them, I got a letter from Susannah wanting to get in touch! I didn’t know, but God was working on us simultaneously. He is great!

I seized the opportunity and had a strong connection from the first communication. We just left. The journey, while exciting, also presented significant challenges. The big one, of course, was that I was a Christian, and Susannah wasn’t. In her eyes, I was a Pentecostal, while she was trying to become a Buddhist. After much talking about it, in 2015, we decided to leave it. We said, ‘Let’s see who gets the lightning bolt first!’ A year later, the lightning bolt hit her! Hallelujah!

I am now 80, and Susannah is a beloved, precious daughter, fully restored to our family. Looking back, I see God knows the end from the beginning. He can restore and redeem! His timing is always right. Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, who keeps his covenant of love unto a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

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