I began doing pro-life work right out of high school in 1984 with a "dual image" clinic in Texas. I volunteered there for 10 years, during which time I also sidewalk counseled, participated in some rescues, and was a house mother for pregnant clients. With this background, I "knew" that women just didn't give their babies up for adoption anymore.
When my husband and I found out after several years of marriage that we could not conceive, I decided I needed a break from pro-life, especially knowing that even if a client wanted me to have her baby, I couldn't take it since I worked there, and it would be considered conflict of interest.
Six months after I left, a friend called with a baby a mother wanted to give up. I got excited, but the woman never called.
I gave up totally on having a baby, and was nearly despondent.
However, a month later, God had mercy on us. On the feast of St. Joseph, we were at Sunday Mass, when a friend asked if I knew of a particular family at church. I did not, so she told me that their teenage daughter was pregnant and wanted a Catholic couple to adopt her baby. Of course, I answered with the usual "tell her about us", but then forgot about the conversation, as it was quite common for me to say something like that whenever the opportunity arose, but the hopes of any fulfillment had pretty much died.
That evening, the girl called me! We talked for one and a half hours. She came to visit two days later, and we just loved each other. The baby was born 5 weeks later, and we were there all night with his birthmother, and took him home with us the next day.
We named him Patrick, since we and the birth-family went to St. Patrick's. His middle name is Joseph, because he was a gift from St. Joseph.
When Patrick was about 18 months, I made a prayer for another baby. I asked St. Anthony, if it was time for God to grant us another baby, to find the one for our family. A month later, however, I forgot about this prayer, as my husband had lost his job! He finally went to work again, but at a 30 percent pay cut.
On December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, my husband's friend called and asked if we wanted another baby. We said "yes", and he reluctantly agreed to contact his sister, whose teenage daughter was carrying a baby.
I'd like to back up a little. Patrick's birthmother had been working with Catholic Charities, but since Patrick's birthfather was black, there were a limited number of couples willing to adopt. Time was running out for her, so she met with us. When I had made my prayer for another baby, I was thinking of a mix baby. When my husband's friend called, I knew that he was Hispanic, but then I prayed, "Lord, you know what you're doing".
It took two weeks for my husband's friend to call his sister. She then informed him that the baby was a boy, the birthfather was black, and that she was already working with an agency. I immediately knew it was MY BABY! He said she may call, and in the meantime, I thought of names. I liked the name Benjamin, since it was my father's middle name.
Time dragged on, until I had kinda forgotten about the baby. But in the middle of January, I received a call from the sister of my husband's friend. The birthmother was too shy to call. We talked for a while, and then agreed to drive to meet them. We liked each other, and kept in contact the rest of the pregnancy, which was only 5 weeks.
I told my friend the name I had for the baby, and he said we needed to find out what church the birth-family went to. So, I told the story of Patrick's name to the baby's grandmother, and she said, "Well, we go to St. Benedict’s". Of Course, my friend said we’d have to name the baby Benedict, but we figured St. Benedict would understand if we went with Benjamin, and left him as his patron saint.
We received a call at 1:30 am one day from the family, telling us they were on their way to the hospital. Of course, we were ecstatic.
Up until a few days before his birth, we still didn’t have a middle name for Benjamin. It was then that I remembered the prayer I had made to St. Anthony! Anthony was confirmed as his second patron saint.
The most incredible thing is that Patrick and Benjamin look just alike.
Both birth-mothers are doing well. The relationships we share with our birth-families continue to flourish as we all strive for our eternal goal. We are, among men, most truly blest!
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam