The Story of an Adoption Hearing

It’s not too late for you to win your own copy of my latest book, “My Amish Roots.” Simply join my email list over on the right hand sidebar. Tomorrow I’ll be picking two more subscribers to give copies to, and on December 30th one lucky subscriber will win one copy of each of my four books. Now on to today’s post.

* * * * *

It all took place in a small room in a small town on a dreary December day. The low clouds drifted amongst the streets, spitting misty drops on the disinterested automobiles.

A group of people moved through the cold morning: eleven adults and seventeen children. Passersby probably imagined they were an elementary school class taking a tour of the courthouse. The group moved methodically through the security checkpoint, then walked up the stairs to the third floor. Children’s voices echoed through the expanse.

An attorney ushered the entire chaotic group into the judge’s quarters. The rectangular room barely held everyone. One of the couples moved to the front of the room and sat in two chairs directly facing the judge’s desk. The woman held a small child in her arms. The judge, a middle-aged woman with graying hair, sat up very straight, but the hint of a smile eased the tension in the room.

The attorney questioned the couple, verifying the facts stated on the paperwork. A hush entered – even the 17 children in attendance stared toward the front of the room, as if attending an event so amazing they didn’t know what to say or do.

Of course, that’s exactly what was happening – something so amazing.

“You do understand,” the attorney asked the woman holding the baby, “that by agreeing to this adoption, you are agreeing to raise this child as if she had in fact been born to you?”

A new layer of tears rose in everyone’s eyes.

“Yes,” the adopting mother replied, her voice wavering.

* * * * *

“You do understand,” the attorney asked again, this time to the woman’s husband, “that by agreeing to this adoption, you are agreeing to raise this child as if she had in fact been born to you?”

The man nodded, cleared his throat.

“You need to say the word,” the judge said.

The man cleared his throat.

“I know,” he said, barely able to speak. “I’m having trouble. Yes, of course I do.”

* * * * *

Through it all, the baby slept, mostly unaware of the life-changing event taking place. She was being rescued from death and brought into life. Her natural family was being replaced by a supernatural one. A life of very little hope, traded in for a life of unlimited possibility.

This all sounds very familiar to me.

How little we understand of God’s love for us or the adoptive power at work around us and inside of us.

Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) Ephesians 1:5 (MSG)

He came to set free those who were under the law. He wanted us to be adopted as children with all the rights children have. Galatians 4:5

15 Replies to “The Story of an Adoption Hearing”

  1. I’m crying here! It makes my heart so happy that this is finally a reality for your sister and her family – and your whole extended family. This baby is SO loved.

  2. Our own adoption hearing was a much different affair. We are much more private and invited no one, and I would do that again now. Still, reading your description here warms my heart. An adoption is such a beautiful thing to be a part of, isn’t it?

  3. tears and coffee.
    couldn’t think of a better way to start this thursday.

    thank you Shawn for capturing the moment.
    the sacred and holy.


  4. Thank you for sharing this sacred moment. Stories like this touch me deeply. My husband and I have experienced the miracle of adoption twice. First we were adopted into God’s family; later we adopted a baby boy. The Spirit of adoption makes us family, fully and completely. If we understood this truly, how much better would the family of God get along?

  5. What a fabulous recollection! I was crying while reading, of course Caden noticed and asked why?? I explained that Maise (sorry if my spelling is wrong) is officially part of the Halverson family now :) so hard to explain to a 4 year old why a precious little baby didn’t have a loving family when she was born! No child should be alone!! Thanks for sharing this Shawn, I really enjoy your blog!

  6. That put you right in the room with the others and allowed us the sense the joy that took place. I really think you should consider writing as a living :)

Comments are closed.