Miracles come in all shapes and sizes. There are the very big ones like the parting of the Red Sea. And the smaller ones like the ones that happen every day.
Tom and Julia are friends of mine. They got married and they wanted to have a baby.
But they couldn't. They did all the things you are supposed to do to have babies--in the beginning it was fun--but after a while there was still no baby to show for it.
They noted the irony of it: Kids who had spent the early part of their sexually active years trying to prevent pregnancy and were now trying to cause it.
And they were having no luck. Naturally, they went to doctors. And followed instructions. And tried to make a baby at exactly the best moment in exactly the best way.
"It does take some of the fun out of it," Tom noted to me wryly one day.
Months and years went by and still there was no baby. And Tom and Julia would go to parties and listen to a friend say how she just got pregnant and she and her husband hadn't even planned on it and what an interruption of her career it was going to be, etc., etc.
And they would go home thinking: "Why them? Why do they get a baby when they don't even think they want one and we want one and can't get one?"
There was never an answer.
Couples who have not gone through this may not understand why adoption didn't come up sooner. It may go through your mind eventually, but not at first. At first, you want "your" baby. The flesh of your flesh. And why shouldn't you? Other people get to have babies? Why not you?
It got pretty bad. All Julia's friends were having babies, and it seemed like everywhere Julia went on the streets or in the malls, there were young mothers with babies.
It got so she would get depressed just seeing mothers and babies. And then she would read about all the controversy over abortion and she would get even more depressed. And angry.
She was not against abortion, but she was against the injustice of it. Here were women getting rid of fetuses and all Julia wanted was a fetus. Where was the fairness of it? Why didn't God put a fetus in her womb instead of in the womb of some woman who didn't even want it?
There was never an answer to that, either.
Tom and Julia decided to adopt. Which is only the beginning of a long process. Did I happen to mention they are terrific people? They are. And they would be wonderful parents. Loving, kind, giving.
Which only helped. It did not make adoption a sure thing.
They wanted to do everything legally, which meant they had to be checked out and checked out and checked out again. "You don't have to be checked out to have a kid, of course," Tom said to me. "If you just go and have a kid you can be the worst parents in the world and that is fine. But if you want to adopt a kid, you have to be checked out. A lot."
Tom was not really complaining. It was just a little more frustration.
And it ended well: They got a kid. A beautiful girl. A great girl. A wonderful girl.
A couple who already had a number of children had one more that they didn't think they could raise. They didn't want an abortion and so the mother had the child and the couple let Tom and Julia adopt her.
Tom and Julia know only a few things about the couple, but the couple know everything about Tom and Julia and decided they would be good parents.
But that's not even the best part.
About a year after Tom and Julia got their daughter, they decided they wanted to adopt another child. And just about the time they decided that, they got a call from the lawyer who had arranged their first adoption.
"The same couple have had another child, a boy," he said, "and they thought it would be great if the two children could be raised together. So they were wondering if you would be interested."
Yeah. They'd be interested. They were so interested, that Tom can never tell me that part of the story without crying.
It happened very quickly. Tom and Julia went to pick up their new son on a weekend, but they couldn't take him from that state to their state without about 10 zillion forms being filled out and nobody was around to fill out the forms on a weekend.
"But I know it's going to work out," Tom said. "I just know it."
It did. Tom and Julia and their son and daughter are now all together. Their son and daughter would have been brother and sister, anyway, but they are birth-brother and birth-sister too. And everybody is very, very happy.
"I think about it sometimes," Tom said. "I think if we had not adopted the first one that maybe the two of them would have been split up. And they would have grown up apart. And that wasn't supposed to happen.
"I really think it was a plan. Somebody's plan. Like a miracle."
Like a miracle. A small one, perhaps. But a nice one. They happen every day. You just have to look for them.