From Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul

Gift of Jehovah

El hombre propone y Dios dispone.

Latino Proverb

I miscarried for the second time on the evening of my forty-fourth birthday. Not exactly encouraging for a middle-aged mother of one—but unbeknownst to me, God was working.

Seven years earlier, after eleven years of marriage, my husband and I became the parents of a healthy, beautiful girl. Sarah was a blessing in our lives. However, within a few years, we longed for another child. I was very open to the prospect of adoption, but my husband, having worked in the field of social services for many years, was not so keen on the idea. I had my first miscarriage two years after Sarah was born, then put the idea of another child on hold. Of course, the longing for another child to love as a part of our family just grew stronger over the years.

We decided to go ahead and adopt. I had worked as a teacher for many years and knew in my heart that loving “the child of another” as my own would come naturally for me, especially a child from my own Latino culture. Well-meaning friends and doctors thought differently. I heard words of wisdom from many arenas: “You’re not too old to get pregnant,” “Try to have your own child one more time,” and “How could you love someone else’s child?” I took stock of my age and doubted whether a woman in her forties would be able to carry a child. Fortunately, I verbalized these thoughts to my seven-year-old.

“Remember Sarah? She was a really old lady when God gave her a baby,” my own wise-beyond-her-years Sarah said to me. “If God can bless her, God can bless you. AND YOU’RE NOT TOO OLD!!” she scolded.

She was referring to the story of her namesake in the book of Genesis. Sarah was barren and did not have a child until the ripe old age of ninety! I decided to try to become pregnant one more time. I miscarried again. A tragedy? No. Merely a message that made it clear I needed to accept my own humanity and let God be God.

We reignited the adoption process, but this time with fervor. Over the next several months, our portfolio was shown to several birth mothers, but no child was forthcoming. I grew concerned over the issue of my age. Would any young woman in her right mind choose me as the person to raise her child?

A few months later, we received an urgent phone call from the director of the adoption agency. There was an incredible shortage of birth mothers with babies available for adoption. Would we mind locating a birth mother on our own? We were dumbfounded, flabbergasted and shocked. But we still desperately wanted a child.

We met with a local attorney a few weeks later to pursue finding a birth mother on our own. In fact, he had met with a possible birth mother right before speaking with us. We even saw her as she headed out and we headed in. She looked adorable. But . . . she wasn’t Latina. We left encouraged by the possibility that we could have a baby in a few short months, only it would not be Latino. That would be fine, but it was not our first choice and not what we were hoping for.

We received another call the very next day from the director of the adoption agency. A young single woman from El Salvador had come out of nowhere, given birth to a healthy baby boy and had just signed adoption papers. Were we interested in letting her see our portfolio?

We told only a few family members and friends about the possibility of a sudden addition to our family. There were twenty other families on the waiting list. Most were probably much younger than we were. We didn’t expect much to come from the recent news. However, five days later we received a call stating that I was the only Latina mother available, and the birth mother wanted a Latino family to raise her child. We were ecstatic.

We named our son Jonathan after the biblical hero and friend of King David, but had no clue as to the name’s meaning. During the adoption ceremony, the director of the agency stated that the name Jonathan means “Gift of Jehovah.” Tears welled up in my eyes at the realization of the great gift that God had indeed given me. The gift was not on my timetable, but it was given at the perfect time nonetheless.

At the age of forty-five, half the age Sarah was when she gave birth to Isaac, God had remembered me.

Melody Delgado Lorbeer

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