MIRACLES DO HAPPEN IN THIS DAY AND AGE. I CAN PROVE IT. THIS IS MY TESTIMONY:
In 2004, my wife and I were contemplating having a second child. Our daughter was four then and we felt that she might feel lonely growing up as an only child. Only months earlier, we had welcomed Jesus into our life as our Saviour and Lord. One Friday morning, I was reading the bible while sitting on the ‘great white throne’ in the bathroom – this is a great place for quiet time; you don’t get interruptions – when I asked the Lord aloud, “Lord, why is it people could hear you so easily then?”
I had been reading Joshua’s account and marvelled at his ability to read the Lord’s accurately, which had led to victory upon victory.
Then I added, “Well, thought I would just ask You that. By the way, I want You to know that Catherine and I are thinking of having a second child. The thing is, she wants a boy this time, but I prefer another girl. You see, I wouldnt know how to raise him right. My father and I didn’t have a relationship. Sure he was around when he needed to be; he provided for the family; he seemed to enjoy spending time with my sisters, but he and I never had anything as father-and-son. I cannot have a son. I don’t have anything to give him.”
One evening, a few days after that confession, I was walking home from the train station when I heard a voice say, “Go in.” It was a quiet, calm voice and it appeared to come from within me. At first I looked around, thinking that I had perhaps overheard someone else’s conversation but there was no one near enough to convey that instruction with the clarity I had heard it. I was just beside the community library building, so I went in. Now, there are 3 sections that interest me in the whole entire library – Travel, Interior Design and Christianity. I made for the latter. The first book that caught my eye was one I had never seen before on its shelves. The title: “Bringing up Boys” by Dr James Dobson.
GOD TOOK MY FEARS AWAY
My heart skipped a beat. Was this from God? Was I to read this? Was this God’s way of instructing me? Did He instruct Joshua in Canaan by leading him? Was that voice the Holy Spirit? I borrowed the book and read it from cover to cover within a week! Something happened as I read that book. My fears about fathering a boy began to melt away.
My wife and I adopted our daughter, Sarah. We were going to adopt our second child, too. Tests showed that I was clinically sterile. At the time, we didn’t know the scripture that says, “Neither man nor woman shall be barren.” We didn’t know we could stand on that declaration of God and believe Him for a miracle. We were new Christians. We didn’t know a lot. We’ve come some way since then, but there’s still a lot we don’t know.
The Friday I finished and returned the library book, I thanked the Lord for sending me to it and had another question for Him. “Lord, how come in the bible You seem to respond with tangible things quickly like the column of fire and the parting of the Red Sea whereas these days, answers come by intangibly and in time? Anyway, just thought I’d tell you that I’m ready to have a son!”
GOD RESPONDED WITH A TANGIBLE MIRACLE
That night, I was alone at home. My daughter was staying at Grandma’s and Catherine was attending an overnight business retreat. At 10pm, the phone rang. It was the adoption agency! I hadn’t heard from them since Sarah’s adoption, four years ago. And now they were were calling me?
After the initial niceties, the consultant said, “Jeremy, we have a baby boy for adoption. Have you considered adopting another child?” My answer was a resounding YES! “However, I need to speak with my wife about this,” I told him, “I’ll get back to you ASAP!”
On Saturday afternoon, Catherine returned from the retreat and I broke the news to her with excitement. Her response: “No! No, no, no!”
“This year, I’ve pledged to do MDRT (Million-Dollar Round Table) and I’m busy with my Honours Club activities. Not this year, okay?” she exclaimed. She looked at my disappointed face and softened. “Next year, sweets. Now, I’m going over to my Mom’s for dinner. You want to come or shall I bring dinner home for you?”
I smiled weakly and told her I wanted to stay at home. I saw her off at the door and after she had disappeared into the elevator, I closed the door. Last night’s excitement coupled with the anticipation of my wife’s return, her outright rejection and the disappointment that followed was just too much for me.
I cried to the Lord saying, “Lord, I’m sorry, I cannot do this, I cannot force my wife to do something she’s not ready for. But You can speak to her. You can do something about it. I know that You will never leave or forsake the matter, or us. It’s in Your hands.”
GOD TURNED MY WIFE AROUND
I never brought the subject up again till Monday morning on the drive to the office. I asked her gently, “So it really a ‘no’ to adopting the baby boy?”
She looked at me and smiled. “I don’t know why, but I just had to tell my parents about the baby. Mom was thrilled, but Dad questioned the need for us to go through the whole process all over again and deal with the feeds, the this and the that… all over again.”
“That’s them, but what about you?” I asked her.
“Yes!” She was half-laughing, half-sobbing. “The more I think about him, the more I want him!”
We made an appointment to see the baby boy that night and fell in love with him at first sight. The next morning, I called the adoption agency to register our interest. However, I was not prepared for their answer.
“So sorry. Another couple saw the baby and they gave us the go ahead before you called. I’m so sorry.”
“What?” I retorted angrily, “Why didn’t you tell us about the other couple?”
“I’m sorry, but you know what? That couple is supposed to place the Adoption Order deposit by tomorrow – Wednesday as agreed. If they fail to do that, you get to.”
When I told my wife the news, she began to cry. I told her, “Don’t worry, do you think that God would lead us to change our attitudes, get the agency to call us and then drop us on our heads? No way! That baby boy is ours! You wait and see!”
I put up a brave front and tried to look like I was full of faith, for my wife’s sake. Inside, I was crying on the Lord’s shoulder.
GOD GIVES US A BREAKTHROUGH
Wednesday afternoon, I receive a call from the adoption agency. The other couple had failed to show up to make the deposit and neither did they answer the adoption agency’s phone calls. God had come through for us, once again! I sped over to the adoption agency and handed the cheque to them. The proceedings could now begin! We could bring the baby boy home!
We brought him home along with a tiny bag of vests, a feeding bottle and some milk powder. That’s all he had. We realised that that was all we had too! We had not prepared a thing. Not a cot or a single diaper.
GOD SENDS IN REINFORCEMENTS
We called our family and close friends to tell them about our new baby boy. Thrilled for us and shocked that we had nothing, everyone insisted on helping out with bottles, diapers, baby clothes, books, milk powder, everything we needed. Someone who had Sarah’s old cot, brought it back. Someone else gave a bathtub.
Within two days, we were so well stocked, we could have opened a shop!
Then, something struck my mind. The courts would demand to see evidence of the adoptive father’s employment. I wasn’t in full-time employment at the time. I was freelancing as a copywriter. It was my wife who was working full-time. To minimise delay and the prospect of the courts blocking the adoption because of seemingly minor details as this, the adoptive father had to be gainfully employed.
I was in a rut. I didn’t know what to do. So I spoke to the only person I knew who could sort this out: God.
“Lord, I need a job, for at least a year, for as long as the adoption process is on. I know You are the way through, because that’s what You’ve been to us throughout this quest since day one.”
GOD OPENS UP A POSITION
The very next morning, out of the blue, I receive a call from Stephen, an old colleague. I hadn’t heard from him ever since he started his own advertising agency after being in the industry for a decade.
“Hey, Jeremy,” he said, “what are you doing for the next one year?”
“Working for you, I expect!” I quipped, my heart rate racing.
“I can’t pay you the amount you earned at Dentsu though,” he added. “Just 3K”.
“3K is fine,” I replied.
Hallelujah!!! I was employed for12 months! It also turned out that Stephen’s agency and the lawyer’s office were a 5-minute walk from each other. Whenever I was needed to sign adoption documents, I took as little as 15
minutes to get the job done and be back at work!
GOD GAVE ME FAVOUR WITH THE BOSS
I began at Stephen’s agency earning $3,000 a month. Three months later, he gave me a raise, jacking up my salary to $4,000. By the time I left the agency, my salary had increased to $4,800. I had never asked for a raise at anytime. Everything was given by the unmerited favour of God! I still freelance at Stephen’s, on occasion.
GOD REVEALS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS BABY’s NAME
My middle name is RICHARD. One of the ‘street nicks’ I use is RIC. My father’s middle name is RICHARD. He was known affectionately as DICKY. Put the two together RIC + DICKY and you get RICKY. RICKY was the original name of my baby boy. That was his given name on his birth certificate and passport. I believe that God had selected this baby boy for me, and used the name RICKY as a means of leading me to this conclusion.
RICKY is no longer just a baby boy. He is now my son, Isaac, my child of promise, who came through only because the Lord came through for us. Thank you Jesus, for your lovingkindnesses and tender mercies. You did it all!