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My nerves were on edge as I pulled into the parking lot near the Planned Parenthood clinic. As I got myself and my three-year-old son out of the car, I made sure to grab some rosaries. I had been told to have them in my hand so the PP escort wouldn’t think I was there for an appointment . . . which would have been slightly awkward, to say the least.
I felt like I was walking onto a spiritual battlefield.
God loves us talking to Him. Prayers Matter and they do make a difference.
Let me start from the beginning. This is a true story about answered prayer. And when I talk about prayer, I mean both the formal kind and the informal kind. Both kinds were answered for me this year in such an incredible way! I feel the need to tell the whole world (or anyone who will listen)!
Last year I started saying some prayers for women considering abortion. As I laid down to to sleep at night, I asked God to give these women hope and a support network. I asked God to help them not be afraid and to desire life for their unborn children.
Then one day I was walking up stairs with a load of laundry and a thought occurred to me. “I know I don’t love these women as much as God loves them . . . how can my prayers help them?”
A short time later I found the Spiritual Adoption Prayer. I printed it out. My husband and I agreed to adopt a baby girl, and give her the name we have longed to give a daughter for years now. It’s not a popular name, and we hesitated to share it. This blog post will be the first time we allow our favorite name for a baby girl to go public.
We named her Jaina Therese.
The first day we prayed for Jaina was May 7, 2015.
In the meantime we are announcing to the world that we have an approved home study and we are hoping to adopt a newborn. We don’t have the money this time around to adopt through an agency, but if someone knows someone and we get connected with a young woman who would like to make an adoption plan we could do a private adoption. We have an excellent adoption attorney. We tell everyone we know and ask them to tell everyone they know.
But, no luck.
We aren’t making any connections. My mind and heart go back to the women who find themselves pregnant and decide to terminate their pregnancies. I start wondering if I stood in front of an abortion clinic with a sign that says, Unplanned Pregnancy? We want to adopt if it would inspire a woman to consider adoption and choose life.
Up until this point in my life, I had never stood outside an abortion clinic or Planned Parenthood to pray or protest. I had always been pro-life in my heart, but I had never even seen an abortion clinic.
I start doing some research. I wanted to see if any Pro-Life groups stood in front of the Planned Parenthood that is a ten minute drive from my home. I certainly wasn’t going to go alone. I discovered there was a small group that prayed on Fridays. I went to the store and bought a poster board. I took a marker and in my handwriting I wrote Unplanned Pregnancy? We want to adopt.
It looked bad.
But I still planned on going. And one August morning, I decided this was the day. My son slept in (which never happened). I packed up some cereal and dressed him. Out the door we went. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss the people who prayed the Rosary. My fear was once they were done, they would leave and I wouldn’t get a chance to stand there with my sign.
My hope was more to save a life than to find our baby that day. My gut and my heart tell me that women who go to abortion appointments really do not want to be there.
I made sure I brought Rosaries, because I was told that an escort might think I am there for an appointment and start walking me into the building. That would be awkward!
I was so nervous when I got there. I grabbed my Rosaries, took my son out of his car seat and my sign out of the trunk. I felt like I was walking onto a spiritual battlefield.
A Bullhorn and a Lollipop
Not long after I arrived, a woman started talking through a bullhorn. She was saying, “we have someone here who will adopt your child” . .. she said other things too, but I was grabbing my son’s hand and briskly walking away. I felt so uncomfortable and thought, “A bullhorn? Really? Who is going to respond to a bullhorn? There must be a better way.”
Mary was the woman with the bullhorn. Once she was done pleading with the young girl to not go into the clinic, I returned to speak with her. I questioned the bullhorn tactic. Another woman who had been standing quietly the entire time with a pair of Rosaries chimed in . .
“Sometimes these girls are praying for a sign on the way here. We might be the sign they prayed for.”
As we talked, the unexpected happened.
The young woman whom Mary was pleading with through the bullhorn walked out of the clinic with her mother. They walked towards us. They kept walking towards us. Then four of us were hugging (Mary ,”Anne”, her mother and me). We all started to cry. It was an incredible moment.
After that initial hug, “Anne’s” mom said, “she needs a place to stay.” Mary immediately picked up her cell phone and started making phone calls. I introduced myself. I asked “Anne” where she was from. She told me and I responded, “That’s really far away, why did you come here?”
Anne responded, “The clinic near me will only do them (abortions) up until 13 weeks, 6 days. I’m 13 weeks, 8 days” – or something like that. I know she said 13 weeks and then the days were more than 7 – so I remember figuring out in my head that she was in her 14th week of pregnancy.
I continued talking to “Anne” and the entire time my son was saying “Mom, Mom, Mom.” At one point I picked him up and continued talking to Anne and her mother. My son, still saying Mom over and over again, moved my face with his hands so that I would look at him. He said, “I want to go to A Baby’s Breath“. I responded, “Why do you want to go to A Baby’s Breath – because
have lollipops?”. He said, “YES!!!”.
I then look at “Anne”. Anne opens her pocketbook, takes out two lollipops. One for my son, and one for her. It was an awesome moment, and I was smiling ear to ear and thanking her.
Two days later I am in my kitchen sweeping. I think, “Anne” was about 14 weeks pregnant, I wonder how many weeks ago we started praying the Spiritual Adoption Prayer. I then counted.
Exactly 14 weeks and one day before I met “Anne” was May 7th – the day we began to pray the Spiritual Adoption Prayer. My jaw dropped, I got the chills and I probably said wow more than once.
Could this be the baby we spiritually adopted? Was “Anne” pregnant with a baby girl? Would she name her Jaina?
My husband, son and I continued to pray the Spiritual Adoption prayer every night after Grace before meals.
Fast forward Five Months
At the end of January I started to wonder how “Anne” was doing and if Mary was still in touch with her. I called Mary and asked. Mary said “Anne” is doing great. She also told me “It’s a girl, did you know it’s a girl?”
Huh. How about that. We had been praying for a girl – but it’s either a girl or a boy, so that could be a coincidence, right?
I reminded Mary about the Spiritual Adoption Prayer and how we were praying for a girl and that we named her.
That night at dinner I told Matt that I talked to Mary. She said “Anne” is doing well and she is pregnant with a girl. I then said to Matt “I wonder if she will name her Jaina .”
The text that made Mary do a double-take
About a week later, Mary checked in with Anne through a text message. After a few days
“Anne” responded. In the text, “Anne” thanked Mary for being at the right place at the right time.
She also said she “can’t wait for my daughter J-A-N-A to be born.”
Mary checked the text again. Who was it from? Does it really say that name???
She called me to tell me.
I can’t explain how I felt. I thought, “well yeah, that’s her name” and “WOW. WOW. WOW.” simultaneously.
Jana was born healthy on February 15, 2016. Mary and I are hoping we can meet her, hold her and tell “Anne” this story.
I am so grateful and humbled that the Lord allowed me to have this experience. I am sure He gave me this experience knowing that I would tell anyone who will listen, and I will advocate and plea with you to spiritually adopt an unborn baby. This prayer works. This prayer saves lives. This prayer gives a mother hope.
Will you join me and pray for an unborn baby? The incredibly talented Meg Florkowski created this printable. I encourage you to print it out, name the baby and hang it up on the fridge. I would love if you commented below – did you choose to adopt a boy or a girl? What name did you choose?
Amy @ Be The Proof says
This is an absolutely beautiful story of adoption! How cool to see God answer prayers specifically. Will you continue to pray for baby Jana?
I do – informally throughout the day. We now do the Spiritual Adoption prayer after dinner for a baby boy (but almost every night one of us say Jaina Therese because we are so used to praying for her!)
Flávia Ghelardi says
Wonderful story! Do you mind if I translate it into Portuguese and share it at my blog? I live in Brazil, where abortion is mostly forbidden up until now, but the government is trying to make it legal.
I would be honored if you shared it in Portuguese!! My sister-in-law is from Brazil <3 God Bless you Flavia!!!
Flávia Ghelardi says
Thank you so much! If you want to check the Brazilian version, here is the link: http://fortalecendosuafamilia.blogspot.com.br/2016/03/deus-nos-ouve-um-milagre-da-adocao.html
Would you like also to share this article in CatholicMom.com?
Yes I would love to share this on CatholicMom.com! How do I go about doing that? Thank you so much for sending me the link – I will definitely check it out!
Flavia – I need to contact you about the printable – the artist would like to help you with it – and our logos should still be on it. Can you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
Flávia Ghelardi says
I sent you an email yesterday. Did you get it? If not, you can reach me at email@example.com
Thank you Flavia! I did get it – it’s been a busy 24 hours to say the least! Thank you so much for responding so quickly!
Kathy Smith says
What a beautiful testament to God’s love and plan! We, too, pray the Spiritual Adoption prayer every night and every morning, Over the years we have added names whenever the Spirit moved us to do so, so our list of babies is quite long and quite unique… (keep in mind that some of these names were chosen by my children when they were younger- think pets and general silliness…!)
“Cassie, Will, Annie, Lizzie, Todd, Angelina, Samantha, Michael, Seth, Bobby, Charles, Charlie, Char-less, Joy, Julia, Olivia, Julian, Jeremy, Partly, Cloudy, Christopher, Max, William, Kylie, Leo, Ignatius, Ignatia, Dominic, Maggie, Anthony, Jackson, Biscuit, Bailey, Gianna, Luke, Larkin, Ellie, Emme, and Anna!
The day I meet a child named Partly, Cloudy, or Biscuit, I will let you know…! God is so good- I’m sure they are out there somewhere!
<3 Love, love, love this! Trust me - if I ever meet a Partly, Cloudy or Biscuit - I will let YOU know!
My daughter volunteers at the infant care center of a crisis pregnancy center near our home. There is a 3 year old little boy she knows from there. He just “graduated” from the center and went on to pre-school about a month ago. His name is Cloud.
That is SUCH a beautiful love story, Amy. Someday, Jana will grow up to pray for the people who helped her mom make the right choice.
<3 I am so grateful to the Lord for giving me this experience. I feel like it was His way of saying, "Amy . . . I love you. I hear you. Keep loving Me." And now I'm crying . . .
What a beautiful story. I had to read it twice to be sure I’d read it correctly! I don’t believe in coincidence and Love that God shows Himself in our lives this way! On a personal note, I’m a single Mom of 5 boys. My husband left suddenly during the pregnancy of our last little guy. It was such a difficult time, but I am SOOOOOO thankful I am pro-life. What a gift that baby (now 6 years old!) has been!
Thank you for sharing your story!
Thank you Strahlen! God Bless You! You are a great living testament to life! Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you share it often – someone may need to hear it! Thank you so much for sharing!!!
Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy says
I’m going to confess that I came here via a link shared on Facebook and I really expected to be angry and hate this post. From the title, I had assumed that it was a prayer specifically to hope for another mother to be faced with a pregnancy so that you could adopt her child. And as I read through, I dreaded the moment when you would write that Annie had relinquished to you her child because you had prayed. I was pleasantly surprised to find that those words never came. To find that you were satisfied with knowing that another mother would be able to raise her child was better than I would have imagined.
I can tell you that your heart and gut are correct, ” Women who go to abortion appointments really do not want to be there.” I think its fair to say that they wish they didn’t have to be there and they really wish that they weren’t pregnant. It’s the same thing we say about mothers who walk into adoption agencies; they really don’t want to be there either. By that point, obviously the threat of abortion is over, but still the threat of being separated from their child by adoption can be very real. No woman wants to carry a child for nine months only to give that baby away. I do love the way Mary didn’t just save Anne from the clinic threat, but made sure that she had the support she needed. She followed through and made sure that Anne could parent her daughter successfully.
I thought maybe you’d be interested in hearing about a like-minded group of moms who offer the lacking support and help to mothers that need it. It’s kind of the same work, but instead, we help the moms and babies avoid unnecessary adoption separation. https://www.facebook.com/adoptionSOS/ It would be great if our moms had prayers.
God Bless you and your work Claudia. I would love if you kept our family in your prayers as well. I hope you know in your heart that there are cases when adoption is a loving option. It takes a lot of courage for a mother to choose her child’s adoptive parents rather than allow the state to choose a foster situation . . . and there are many other stories in which it definitely wasn’t the ideal plan, but it was God’s plan. I pray all women have peace with their choices. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I wish you and your ministry the best.
Jenny Ryan says
Have you seen the Holy Heroes, Spiritual Adoption Program? Beautiful Story. Thanks for Sharing!
Jenny – that is where I saw the adoption prayer and where we printed the prayer from!
Lauren Jane says
I really love that this story didn’t have the ending of her giving the baby to you, yet you tell it with such love and grace. First families are so important to me personally, preserving them and helping mothers choose them…seeing your story and knowing your heart to adopt but that you still pray for this little girl brought tears to my eyes.
God gave me such a gift – to see His prayers working right before my very eyes. He will bring us the child that needs us (and who we need too)! I’m so grateful I was able to witness this miracle! God is good!!!
Maryann Klady says
I know this Family—-Amy, her husband, and adorable boy! I hope and pray that God answers your prayers and allowes you and your Family to raise another beautiful child!
Thank you Maryann!!! xoxoxoxo
I just love hearing how our God loves us so much. How He knows us and calls us and speaks to us. Great Great story… Just think of how Great our God is!!!
Amen, Becky – AMEN!!!!
Candy Hartmann says
I am adopting a spiritual. I haven’t decided its’ sex or name. I will pray about it and let you know. I’m also printing these out to give to the ladies in my bible study.
Awesome! Thank you!
I just finished praying for a baby girl, Elizabeth Anne is what I named her. It has been a blessing to pray for a family and spiritual adopt knowing how much God cares for them. My husband and I have 6 kids all close in age. We feel over welmed but trust God knows how many we can handle. This year I spiritual adopted Elizabeth and it is the first year in my married life that I didn’t get pregnant. I thank God for a break from pregnancy and pray many graces on every pregnant mother. It is a very wonderfully emotional time. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.
Your story is amazing and beautiful. I also love the printable created! Thank you for sharing both – not everyone is called to physically adopt, but we all can be called upon to spiritually adopt!
Amen! Thank you so much Anni!!!!
Such a powerful story! I’ve prayed about doing this with my husband. I think it will be a good thing to do as a couple, especially when we’re TTA for the time bring.
This is truly a miracle! Wow. I hope you are able to share the story with her mother one day.
Not yet, but hoping someday!
Amy, someone told me when we were waiting to adopt our first daughter to “pray for your baby to find you.” Shortly afterward, we were given contact info of a birth mother looking to place. She had the same name that we had chosen for a baby girl, which is not a common name. We all knew right away this was God’s plan; she told us within 10 minutes she would choose us as parents for her baby.
Hang in there, I am praying for you.
Mary – I have wonderful news .. we have been blessed with twins!!