Once upon a time there was a little girl with blonde hair and green eyes and her name was Jillian Heather, but for short, just Jill. She was a tenacious child, walking at only seven and a half months; crawling up the kitchen cabinets with her toes and onto the top of the fridge by a year. No obstacle was too great. Nothing could to detour her, if she wanted it. She was a very special child; a happy child who was so easy to love.
Jill had another unique quality. Almost from the moment she was born, Jill wanted to be a Mommy. She mothered her dolls. She mothered her sisters. She mothered the neighborhood children. She mothered her classmates at school. She even mothered her cats. Although, she found out rather quickly, that kitty in a bonnet was not a very good substitute.
As she grew and especially after she gave her heart to Christ, Jill’s love of children, instead of diminishing, grew stronger. She made up classrooms of 35 imaginary children with wild and exotic names. She babysat and she nurtured children in the faith at church. It became clear that this was not just a passing childhood phase, children had become her calling, her dream, her life-purpose. In college while other young adults were honing their skills in sports or traveling to distant lands, Jill became a surrogate Mommy in a daycare, longing for the day it would be her turn; her turn to hold her own child instead of only imagining. So, after she married, she expected the quiver of children to materialize out of her imagination. Be fruitful and multiple was the objective; this was her charge, her life, her challenge, and yet, as the years came and went, the glad tidings of arriving pitter-patters did not come, for Jill. Her heart ached and she grieved deeply. Rarely, did she share her pain with others, but instead selflessly greeted, rejoiced, and cared for the endless harvest, year after year, of other people’s babies; other’s joy; other’s dreams, and other lives being fulfilled.
Finally, after years of waiting, month after disappointing month of endless sticks without color, a baby girl was delivered. The curse; this curse of sin in the world had been broken and it wouldn’t be long before she could conceive again. But this was not to be, not for Jill. Still, she never gave up. She faithfully prayed, dreamed and hoped for another, trusting solely in God and His plan for her life.
At the ten-year mark, Jill excitedly became a foster mother. She rearranged her home, set up a nursery in the guestroom, even creatively designing ‘No Smoking’ signs, which she placed throughout her home while she waited, because surely there would be a child, for Jill. But once again, the call that a child would come to stay, that her only child would have a brother or sister, never came, not for Jill. Until last month. The phone rang. The case worker explained that a Chinese baby girl had been born with Downs Syndrome and was available, NOT to foster, but TO adopt and would she be interested in applying. Jill jumped at the chance, quickly completing the necessary requirements, updating paperwork, all the while hoping and praying God would bring forth this miracle. One of her duties was to write the babies parents a letter explaining why she would be interested in adopting their child. It was a very hard letter to write, but after a few days it was finished. Jill described her lifelong love for children and her joys and trials of parenting her own 11-year-old daughter, who is Autistic. She also briefly explained the treatment and care that was given her daughter and how she had advocated for the needed medical care. But most important of all, Jill explained how she was a believer in Jesus and that having a relationship with God helped her with every life challenge she had faced. After the letter was sent, Jill waited, trying not to let her imagination run too far ahead. She determined she was not going to dream that dream, no, not just yet, only to find herself on that slippery, slimy, sickening road of disappointment, destined to fall flat. No, it wasn’t going to happen. No dreaming, no imagining, not this time. Yes, guard her heart and pretend nothing happened. This was the plan. And then, miracle of miracles, God answered her prayers with a deafening ‘Yes’! In only three short weeks, out of more than a hundred applicants, baby Hannah was placed in Jill’s arms. This was the baby she had prayed for; this was her hope and dream and this was a baby for Jill.
This story is true. For you see, Jill is my daughter and Hannah is our new grandchild. If you enjoyed this story and would like to share in our joy, see the link below.