Adoption is the heart of the Life movement, the solution to abortion, but every once in a while we hear a story that is even beyond what our prayers can imagine and we see the heart of the Father revealed in mighty ways. This was the story of Anne and Joe.*
Anne and Joe are not new to adoption, having already adopted 3 of their 6 children, but the story of their son Sam is a miracle even beyond their imagination that makes this Thanksgiving incomparable for them.
It was January of this year that two important things happened in this story. First, it was the month Sam’s birthmother conceived. Second, Anne and Joe felt the Lord prompt them to get their home study update for future adoption in progress. They followed this prompting, while hundreds of miles away, Sam was already in the womb, being hidden for Anne and Joe.
Sam’s birthmother suspected she might be pregnant, although she had not missed a menstrual cycle. She was throwing up and "felt" pregnant. She took 5 pregnancy tests over the next few weeks. Each test came back negative for pregnancy. Finally, at 5 months pregnant, she had a positive pregnancy test. She went to the doctor to confirm. In June an ultrasound and amniocentesis confirmed that the child, a boy, had Down syndrome.
Sometime in the weeks that followed, feeling unequipped to parent a child due to incredibly poor health and other circumstances, she and the child’s father sought out an abortion in their state, but the pregnancy had progressed too far along to have an abortion. The couple travelled to a neighboring state for the abortion, but they were also turned down.
Meanwhile, Anne and Joe had been told the woman had had 3 abortions prior to this, the most recent the year prior.
Later, the birthparents told Anne and Joe:
“At this point, we could have traveled to a state that does later term abortions, but we finally decided that maybe God wanted this child to live." The woman said, "I don’t think I could have even gone through with it. I could have never lived with myself." The father replied, "At some point you have to just say: this is a baby, not a fetus."
They contacted a local Christian agency that works with Down Syndrome children, who referred them to a Christian adoption agency where Anne and Joe had previously expressed their interest in a Down Syndrome adoption. They were presented and were chosen by the birthparents to adopt their son, who was born in October.
When Sam was born, Anne and Joe say the moment they laid eyes on our son, he became theirs:
Legal documents were not in place for several days, but in a moment, with one glance, the child we had interceded for and carried in our hearts for months, became ours.
In the hours and days that followed, they learned that Sam had a serious heart defect and that his heart and lungs were in a competition of sorts to keep his little body working; he’ll need surgery about 4-6 months from birth to correct the defect in his heart.
He also had a setback when he was 8 days old and started throwing up blood. Joe was in a different city with their other children and Anne raced to NICU to see her son fighting for his life surrounded by medical professionals and a myriad of machines. A ventilator was helping him breath, his color was terrible, and he was obviously a very sick little boy. Joe arrived later that evening, and they stood there together praying, trying not to let fear overtake their hearts. At the end their son’s bed, they prayed, speaking life over a child who grew in a womb that knew death.
We spoke life over a child who almost was not. We spoke destiny over a child who’s life was almost stolen. And we were surrounded by hundreds of intercessors praying for our son’s life to be spared.
They eventually learned Sam had experienced septic shock from a sever staph infection that had entered his bloodstream and settled in his heart. During the weeks that followed he steadily improved. Today, he is over a month old, and while he is still in the hospital, he is off the ventilator, free from infection, and growing healthier each day. They remain confident that the son ordained for them from the womb will be brought to complete healing. Anne says:
Once again, as we gaze upon our beautiful son and contend for his life, we are reminded of the great lengths the Father has gone to to call each of us His own and to see us all made whole, set free, and delivered from pain. Oh, how He loves us.
A very powerful note to this story is that while the birthparents had discovered Sam was in the womb and seeking an abortion, another event was occurring in the same city: Lou Engle and his team of intercessors were in the same city at the same time fasting and praying for LIFE. Anne and Joe believe firmly that Sam’s life is a direct response to those prayers being offered at a pivotal time during the pregnancy.
Coincidence is always a weak word for a Christian, but Anne and Joe’s story renders the word obsolete. Five pregnancy tests, no missed cycles, Lou Engle and the intercessors standing for Life in the very city the parents were seeking an abortion. Our Father hid Sam in his mother’s womb for five solid months to save his life and bring him to Anne and Joe and their family. The Father values that one life that much.
It’s a stunning reality to know that there are those who believe a child with Down Syndrome should not be born. Ask Anne and Joe what they think of that. Better yet, ask the Father who clearly will go to war over one life such as this.
If this were a fairy tale, it might end with a moral of the story readers should take away. This beautiful story is 100% real, but the moral is best expressed by Anne and Joe and their six children who have welcomed another into their home with open hearts and complete love. Anne says:
As you stand for LIFE in whatever capacity, God has called you to stand, hold fast. We pray that Sam’s story is to each of you, a vivid reminder that your prayers for LIFE count. Your prayers matter. I hope that one day each of you who stood in intercession for LIFE will get to meet this one precious LIFE that was spared.
Bound4LIFE rejoices with this family as a reminder of the value of LIFE.
*Names and cities have been changed to not reveal identities, but every fact is true and verified.