The Most Memorable Moment

Shalee tagged me for a meme where you describe the most memorable moment in your life. Ohmygoodness. How hard is that?

Of course my wedding day and the births and arrivals of my children come to mind. Each of those is as wonderful as the next. However another moment stands out in my mind as a turning point for our family and an affirmation of my husband’s love for me and a testimony to the awesome power of God all rolled into one.

A bunch of you have probably already heard this, but I am going to tell it again. (so there.)

It began in the summer of 1997 when our 4th child turned three. I realized that I wanted another baby and began to think about adoption. John was opposed. Adamantly. Four kids is enough. We can’t afford more. You’re nuts. He said all those things. In fact, in the midst of one very heated discussion, he basically said I could adopt over his dead body.

It was a miserable, awful time. We both remained committed to the marriage, but, oh, we were heartsick that we could not find agreement on this crucial issue. First I nagged him to death, and then when I finally realized I was only alienating him, I gave up and just prayed. I prayed that if it wasn’t God’s will for our family, that God would help me pry my stubborn fingers off my dream, because I was having no luck letting go of the dream on my own.

Once I gave up, I felt more peace, and our relationship got back on a more even keel. He knew adoption was still on my heart, but it was a huge relief to him to see that I was working to accept his feelings about it. During that time I clung to a verse in Jeremiah where it says ” I will give them one heart and one way… for their own good and for the good of their children after them.”

I didn’t know how God could possibly do this, but I tried to hope. In December John asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I told him all I wanted was his fingerprints. Fingerprinting, you see, is the very first step of the adoption process. He sighed, but something in his face made me cherish hope. Still, it was such a huge thing I was asking. And I knew that to do it, he’d need to enter into it whole-heartedly. I told myself to be realistic and tried not to hope.

On Christmas Eve in the midst of the happy chaos of 4 kids tearing through yards of gift wrap, John casually tossed a tiny thing my way. Something about the look on his face made me start to tremble. I ripped open the package. It was a key chain that said, “God keeps his promises.”

I thanked him for the gift, thinking maybe I’d misread the significance of his look.

“Turn it over,” he said. “Look on the back.”

I turned it over with trembling fingers, and there on the back was etched a single golden thumbprint.


Since then we have adopted not one, but four children, and these days John is just as passionate an adoption advocate as I am. God does keep his promises, and in a bigger way than ever I could have imagined.


  1. That is just wonderful!

  2. Well I’m a new reader, so I had not read this story. Absolutely great!

  3. Wow. Tears to my eyes. You have a good guy, something I obviously don’t need to tell you.

  4. That is such an awesome story.

  5. Beautiful!

  6. I have heard that story before – BUT I never get tired of hearing it!!!!

  7. It’s even better in the re-telling, Mary. 8^)

  8. Hi Mary,

    Just stopping by to say hi. Thanks for visiting my blog. By the way, your girls are scrumptuos! They are so stinking cute. I love how you do different things with their hair. Sometime in the future I will talk about braiding on my blog, I am madly passionate about braiding.

  9. Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  10. I love the key chain- it didn’t come up last time!

  11. Hi Mary. I posted my first comment but apparently it is lost. I just wanted to say thank you for visiting my blog a couple weeks ago. Your girls whom you adopted from Ethiopia are gorgeous.

  12. I have always loved this story, Mary! 🙂

  13. Well this is the first time I have heard it and it is just enough to make me cry!

  14. Beautiful story…as always!

  15. What a story. What a husband. I have goose bumps.

  16. I got goose bumps over here. Such a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. I also had not heard that one yet…

  17. Wow, Mary, what an amazing story.

  18. Beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes!

  19. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve read a lot of stories about women who wanted to adopt with hubbies who didn’t, but I appreciated hearing your honesty – that you fought and that it was ugly and that you longed for oneness in your marriage during that time. This is where we have recently been, and it was SO hard. Everything else in our lives was great, but this one issue was always there, under everything . . . and one day hubby just “got it.” Thanks also for sharing that verse – I wish I had seen it months ago!


  20. So lovely! We’re discussing adoption, too, and this post really touched me.

  21. That is the sweetest story, Mary. I love the verse that God gave you while you were in your waiting time. He is so good!

  22. Wow. Just – beautiful.

  23. Beautiful post! I’ve read your testimony on adoption a couple of times, and it’s just as beautiful reading it again. I’m at this same place in my life/marriage. Four kids (youngest one just turned 4), a recent miscarriage. We want more children……we just don’t know if it’s God’s will…..and if it is, how will He deliver them to us? I’m open to adoption. However, the process and the expenses involved seem overwhelming…….

  24. Wonderful! I can see why this was your choice.

    Simply wonderful.

  25. that story is new to me.. but it is a wonderful story. Definately a great memory! Thanks for sharing. It gives me hope.

  26. I cried the first time reading this, I cried harder the second time. Guess it speaks to that deep place within, ‘ya know?

  27. Awwwww…. that’s beautiful!

  28. Thank you for this. I am struggling mightily with an issue my husband and I do not agree on. That Jeremiah quote is going on my wall to assist me in staying focuses on our unity. Thank you for such an awesome example or married love.

  29. I have heard this story before, but each time it just gives me goosebumps and then makes me tear up, so thanks for telling it again! You have such a loving family and it’s clear that it comes from how loving you and your husband are towards one another.

  30. Great story.
    Most memorable moment of my life? When my boys cleaned out their room 😉 (Just kidding and this is a reference to a recent post of mine)

  31. love hearing this again…what a significant moment in your life and wonderful story for your children to know about…

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