At nine o’clock one Saturday evening late in August of 1965, my boyfriend was at his out of town swim meet and I was stuck at home with a bad summer cold. Since my latest paperback was finished the day before, I went to the bookcase and ran my fingertips over the book spines not expecting to find anything interesting since all the reading material belonged to my mother. However, this title caught my attention; The Family Nobody Wanted.
Written by Helen Doss, it was published in 1954. Helen Doss and her minister-in-training husband Carl were a young California couple. Infertile at a time, Helen wanted nothing in the world more than to have a “happy, normal little family.” After adopting one infant who matched them perfectly, they wanted more children but were frustrated by the lengthy waiting periods for white babies. And so Helen and Carl Doss, whose only desire was to expand their family, ended up with twelve children: Filipino, Hawaiian, Balinese, Malayan, Indian, Mexican, and Native American, in various combinations. Some were afflicted by a host of other special needs—one child had a tumor on her forehead, another was described as mentally retarded—but these defects quickly disappeared and the Doss children blossomed in their family filled with acceptance, faith, and love. They were just adorable kids. The Dosses just happened to think that love had more to do with making kinship than blood.
The entire weekend I lay curled on my bed, book in hand, hearing the weeping of orphans in need of a mother to listen to their goodnight prayers. Tears stung my eyes. Something inside me awakened. It was then I felt God say to me that I would never have biological children, but my children would come to me by way of adoption. The knowing came lowly, like a tapping foot that couldn’t be stilled. Impatience similar to an opening and closing of a hand preceded an avalanche of erupting emotions that swept all preconceived ideas of motherhood away. Suddenly I knew a measure of what my future held. Adoption. From that moment on I balanced myself on the edge of a far off tomorrow. A bit impatient to see what else the good Lord had for me.
On our next date, I mentioned this startling revelation to my then boyfriend, Rusty—the same one I had inadvertently sent his Christmas gift away to the Native Americans. Let’s just say he was a good sport about the present, but now, he didn’t know what to make of my heavenly revelation. It was rather disconcerting for him. However, in his defense, we were only sixteen at the time. I had just come from the presence of God and he was thinking movie night with his girlfriend—maybe, later, a goodnights kiss at the door. He was the same guy as he had been the day before while I had just been swept away by the touch of God.
Many years later, my now former husband (not Rusty) and I discovered we could not have biological children. Although he was devastated from the news, I wasn’t. I wasn’t afraid; I wasn’t distressed, for I had been bolstered years prior by God’s disclosure. My journey for adoption—to find my children—began. I contacted a Christian agency from Wheaton, Illinois and started the paperwork, the interviews, etc. Right before Christmas, the Lord spoke to my heart and said , “Kimberly is on her way” (home to me). A month later, the end of January, the phone call came from the social worker A racially mixed, five week baby girl was ours if we wanted her. YES! OH YES!
Kimberly came home on January 28, 1981. That dark haired little munchkin filled me with unspeakable joy. Since she had been born at the biological mother’s home, alone, without medical aid, the agency wasn’t sure what her intellect might be. No matter. She was mine, and I was hers. We belonged to one another. And to add blessing to blessing, very quickly we discovered that Kim was quite bright. Before she was two years old, she woke me up one morning and announced, “Mother, take me to school. I am tired on not learning anything!” Her thirst for knowledge was lit and remained as a thirst which to this day has not been quenched.
As Kim grew so did her longing for a baby brother. Every night she would thank Jesus for giving her a one. Whenever we shopped, she always insisted on buying little boy’s clothes. When I demurred, she would plead, “But my baby brother needs these.”
Kimberly was four when a woman from our church told me her daughter was distressed. Carol* (not her real name) was about to have another baby, out of wedlock. Since I already knew her, I said I would visit the next day. The minute I stepped into the apartment, Carol asked me if I would take her baby as my own when it was born. I burst into joyful tears. Long story short, I was at the hospital when Matthew, Kim’s baby brother, came into the world. I called home and told Kim the news. “Kim, you have a baby brother.” She said, “I knew it was a boy."
And now I had my children. Not a full house like the Dosses had in the book, but my two. Kim a dark haired beauty with skin the color of milk chocolate, and Matthew a blue eyed charmer with skin the color of snow.
Years later, Kim went into accelerated classes for the gifted and talented in school, while Matthew attended special education classes and speech classes for language, and occupational therapy for his fine motor skills. Yet, my children were two peas in a pod; close to one another, and honestly, they never argued but always got along well.
Kimberly graduated from UT at the top of her class in kenisthesiology and psychology. After working for a law firm, she moved to Atlanta and got her masters in health at Emory. She interned for the GAO in Washington DC. Went to Congressional meetings on The Hill. Met lawmakers. Every job she applied for, she got. The one she chose was working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Dallas. And now she is married and has an adorable son, Kingston who is so much like his mama that it makes me laugh.
After graduating from high school, Matthew went to vocational school and is now a certified nurse’s aide. He’s employed at a nursing home. He loves his residents and takes excellent care of them. Matthew is the kindest, sweetest, most loving person I have ever known. Besides being an artist, he comes up with fabulous story ideas that one day will find their way to paper.
My son Matthew and I live together along with our cocker spaniel Cooper, and our very crabby Russian Blue cat, Lexie.
Imagine a seed planted in the ground. Picture the seed cracking opening to send out a runner. The seed cracks wider and up shoots a sprout. God speaks to it from the firmament and says, “Come up here where the weather is fine.” Soon that sprout reaches the warm air of the garden where it begins to grow strong and even blossom.
God moves in a mysterious way
his wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
and rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs
and works his sovereign will.
You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
the clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
in blessings on your head.
His purposes will ripen fast,
unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
but sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
and scan his work in vain:
God is his own interpreter,
and he will make it plain.