September 7th, 1963 dawned sunny and clear. What a lovely day for two young people to
exchange their wedding vows. How grateful we were that we had both been raised in Christian
homes and had committed our lives to Christ at a young age. Jerry was twenty-two years old and
I had just celebrated my twenty-first birthday.
We returned home from our honeymoon in Atlantic City, N.J. and settled into the routine of married life. Both of us held down a full-time job and were active in our church as well. It was a busy but very happy life. Ten months after we were married, we purchased our first home, a little two bedroom bungalow. Friends came over to help us paint and decorate, and when we had that little house all fixed up, it really did look like the proverbial 'honeymoon cottage' -- all we lacked was the white picket fence!
From the time of our marriage, I had been employed at the
Psychiatric Hospital as a stenographer. I really enjoyed my work. Both Jerry
and I had often commented on the fact that life had been very kind to both
of us. We had our love for each other and together we shared our love for
Christ. We lived in a very beautiful part of Ontario. Brockville is located
along the lovely St. Lawrence River in the heart of the Thousand Islands.
We had many friends and life was great. The only unhappiness we
experienced in those first years of married life was the fact that after five
years together, there was still no sign of having a child of our own. This was
something we both wanted very much! In March of 1968, I was admitted to
hospital for tests and minor surgery to determine whether I was physically
able to conceive and carry a child. Everything seemed to be fine and I was sent home and told 'to
I continued to work at the hospital, where a part of my job was to work with the
psychologists who were testing children. Each time a blonde blue-eyed youngster came to the clinic
for testing, I would feel a little pang inside and pray that God would one day see fit to bless our home
in this way. Even as a tiny girl, when someone would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, the
answer was always the same -- "just a mother!" I played with dolls until I was a teenager, and then
put them away only because I was embarrassed to be seen doing so at my age.
In the summer of 1969, I quit my job to see if staying home was the answer. During this year,
my husband began quietly talking about the possibility of adopting a baby. I wasn't too sure about
the idea as I wanted very much to have a baby of our own. However, we prayed about it and in
January of 1970, we attended a group meeting at our local Family and Children's Services. During
the interviews and a home study which followed, a close friendship was established with our social
worker. We were delighted to discover that she too was a Christian. In February, Jerry and I decided
to spend a short vacation in Florida with my parents. On our return home, we anxiously awaited
news about whether or not we were going to be accepted as adoptive parents. We felt good about
the situation -- surely God was in control. We had prayed earnestly about this. Hadn't He sent us
a Christian social worker? Was this too not a part of His plan for our lives?
In April of 1970, we received a telephone call from our social worker on a Monday at noon
hour. She informed us that we had been accepted by the agency and would soon be getting our baby
daughter. We were told to purchase articles we would be needing. The first item I wanted to buy
was the most beautiful baby carriage we could find.
We were so excited by this news. However, I was also experiencing other strange sensations
and had a feeling that perhaps something else might be happening to us. An appointment to see my
family physician was arranged. The following day he telephoned the news to us that we were
expecting our own child. The poor man -- I even accused him of getting my test results mixed up
with someone else's. He laughed and assured me that the medical profession was a little more reliable
than that. He said the most beautiful words I had ever heard, "Joan, you really are going to be a
mommy. Your baby is due in December."
Can anyone imagine the joy we felt -- our own baby after all the waiting and hoping. We
wished we could take our baby girl as well as she had already begun to seem a part of us even though
we'd never even seen her. It was as though God gently pushed the door shut on our plans, and I
found that rather difficult to understand because we had felt so strongly that He had been in control
of this area of our lives. However, we both knew that God knew best what direction our lives should
That Tuesday evening is still very vivid in my mind. This was the same day the doctor had
given us our incredible news. A knock came to our door and when I answered it, there stood our
social worker friend. She came for a chat and a cup of coffee. We had already purchased a baby
carriage and it was in the room that was to become the nursery. I grabbed her by the hand and took
her into the room. Grinning at her I said, "Guess what?" Well, I guess what I was feeling was
written all over my face because she replied, "Joan, you're going to put your own little one in that
carriage, aren't you?" She took me in her arms and cried tears of joy right along with me. Together
we marveled at the goodness of God.
So many of our church friends had prayed with us for this miracle. Never had there been a
baby who was wanted more than this one.