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Story of Grace

by Sarah Boyd

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Ephesians 4:7

As I sat in the fertility specialist office in June of 2004, I heard the words that I so feared and hoped to never hear, ”I’m sorry Mrs. Boyd. There’s nothing else we can do.” As a baby I was diagnosed with Hirschsprungs disease that resulted in partial bowel removal and extensive nerve damage. That combined with endometriosis left me high risk for infertility. Knowing the possibility, I continued 4 years of failed fertility drugs, surgeries, injections and other medical procedures, along with prayer & fasting. I felt defeated, let down, confused & angry. Why had this happened to us? Hadn’t we trusted enough? There were so many questions and no answers. We thought we knew the road our lives would lead, and one of those roads would be to have a large family.

Two weeks after we were told we could not have children, Bro Bill Houston, a minister and dear friend from our church, walked up to me after a Sunday morning service and said, “Sis, while I was praying, the Lord showed me your first child will be a girl.” No one knew but family about our bad news. I explained to Bro Bill the report we had received from our doctor two weeks prior. He said, “Well, all I know is what the Lord showed me…your first will be a girl”. Bro Bill’s message encouraged us to continue to pray & trust for my healing. I would read the first several chapters of I Samuel daily and held onto that what the Lord had done for Hannah. I trusted that He could and would do for us.

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life…

(1 Samuel 1:10-11)

During DRPC’s campmeeting in August 2004, I was in the process of another round of treatment. It had brought me physically to the lowest point I had been during the years of fertility treatments. I lay in bed praying that night as I did many times before. But this time, as I prayed and Rodney slept next to me, I literally heard a voice that said, “I HAVE HEARD YOU." About the same time, Rodney woke up and said, “Sarah, I just felt the Holy Ghost come into our room.” How humbled we were at this experience! We both began to pray and rejoice knowing our prayer somehow would be answered.

That October, Rodney & I attended Bond Campmeeting with my parents, Dallas & Luvenia Lakes.

I’ll never forget the message that our pastor, Bro Bennie Sutherland, preached on that Thursday night…Faith! As the Holy Ghost began to move a message was given, and our promise was again confirmed: the Lord had heard us, had gone before us, and was working it out even then.”

As my parents traveled back to their home in Alabama from Bond Campmeeting that year, they received a phone call that would forever change our lives. A minister and his wife that attended my parents' church contacted my parents knowing our situation. They had been contacted by a young teenage lady and asked if we would be willing to adopt her child she was carrying; the baby, a girl in fact, would be born in February 2005 in Alabama. We were totally caught off guard and had no thought of adoption being in God’s plan. Was it possible that our baby would not come through my conception, but be carried by someone else? After much counsel, talking, and prayer, we decided to step into this open door and see where it would possibly lead.

A local hospital in Dayton, Ohio, where we live, referred us to a local social service agency that took care of private adoptions. The social worker went over and above to help us. They were able to expedite the home study and state inspection process. Then began the process of finding an attorney that would take our case. Because of some legal matters, this wasn’t a typical private adoption scenario. We had three attorneys tell us that this situation was impossible. We bound together as a family and began to pray for direction. We did not want to force anything, but if this was His plan, He would have definitely had to work this part out. Our phone number was given to an attorney in Mobile, Alabama and I was shocked when I received the phone call from a law firm that stated they knew the risks, but was willing to take our case. Little did our social worker and attorney know, they were a piece of His plan. The Lord had gone before us.

We realized the risk of decorating, buying, and planning before the baby was here, and adoption was final, but decided to, by faith, go ahead and begin to turn one of our spare bedrooms into our baby room. Home studies were approved, legal paperwork was filled out, baby room was somewhat prepared, and now we were waiting for the phone call.

During the waiting process, we were blessed to receive ultra sound pictures & updates from appointments. Our baby girl was scheduled to be born on February 14th 2005. With our wedding anniversary being February 13th, we decided to leave on the 11th and stop on the way. As we pulled off the exit to stop half way there for the evening, we got the call to keep coming south; the baby was coming earlier than planned! Oh, the emotions of driving those last 6 hours that seemed like forever! Unfortunately, Rodney was driving, so of course he was trying to drive the speed limit while I kept telling him to drive faster!

We finally pulled into USA Women’s & Children’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama at 12:30 am on February 12th, jumped out of the car, and literally ran toward the entrance where my mom was waving for us to hurry. As we stood on the outside of the labor & delivery room, in less than an hour of our arrival, at 1:25 am, we finally heard the sound of a crying baby. I’ll never forget the rush of emotions I had that night…compassion for the birthmother & excitement for us. Ten minutes after birth, someone walked out and asked who was the mom and dad. That was us! As I walked into that labor room, I saw the most beautiful baby I had ever seen! Head full of black hair, beautiful black eyes, and a cry that melted my heart…it was love at first sight! She was placed in my arms, and all I could do was laugh and cry at the same time. Oh what a gift! Minutes later, Rodney was able to come into the room, and he kept saying, “Let me hold her…let me hold her”! We felt unexplainable joy and love!

For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:

(1 Samuel 1:27)

While the nurses began their routine of vitals, shots, and cleaning up, the hospital social worker came down to meet with us. We were asked if we had decided on a name. The name we had picked out before birth was Victoria Grace. As Rodney held our little miracle, he asked if we could name her Grace Victoria. God had definitely shown grace to our family, and after holding our little bundle of joy, it seemed fitting to name our baby Grace.

“Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but still MIRACULOUSLY my own. Never forget for a single minute you didn’t grow under my heart, but in it.”

Fleur Conkling Heylinger

We had our paperwork and signatures with us from our attorney, but it being in the middle of the night, the majority of the office staff was not there and the question was where do we stay in the process of waiting for business hours? The social worker & nursing supervisor agreed to give Rodney & I a room in the maternity ward. They placed hospital bands on both of our wrists & treated us as we had just given birth to this precious baby. After talking to our attorney, she informed us this was not normal protocol and more than likely if it were during normal office hours, we would have had to leave the hospital until the rest of the legal paperwork was signed. Again…the Lord had gone before us.

We were able to stay in that room the remainder of Grace’s hospital stay, & Grace stayed in the room with us as much as possible. Our attorney arrived at the hospital first thing that morning with the legal paperwork, more signatures & last interviews. As we signed the last part of the legal paperwork our attorney sat down & began to cry. She had become emotionally involved in this case on both sides & agreed that God had definitely worked this out. That evening, our first visitors besides immediate family was Bro Bill & Sis Darian Houston. Of all the places they preach in the U.S., they just so happened to be preaching a revival in Mobile Alabama area! I firmly believe this was no coincidence…our Lord is interested in every aspect of the miracles he performs in our lives.

Because of interstate compact laws & Alabama holding up our paperwork, we ended up staying in Alabama for 3 months with no exception of crossing state line. Finally, after contacting local pastors to write letters to the state to encourage our release and speaking with Alabama state officials, DHR was forced to complete the interstate compact , release our paperwork to the state of Ohio & assign us a court date to return to finalize the adoption. It was May & we were finally going home!

We returned to Mobile Alabama on June 10, 2005 to finalize our adoption in court. The Judge requested we bring a character witness to court with us that was not family & that had known us for at least 20 years. The Lord worked it out where we had the perfect witnesses pastoring right there in Alabama…our dear friends, Bro Larry & Sis Barb Daughtery. The formalities of the court were completed & our oaths to love & provide for our little baby. The Judge quoted these portions of scripture…

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord…

(Psalms 127)

And said unto them, whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

(Luke 9:48)

He then legally declared us an official family! I can remember the joy & relief of that day! Rodney and I walked hand in hand out of the courtroom with our promised baby girl in our arms!

So what is the motive of my testimony? Impossible things still happen. It may not turn out like you think it may, but God’s plan is always right & perfect. No, my healing did not come physically, but my heart was healed, filled with the love of a mother, and a void was filled that only a wanting mother can have. He sees the future, he knows what’s best. Hold on, have faith & keep praying!

"He is like the captain on the bridge who can see what the man in the engine room cannot. The far horizons, the positions of the stars, the direction of the wind are all known to the one who is in charge. Our heavenly Father knows every inch of our earthly journey, sees it whole, has been over the course himself, and says to us, 'Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold the with the right hand of my righteousness' (Isaiah 41:10)"

Elisabeth Elliot

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