“Out of the fullness of His grace He blesses us all." ~ John 1:16
For first responders, there’s no such thing as a normal day on the job. From saving families from burning houses to aiding the victims of car crashes, they adapt to whatever the situation. But it was a cool, fall evening when Darren got the call that would change his life forever.
It came from a woman in distress - severe abdominal pain. When Darren and the other firefighters arrived on scene, they quickly realized the young woman was in labor. Though her belly was large, the girl was dreadfully undernourished.
Darren immediately started an IV and placed the mother on oxygen. As the ambulance prepared to leave, the baby was crowning. Without much effort, it slid into Darren’s hands. His heart jumped into his throat as his brain registered the meaning of what had just happened.
Their eyes met as they stared blissfully at each other, alone in space. Her newborn smile was as sweet as ripe peaches. Tiny fingers curled around his pinky. She seemed oddly content despite what must have been such a strange world after life in the womb.
The siren jolted him out of his daydream. They called for backup and rushed to the hospital with mother and child.
While filling out routine paperwork at the hospital, Darren learned that the homeless mom planned to put the infant up for adoption. It must have been an answer to their prayers.
They’d been trying (unsuccessfully) for a third child and were considering adoption. Now it was in God’s hands. “If it’s meant to be, it’ll be!”
He walked into the woman’s hospital room and introduced himself. Darren explained that he had two kids, his wife was a school teacher and they wanted more children, but weren’t able to. After a friendly chat, he swung by the nursery and sent his wife a picture of the sweet little girl.
She jokingly texted back, “Can we keep her?” Darren knew his wife wasn’t kidding.
The next day, the whole family visited the mother in the hospital. She was old well beyond her youth and paying the price. She appeared frail, exhausted, and alone.
The adult conversation went well – but it was Darren’s boys who closed the deal; they absolutely loved her and couldn’t wait to make the beautiful baby girl the newest addition to their family.
Terrified of returning to the streets with a child she could not feed, clothe or care for adequately, the mother readily agreed to the adoption.
The family named their baby girl Grace ; she’d go by Gracie. They knew the adoption was a gift from God – having placed the fate of their family growing by another in His precious hands. And He grace-fully delivered on that prayer.
Blessed Lord, thank You for all that you’ve done for us today. Thank You for the splendor of Your whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the miracle of life, and for the mystery of love. Amen