Today is CW’s birthday. He is now 34 years old. I will use initials in this story to respect the privacy of the parties involved. CW is a young man who I had the privilege of finding a home for in Sweden. This birthday will go down in history for him and his biological family. A few days ago they met for the first time.
Let me go back to how it all began. Some friends of mine were adopting a boy and needed someone to bring him to Sweden. At the time our family was living in Sweden and my parents were working in Peru as missionaries. My friends thought it would be nice for me to go see my parents and then bring their little boy home. That little boy played a big part in what has happened with CW. Had I not gone to Peru, nothing of what I will talk about would have happened. Come to think of it, this little boy was named the same as CW.
THE PRISON MINISTRY
During my stay in Peru I accompanied one of the ladies of the church to her prison ministry. The women were living in prison together with their children. My mother got very much engaged in this ministry after I told her the details. She started visiting them weekly bringing them not only spiritual support but also giving them support by providing yarn and knitting needles so they could make sweaters that Mom would sell or donate to needy families. That way the prison ladies had some income.
MY FRIEND E-L WANTED A CHILD TO ADOPT
One of the ladies and I made friends. Two and a half years later my husband and I were back in Peru as missionaries and this lady was out of prison. My friend E-L asked me if I could help her find a child to adopt, since she and her husband could not have children. To help someone adopt a child took a lot of work; lots of time running from one office to another. It was complicated and I didn’t know if I should take time out of my missions work. “If God sends me a baby for you, I will do it,” I said to her.
My friend from prison was now released. One day she came to ask a favor. She had a girl working as a maid at her house that was expecting a baby. This girl already had a boy. She had been abandoned by the child’s father and had no means of supporting another child. Nobody would hire a maid with a toddler and a baby. Could I find someone who would adopt the baby-on-the-way? The Lord sure brought me a baby!
WILD RUMORS ABOUT ADOPTIONS
The expectant mother —“L”– was very concerned. Rumors were flying around that foreigners adopted babies to make soap of them, or that they would use them as slaves. L loved her unborn child and wanted nothing more than to keep him and raise him, but her circumstances were dire. My lady friend from prison tried to convince her that if she let me find a family to adopt her child, I would see to it that nothing of the sort happened. I talked with L many times and told her about my friend E-L, how she loved children, and how she would love and care for this child.
At the time my husband was the pastor of the church and I was the interim director of the Bible school. We had plenty of work on our hands. Our girls studied in a Swedish school for missionary children in Bolivia, but at the time they were home on vacation. My friend E-L and her husband prepared to come after the child’s birth. A few days before the due-date L moved in to stay with us at the Bible school. Some of the students were not happy about the adoption. They were also influenced from these flying rumors.
When CW announced his arrival, my husband took L to a clinic where she could give birth. Then we took care of her and CW. To make it easier on L, so she would not bond with the baby, we had him stay with us. Our daughter Carina, nine years old at the time, was more than happy to help care of CW. She loved babies!
A LONG PAPERWORK PROCESS
CW’s adoptive parents arrived and we started the paperwork process. We had to get the signatures of both biological parents to get the adoption approved. It was hard to get L to sign; she was so worried that her boy might suffer. To get the father’s signature was another difficult story. I don’t remember all the different steps we had to go through and all the bribes we had to give, but it was complicated. At one point the adoptive father just wanted to give up. Week after week came and went; sometimes things were just stalled. No wonder he was discouraged! E-L was just hoping he wouldn’t give up, because several times he said, “Let’s just go back to Sweden!”
Hard as it was, all the paperwork went through. Then they had to get a passport for little CW. And he had to have permission to travel. All children had to have special permission papers. We had to get those for our girls every time, both in Peru and in Bolivia. It was a means of making sure children were not kidnapped by one of the parents, I guess.
WE HAD SOME FUN
One of the interesting experiences was the census. That was the Sunday when nobody was allowed to go out. That’s the way they do a census; everyone stays home until counted. Then you get a stamp on your hand and you can go out. We took it as a welcome break from all the activities.
One Saturday afternoon our girls organized a dress-up party with the students at the Bible school. CW’s parents took the opportunity to dress up as my Mom and Dad, as they were in Sweden and we had access to their closet!
The arrow points to CW’s Dad as my Mom
and at his Mom as my Dad
NO ONE STOLE CW
E-L had bought a lot of souvenirs to take to Sweden. Because of the passport and the permission to travel for CW they had to spend several days in Lima. Their final adventure was what most visitors somehow or another experienced. Someone broke in to the room where they were staying and took all their souvenirs! Close by there was an Indian market so E-L could get a few new ones. Not a fun experience; but she had her CW. That was the important thing. No one stole him from her!
I HAVE FOLLOWED CW’S PROGRESS
Over the years we followed CW’s progress. When visiting Sweden we would see him. E-L would send me pictures. She would ask for prayer support. When CW had problems making friends; when she was worried about his spiritual well-being; when she wondered how she was going to tell him the story about his mother in Peru… She was hoping I could do it.
We moved to Bolivia as a family; then on to the United States. We lost contact with L, but she would come around from time to time asking the ladies at the children’s ministry if they had any word about CW. Year after year she did not give up. She wanted to know how her boy was doing.
Twelve years ago my friend E-L passed away. By then CW was a young man.
RECONNECTING WITH CW’S BIRTH-MOTHER
Two years ago I made a short trip to Peru. I wanted to meet people in the ministry I had worked with years ago so I made an announcement on Facebook and invited everyone who wanted to come to a reunion. L saw the notice on FB about my stay in Peru and contacted me. After 32 years we met! She and her son came to visit. We talked about CW and the possibility that they could meet him. We found CW on FB and wrote him a note. I also wrote E-L’s siblings about meeting CW’s mother.
Now CW and his wife are on a short visit to Peru and mother and son have met. What a miracle! I knew my trip to Peru two years ago was ordained by God. Other miraculous things also happened at that time.
THE BLESSED HELP OF A FRIEND
There is another equation to the matter. We needed a contact person in Peru to help CW. I was pondering the matter and then it hit me. Maybe my friend M would do me the favor. She works with my sister on her Inca Tours and she speaks English. How do we know M? In 1964, when my parents arrived in Huancayo to start mission work there, they rented a house from M’s parents. In fact, we were neighbors and my younger siblings and M and her siblings went to the same school. Life took us in different directions but somehow our paths have crossed again. Now M is part of this miracle!
CW and his wife are staying at M’s house. This past week they had a reunion. CW met his birth mother and his brother. M helped them with interpretation so they could speak and tell each other their stories. I wish I could have been there.
HAPPY TO HAVE PLAYED A PART IN THIS STORY
- I was the one to receive CW when he came home from the clinic 34 years ago.
- I was the one who arranged for CW to have another mother.
- I played a big part in CW meeting his birth-mother. How else would he have met her?
Isn’t it wonderful how God uses us to help each other?
This is my story of a miracle of adoption. Thanks for allowing me to tell it to you.