The Boy Who Was Meant To Be Our Son



The time had come for my husband and me to make a momentous decision that would change our lives forever. Both of us had grown up in big families; Mike had five siblings, and I had six. We both knew the joys and happiness of being part of a large family, and we wanted to have the same kind of family - with four children, at least.

We had moved into our four-bedroom home about eight years before, but the rooms were empty and the silence was deafening. We wanted to hear the sound of children padding down the hallway in their slippers. We wanted to say goodnight prayers with them before they went to sleep. We wanted to be good parents and encourage and comfort our children as needed. This was our wish, but no matter how hard we tried, our wish would not come true.

Actually, I had been pregnant once, right before we moved into our house.  But then I had a miscarriage, and the hopes and dreams of a family were soon replaced with feelings of grief and despair. What if I could never give birth to a child? What would we do then? We had tried so many times to get pregnant and when we finally did, I miscarried. Our hopes and dreams of a big family soon grew dim.

Three more years passed by and still no baby. We went to fertility specialists and had all sorts of tests and procedures done. Nothing happened. No matter what we tried, I did not become pregnant.

It was around this time that I decided I needed a change of pace. The plan was for me to go to nursing school, and when I graduated I could work in the operating room. I had two sisters who worked in the operating room and it sounded like the perfect job for me.

I started nursing school. I had a very hectic schedule, working full-time during the day and going to school in the evenings. My weekends were filled with studying and working at the hospital as a nursing student. But no matter how hard I worked, whether it be at my job or in school, I knew there was a hole in our lives. I also knew that the only thing that would fill this hole would be a baby.

This is when Mike and I made the decision to go through Catholic Charities and begin the process of adoption. We wanted a newborn, and Mike wanted a son.  So after getting through all the paperwork and red tape, it was finally just a matter of waiting for the baby. We were informed that it would be about three years for the adoption to occur. This meant that I would have plenty of time to graduate from nursing school and find a nursing position before our baby arrived. We would name him Joseph Michael - Joseph after my husband's father, and Michael after my husband.

Another year passed, and then it happened. I was home studying for a big exam that we were having that evening. As I was sitting in the kitchen, surrounded by all my books and notebooks, I received a phone call from my husband, Mike.

"What are you doing?" he asked nonchalantly.

"I'm studying for the test - what do you think I 'm doing?"  Because of the difficulty of the upcoming exam, I was under a lot of pressure, and therefore a little grumpy.

"Are you sitting down?"

"That is the standard position used to study for a test; of course I'm sitting down!"  I kept thinking that we were wasting valuable time on the phone when I could be studying for the exam.

"Good, because I've got something important to tell you."

"Okay, what is it?" I answered, hoping the conversation was almost over.  I wished he would just hurry up and get it over with so I could get back to studying.

"She called!"

I could hardly believe it.  When Mike said "She called,"  I knew exactly who he was referring to.  I don't know how I knew, but I did. He was talking about the social worker from the adoption agency.

"Really? Oh my gosh, really? This isn't one of your pranks, is it? Did she really call?" He had finally gotten my attention and a shiver of excitement ran through me.

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