“He’s Yours Today,” Ensign, Dec. 1993, 48–49
The year had been a good one for our little family. Now, as the year was drawing quickly to a close, we were busy preparing for the approaching Christmas season.
One evening a few days before Christmas, I had gone shopping and was just unlocking our front door when I heard the phone ringing. I was tempted to just let it ring, but instead I rushed in to answer it. To my surprise, I learned that a long-awaited blessing was about to come into our lives—a baby born that morning was available for adoption. The newborn boy had had a stressful gestation period and was currently substance-addicted.
“He’s strong, and he’s a fighter. I think with a lot of care and love he will make it just fine,” the man arranging the adoption told me over the phone. “We’ll need to keep him at the hospital for a while, but now that he has a home to go to, we’ll get him there as quickly as we can. We’ll get him ready, and you get ready for him.”
Although we were thrilled, my husband and I decided not to tell anyone about the baby because of the uncertainty of his health. But we began to prepare for his arrival. Because we had adopted before, we knew the procedure and prepared to be certified as adoptive parents.
The next few days flew by as we prepared for the holidays and a new baby. We mentioned to the children that we might get a special present for Christmas. Some guessed it was a new car, others hoped for a dog. No one guessed it would be a baby brother.
Along with the other preparations, we also spent time preparing for a missionary gathering. My husband was a counselor to the full-time mission president in the area, and the elders in the mission office were planning an evening of Christmas caroling, topped off with a short program and refreshments at our home.
On Christmas Eve morning, all was ready for our family’s Christmas, the visit from the missionaries, and our new son’s arrival. Sure enough, the phone rang about noon. “Merry Christmas!” our doctor friend exclaimed. “He’s yours today!”
Quickly we gathered together the little bundle of new baby clothes, called a family friend to stay with the children, then left for the hospital, telling the children we were going after the special gift. When we arrived, the nursery staff took us in to see our new son.
He was thin, and he had big, bright blue eyes and dark hair. The nurses shed a few tears as they taught me how to take care of their “Christmas boy.” Sensing their attachment to the tiny baby they had cared for, I gave them the bundle of clothing and said I’d wait outside while they dressed him and told him good-bye. In a few minutes, they came out with the baby, who was wrapped in an oversized red Christmas stocking. Though it would take many months to complete his adoption, from that very moment, we knew that baby was ours.
For the next hour my husband and I just drove around, marveling at the magic of the season and the joy of adding this child to our family. Late in the afternoon we arrived home, bearing our magical Christmas gift—a baby. The children were elated. Suddenly it seemed like Christmas, really Christmas—a time for celebrating a baby and the magic of his birth.
Quickly the time passed. Almost before we realized it, we could hear the missionaries approaching, their rich young voices ringing out their joy as they sang their Christmas message throughout the neighborhood. I had placed our new baby boy in a basket in the center of a table in the living room of our home. As the happy elders filed into the room, their voices became subdued as they realized the presence of this “little stranger.”
Within a few moments there was total silence in the room as they all looked upon the sleeping newborn child. Then softly, and together, they began to sing, “Silent night! Holy night!” After they finished they all stood in silence. With tears streaming down his face, one missionary said, “The magic of this moment is too beautiful for words.”
A warmth filled the room as that young missionary bore witness of the reality of the birth of the Christ child. In that moment, the Spirit used our little stranger’s birth and unexpected presence to fill every heart with a witness of the vital truth of the Savior’s birth on the first Christmas.