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From Linda and Richard: Our Miracle Family

I have been asked on many occasions to share the miracle of our family and am grateful for the opportunity to once again be reminded of the Lord’s influence in our family. I pray by sharing our story that it may benefit and encourage those who may need to hear our experiences.

Richard and I met at BYU in 1983 and we married in June 1984. Prior to our marriage, I was informed that it would not be likely that we would have biological children because my body was not functioning correctly. It was a devastating blow to me as being a mother was literally the only career I had ever considered. My faithful husband led me to our patriarchal blessings which promised “sons and daughters” and “men and women.” When we read them, Richard’s response was, “That’s all I need to know.” His faith carried me for many years.

It was through miracle and MANY trials that our four biological children came into our family. Their arrivals into our home are nothing short of miraculous and I can never share their experiences without a feeling of reverence that they were simply “meant for our family.” I have developed a deep sense of gratitude that the Lord chose to allow me to bear and deliver some of His children to this world.

After our fourth biological child, we had two sons and two daughters. It was exactly what the Lord had promised for us and we both felt a deep sense of gratitude that the Lord had provided for us the family He had promised. We felt that our family was complete.

However, when our youngest son was about a year old, I had a profound dream. Through this inspiration, I knew we were to have another son. It was only a few days later that I learned that I was indeed expecting another child. Unfortunately, this pregnancy did not go well. Five months into the pregnancy, we discovered our baby had died. It was a time of soul searching for me. I could not understand it! Why would our Heavenly Father inspire us to have a child, give us a pregnancy, and then take away the baby? I simply could not figure it out. I was absolutely devastated.

After our miscarriage, my body finally began functioning as it should. However, try as we might, we could not conceive again. It was during this difficult time that our hearts began to open to the idea of adoption. There were so many ways that our hearts were redirected, that it has become clear the Lord wanted it this way.

We applied with LDS Family Services and were accepted for a “special needs adoption.” In 1996 when our son was born, children of “race” were considered “special needs”. Our son was born in North Carolina where we picked him up when he was two months old. He is bi-racial.

Our second son was also adopted through LDS Family Services in 1998. He was 9 years old and living in Hawaii. Our caseworker had called wanting to know if we knew of a family interested in adopting a 9 year old Polynesian boy. It was as if electricity went through the phone as our Social Worker talked with us and we knew we needed to pursue this adoption. In March 1998, our family went to Hawaii to bring him home!

Our third adoption miracle came a month after bringing our son home from Hawaii. We learned through a dear friend of a woman expecting a set of twins. We knew from spiritual experiences that a little girl was awaiting our family. When the ultrasound revealed that the twins were “girls” we made an appointment with the birth mother. She was a beautiful, courageous woman who asked us a few days later to be the parents of these little girls. They, too, were bi-racial and fit perfectly into our multi-cultural family. The addition of the twins was a time when we felt our family was “complete” yet again.

A few years later, the whisperings of inspiration began again that there was another little boy who wanted to join our family. His adoption was a journey in a new direction for us as we went to a new agency to receive our “Christmas” boy. His birth mother lived in Alabama. She is white and the birth father was of African American heritage. It was difficult for her in the racially charged area she lived in to even think of raising a bi-racial child. She chose to place him and we were the beneficiaries of her self-less Christmas gift.

Our son was only a few months old, when the familiar whisperings of the spirit testified of a little girl wanting to join our family. Her journey was a spiritual one that was unlike anything we had before witnessed. We traveled to Louisiana when our son was only eleven months old to meet our newest little girl. It was a rough yet truly miraculous few days we spent in Louisiana. She is a beautiful African-American daughter. With her addition, once again, we thought that our family was complete.

Much to our blessing and surprise, inspiration began again of another little girl to join our ever expanding family. Her birth mother was closer to home in Utah. She had tried to find the family for her little one through LDS Family Services but after reviewing all the files they could give her, her heart was not at rest. She knew a worker at the agency where we had received our last two children and they began to talk of our inspirations. We were asked to write a letter to her and share our family with her. A few days later, she called and asked us to be the parents of her little girl. It seemed unusual to have a little caucasion child but she was immediately a part of the family! It was, once again, a miraculous experience.

The sweet birth mother of our youngest daughter found herself, a second time, expecting a baby. It was a time of soul-searching for us all, including the birth father who was very involved in her life. It was through prayer and faith that they asked us to adopt their little girl. She was an added blessing to our family and our hearts.

At the time of the adoption of our youngest daughter, we knew that we had another son. It was one of those witnesses you simply cannot deny. It took four years before our youngest son entered our family. What a blessing to get to know his amazing birth mother and family. His birth mother wanted him involved in the Polynesian culture because of his Polynesian birth father. We found common ground on so many things that it was simply amazing to watch the Lord work in our lives. It was only after his placement that we realized that we have mutual distant relatives. What a blessing for his birth family to know that he is still a part of their eternal family. There is finally, an undeniable witness that our family is all together.

Our family was privileged in the summer of 2011 to have all 13 of our children present in the Manti temple when our youngest child was sealed to our family. I had always wanted a photo of our entire family dressed in white in front of that sacred house that sealed us together as a unit for eternity. It was a day that we could only have dreamed of but was made miraculously by our Heavenly Father. Ours has truly been a unique privilege of bringing biological and adopted children together into a family that knows no blood-lines. It has been our sacred privilege to witness the hand of God as He lovingly placed each of our children into our home. We continually express our gratitude to the self-less birth parents of our children who have entrusted their children to us. It is our prayer that we can honor them by the lives we live.