Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Tender Feelings Of An Adoptive Father / Lloyd

Tonight, while researching questions I have about adoption and becoming the seed of Abraham, I came across this short and personal article by Elder Theodore M. Burton. He and I worked together on several issues while I was stationed with the Army in Germany and he was the general authority for Europe with headquarters in Frankfurt. Two issues were: 1) official coercion of military medical personnel to perform abortions in military hospitals, and 2) intimidation of single female members of the military to thereby terminate their pregnancies. Little did I know of his own deep feelings about the issue as may be inferred from the following article (Theodore M. Burton, "A Special Child," Liahona, Jul 1980):

Once upon a time a husband and wife who loved each other very much wanted to have a child of their very own to hold and to cuddle and to love. As time passed and they had no children, they prayed to their Heavenly to send them a special child. Heavenly Father heard their prayers.

One day this husband and wife received a telephone call to go to a distant city to meet with some people who said they had a tiny baby that this man and his wife could adopt. Excited and filled with anticipation, they made the journey in their car. When they arrived at the city, they went to a certain home and there they were taken into a room where they saw a tiny baby laying in the middle of a big bed waiting for them. There really is such a thing as love at first sight, for when this husband and wife saw that little boy lying there all alone, they immediately loved him. They took him home with them and loved the baby so much that they talked about him as their own beloved son.

Yet in spite of great love for that little baby, they had a fear in their hearts that they might not be able to keep him as their very own child. They first had to see a judge and ask if they could adopt this baby according to law. Because the judge wanted to make sure the little boy would be properly cared for, he first had to find out if the husband and his wife loved each other, if they had a good and happy home, and if they had enough money to feed and clothe the baby.

It took time for the judge to decide all these questions and all the while the love of the husband and his wife for the baby grew and grew. Finally, the judge gave legal consent for the couple to adopt the baby and this was done. Now the baby was their very own special child and their fear was gone that he would be taken away from them. Still, the judge could only give them permission to have the child during their lifetime on this earth. But they loved that baby more than that! They believed in Jesus and knew that Jesus had more power than the judge. Jesus could give them the child forever and ever and not just for this life only.

After the adoption papers had been signed and the baby had been given a name, the couple took their son with them to a temple of God. There they dressed in white clothes and dressed the little boy in white clothes too. Then they all knelt down at an alter in the temple. A man who held a special priesthood sealed that little boy to his new father and mother so that the family could be together forever. Now this boy really was their own special child!

I know that this story is true, because I am that father who loves his very own special child more every day and, as mothers do, my wife loves him even more. Every child who lives in such a family where love is can also feel he or she is a very special child.

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