HE made us.

As we prepare for the funeral services of Dennis' birth father, my mind is turning back to the years of searching for his birth family.  Mom Eastman gave us a large envelope filled with everything they had regarding his adoption, with their full support and blessing to find the birth parents.  Dennis grew up knowing he was adopted, and "chosen", and Mom and Dad told Dennis and Denise that they would do anything in their power to help them find their birth parents should they choose to do so.  And when the time came, they were faithful to that promise.

Some of the items are what you would expect - correspondence with lawyers, a birth certificate, papers from the state etc.  And then, there are two unique items.  First, a small, pink receipt from the county of Sacramento which records the price of the adoption:  $500.00.  It makes us laugh every time we see it.  It looks like a receipt you would get for buying a pair of shoes!  (It also makes us wish adoption could still be this affordable for families longing to bring children into their homes.)  

The other unique item is from the foster mother who cared for Dennis until he became an official Eastman.  It is a form from the state asking for details about the baby so the adoptive parents will be better prepared to care for the baby when they take him home.  We had a great time reading through it when we first received it almost 17 years ago, but as I look through it now, I am moved rather than amused.  I am moved by the love and attention given to my husband when he was a tiny baby - by a stranger.  A woman who willingly gave of herself to care for babies who had no one to love them.  She rescued them from an orphanage so they could have attention ... and hugs and kisses ... siblings and a family ... until the Lord saw fit to give them families of their own.  The way she expresses herself shows that she saw Dennis as a baby who needed the same love her own children needed.  And she was willing to give it - as long as it was needed.

I have never met this woman.  I do not even know her name.  But I adore her.  She prepared my husband for the Eastmans, and cared for him with affection until it was time for them to take him home.  And the heart that beats in the body of this mother is - forever grateful.

The part that has always intrigued me is the way she describes Dennis' personality and habits as a baby, because ... he is exactly the same now!  I remember laughing out loud when we first read this report, but now, I see it through the eyes of Scripture, and I am amazed.  For those of you who know my groom, you will see what I mean!

It contains the usual:  weight, length, sleeping and eating schedule, things he likes to play with and so forth.  It also reveals that she named him - Spencer!  His second name since birth.  But the rest - these are exact quotes written in the foster mother's own hand:

"Likes a lot of attention in early evening hours until bedtime."
"Do not overdress him when going out as he perspires easily."
"Lately he will put as many fingers into his mouth as possible and coo for quite a while.  If you talk softly to him and play with him a lot, you will be well rewarded because he talks a blue streak and you will be surprised at the sounds he will make.  If there's one thing that stands out in my mind to tell you it is to talk to him a lot as he is so advanced in this capacity."
"He has extremely dry skin but other than that everything has been fine.  He is one beautiful boy, and he is all boy.  His latest feat of daring is jumping on your lap, lift him up high and he loves it.  He does sit in an infant seat but not for too long at a time.  He likes to be where the action is ..."
"Turned over at one month.  No kidding, he tucked his arm under and over he went, then it was a habit thereafter."

To the Adoptive Parents:

It is a lovely afternoon, and I recently received a call that Spencer will be leaving us this week.  My only thoughts right now are that you are very fortunate to be getting Spencer as an added member of your family.  He has been most precious to us, and an extremely bright child.  He has enjoyed our children's attentions to him and is used to a little commotion once in a while.  He loves to go outside in the shade and eat.  He talks up a storm, belly laughs if you really work at it, and loves to cuddle. We've spent many an hour in a rocking chair just playing.  There are no words to express how much I will miss him, and how much we have loved him.  My only wish for all of you is that you have much happiness and no sorrows, and his life is blessed with all good things.

God Bless him, 

His Foster Parents

The Lord used this woman to care for a tiny baby boy who was lovingly surrendered by his birth mother and father, and then given to another who would love them as their own - all the days of his life.

This record of Dennis' early life is precious because it shows that though culture does shape us, it is God who gives us our personalities, strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and talents (apart from sin) - from the very beginning.  We are who we are - because He made us.

For You formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works; 
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Psalm 139

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