When We First Met

by Rachel Williams


I remember very clearly the day my heart became a mom to my son Randy.  It will forever be burned into my memory.


About five years ago my husband came to me and told me he felt like he was supposed to start teaching the youth group at our church.  I was adamantly opposed because with our 2 children and 1 foster child, we had three kids three and under, and he already worked evenings. Adding 4 + more evenings to our month where he was not home to help, felt like he was asking for the moon.


With a firm, “now isn’t the right time,” and a frustrated attitude about it all, Joey lovingly said, “this is something I know I need to do.”  And put his foot down.  If you don’t know my husband, you wouldn’t know that this is extremely out of character for him.  He rarely has strong opinions and he is always easy going.  He is he very opposite of me in every way!   Recognizing how much this must mean to him, I gave up the battle, and prayed for a better attitude.


Not even a month later, he came home and said, “I need to tell you about this boy in my small group.  I need us to pray about adopting him.”  He poured out our son Randy’s story to me: no longer living with his biological family, because of the unhealth of the environment, he bounced around between friends houses sleeping where he could, all while enrolling in the military and trying to finish high school.  He came to church every single weekend with his girlfriend’s family and he was always bringing new friends to youth group.  As soon as he graduated high school, he would be completely on his own. Without a driver’s license, a car, health insurance or any help getting into college, he was going to be sent into the world completely unequipped for it.  With an aching heart, he asked me, “will you please consider praying about adopting him?”


I recall not having an ounce of hesitation, my answer was an instant, “yes.”  Excitedly he asked, “you will consider praying about this!?” and my response was, “no, I am saying ‘yes we should adopt him.’”


My heart was 100% in.  No questions asked, I remember a transformation happening in my heart that day.  It can only be described as a burning into my heart with the desire and almost a need for him to become my son. I distinctly recall missing him, wishing with all my heart I could grab him into my arms and embrace him as my son.


I had not even met this boy.  I had never laid eyes on him, I had no idea what he even looked like. What I knew was that my husband wanted to be his dad, and my heart had already become his mom.


Within a week or two I was able to actually meet Randy.  He, of course, had no clue that we were praying about bringing him into our family, and we had no idea if he would even want that.  But the day I met him will forever be committed to my memory.  We had an unexpected weekend without kids, so with zero distractions, a boy appeared before me after church while I heard the words, “Rachel, this is Randy.”  He might as well have said, “Rachel, this is your son.” because everything I had already experienced in my heart, expanded times a thousand.  He had the same average build and stature as my husband, he had the same slender shoulders, he had the same color hair, and he even had a similar shaped face.  I felt like I was looking at the version of my husband from 17 year earlier, only with glasses.


He looked my like my husband’s son.  Somehow, someway, they stood there representing the perfect picture of father and son.  The way that Randy looked up to Joey, was written plain as day on his face.  He respected him, admired him, looked up to him, and he longed for a deeper connection with him.  I would find out a few years later, that Randy loved him so much, he actually considered asking if we would adopt him, all the while we were already praying about it.


It would be three more months before we would ask him to become our son.  Since this was such an atypical adoption, we felt it was wise to take extra time to pray about it.  During that time, the longing for him to join us, only grew more within our hearts.  The desire to scoop him up and love him as his parents became so intense that the 3 days we waited for his answer answer after we finally asked him, felt like agony. We could not even focus while we waited, so we simply prayed fervently he would say yes, if it were God’s will, that he would choose us.  


And he did!!


I have continued to marvel at the love that God poured into my heart for my son that day.  The 18 years I missed as his mom seemed to be instantly and abundantly impressed upon me.  It was almost physically painful to love him, because I loved him so deeply.  I am so thankful for that miracle, because truly, that is what it was, a miracle all wrapped up in a mother’s love.