To the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am going to share the biggest and most important testimony of my walk with my Saviour.
Just over 42 years ago, whilst busy at home, the Lord spoke to me. He said that I must phone child welfare and ask them for a little girl in the age group of around two years old. I had never heard of the place before and did not even have their number.
At that time, my then-husband George and I were trusting the Lord for another baby; our first one was born at seven months, after my appendix burst and I was filled with poison and nearly died. Whilst still carrying our baby daughter, I was in and out of hospital with fevers and dreadful pain. My body was weak, filled with toxins, and Hazel, as we called her, came into the world at seven months. She was not breathing when born and, due to only weighing two and a half pounds, could not help herself when I was giving birth. The doctor managed to help her, and we were both rushed by ambulance to a maternity home in another suburb. Hazel was given oxygen, but when we arrived at the allotted maternity home, they had no incubator for her. I was in dreadful pain due to the wounds from the operation for the burst appendix and from giving birth naturally.
They brought Hazel to see me, but she had no oxygen and was put in a bedpan. I was not allowed to touch her. They phoned my sister to take her to the children’s hospital in her car! My dear sister was in turmoil as she had to get through heavy traffic with a newborn baby weighing two and a half pounds and stopping and starting breathing in a bedpan on the back seat. When she got to the hospital, a doctor saw her and wanted to know where the baby came from. At that same moment Hazel stopped breathing all together, and the staff quickly rallied around and finally got her into an incubator. The doctor wanted to sue the hospital—for all that took place was unethical plus the fact the matron was drunk at the time of our arrival at the maternity home.
Hazel was in the incubator for ten days, growing and flourishing. George went to see her every day, but, unfortunately, I was still too ill, so I only managed to see her beautifully formed body and face one time. During those ten days she was drinking the mother’s milk, and one day while they were feeding her, she started choking. No one was watching her, and this beautiful, innocent baby died. We were phoned, and then just for one more time I beheld precious Hazel, lying peacefully in a crib where they had laid her. I knew she was with the Lord, and that one day I would see her again.
After a slow recovery, I began praying and trusting the Lord for another child. Nothing happened and I was referred to one of the best gynecologists, who did many tests and x-rays. He said he had no option but to operate, as my fallopian tubes were blocked together with the poison from the burst appendix. My ovaries were pushed in a completely different directions and he had to clean out the womb—before this took place, I had been with another doctor who never picked up all the inner damage and caused me to have major problems yet again by spreading the inner poison. The new gynecologist gave me a 50 percent chance of ever falling pregnant. Another operation was performed, one that saved my life because if I had gone home I would have died due to an abscess about to burst. Afterwards, I was put on fertility pills due to a problem of now being unable to ovulate.
During this time, the Lord showed me I was going to have twins. Just before I had the major surgery, the Lord told me to phone child welfare, which I did. They were most surprised at my request for a little girl around two years old, and went on to inform me that there was not one available for foster care, but would I not consider a baby? I replied that I was only doing what the Lord had told me, and would they please contact me when a little one was available for foster care.
The very next day I received a call from Mrs. Oliver, the social worker, who informed me that a little girl of eighteen months was in a home. She came from an African background and had an aunt who was in touch with her on a regular basis. It was not a problem, and George was half African. It was arranged that we would go and see this little girl on the weekend, which we did. She was not too well, and later came down with measles, but on seeing her in her cot—she was sitting very still, and was looking at me sideways—the Lord said, “This is your little girl, June.” I spoke to her, gave her toys to play with, and moved off to chat with Mrs. Oliver. George and I told her we would take Belinda into foster care. Mrs. Oliver said we must take time to think about it. The next day she phoned and we chatted, but the Lord had already said this was our little girl. We went every week to see Belinda, got to know a bit about her and her ways, and when she was two years and two months old, we brought her home. It was a huge and a brand-new experience for my husband and I, and for Belinda, as there were so many things unknown to us.
Not long after this I fell pregnant. But at three months I started bleeding and having dreadful pain in my right side. After fainting in the bathroom, I was taken to the doctor who put me in hospital. I refused help and waited for my amazing gynecologist who was due back in a day. He examined me and said I was pregnant with twins, but one had died in the womb and the other, still alive baby, was in the right fallopian tube. The tube was about to burst. I was operated on, and the two babies removed. I was devastated, my husband and I both cried, and my wonderful gynecologist shut himself away for the morning and mourned our loss. He removed the one ovary, and my chances of falling pregnant were reduced even further.
My sister had looked after little Belinda during this traumatic time, but once again we were all reunited. Life was blossoming after a while, what with recovering once again from a life and death situation, and bit by bit we adjusted to having a little girl around. The love I personally felt for her was so overwhelming, it simply took over my heart and emotions.
Was it all smooth sailing? Not at all. I had to get to know this little girl, and she had to become fully comfortable with us. We had to take her to see her parents, Marie and Bill, once a month, and this was not an easy situation for anyone concerned. Marie was not able to look after her little girl, neither was Bill, thus the court gave her to us as a foster child. For emotional and very private details and reasons I am not sharing now, these visits went on for some time, a few years in fact. But the most wonderful part was that Marie and I got on so well. I understood her and we accepted one another from the beginning. When she was put in a rehabilitation centre, the Lord said I was to go and visit her, and to take Belinda—something I did not need to do. The welfare worker and I went once together with Belinda, to see her. We had a lovely visit, and Marie’s surprise at seeing Belinda was so special. I had the privilege of leading Marie to the Lord. Just to show the bond between Belinda and me, Marie came and told me on our way out how the other women were saying how like me Belinda looked! I thought they meant her, but “No,” she said, “They mean you, her mother!”
One day Marie phoned Mrs. Oliver and told her she has seen how much Belinda loved me, so she wanted to go to court and sign Belinda over to us. Mrs. Oliver took her, and Belinda became our child by law.
A few years before this, the Lord had asked me when I was praying by Belinda’s bed one night (she was fast asleep) if I loved Him more than her? (Of course He knew already.) I sat very still, with so many thoughts and feelings flowing like crazy through my head. I then told Him,
Lord, you know how much I love this little girl. If she had to go, then you would have to touch my heart, George’s heart, and most of all Belinda’s heart, for it would be devastating for us all—especially her as she would not understand why we have gone. I know you will heal us, but if it is Your will—if You see something down the road that we cannot see—then I will accept whatever you choose to do, as we only want the best for her. Lord, I love you more than anything, for no one else has and ever will die for me—pay such a price for my salvation…. So yes, Lord, I love you with all my heart, and let Your will be done.
He then said that no one shall remove her from us, and that I must circle this date on the calendar. As He tested Abraham with Isaac, so He put me through a test to see if I was willing to give Belinda up.
Then, Marie, out of her own, made the decision to give Belinda to us. We had at one time spoken on the phone, and, at that particular time, Marie had said she would not hand Belinda over. I replied that I was truly fine with that, as we never ever asked for this to happen, we just wanted to do our best. There was a time when Marie was holding down a job and Mrs. Oliver said Belinda may have to go back and stay with Marie and Bill, but she would do all she could to help—due to the environment in which she was going back to was not correct. All I said was she must not worry, as the Lord had it all under control and His will shall be done.
After Marie came out of the rehab centre, she went back to Bill who had also been in one for men, and she fell pregnant. One day whilst shopping at Woolworths, the Lord told me to go and buy baby clothes for a little boy, as Marie was going to have a son and He, the Lord, was giving him to George and me. I did this in sheer faith and obedience, and put the new boy’s clothes in my kist, which was still full of clothes for baby Hazel.
During Marie’s pregnancy, the Lord told me to go and give Marie all the clothes that I had bought in faith plus the ones in white I had collected for Hazel. I cried and cried, as I was holding onto these as a reminder of Hazel. I took Belinda with me, who had not seen Marie and Bill for some time, due to her being on our name and the visiting times were over. When we arrived, Marie went into shock, thinking the welfare had sent me to check up on her. She was having problems still, and this unfortunately showed on greeting us. I reassured her I was there to give her clothes and would not say anything. While driving afterwards, I cried and cried to a friend all the way, as so many things made no sense, but I continued to walk in faith. Marie gave birth to a baby boy, and I was invited to visit which we did. At three months Gavin was placed in a home, but returned back to Bill and Marie so as to give them another chance. Marie went to court and was told by the judge this was the last time. Unfortunately, she could not manage, and Gavin was removed back to the home. Mrs. Oliver found me at the doctor’s rooms as I was not well. She had Gavin for a night, and they felt they would give us first option to take him in foster care, seeing as we had Belinda. I remembered the Lord’s words.
Gavin went for monthly visits, and one day the Lord said I must take Belinda with me. Not fully understanding, I did what He said. On picking them both up, they were all sitting on the pavement waiting. The following week Marie again phoned the welfare and asked Mrs. Oliver to take her to court, as she had seen how Belinda and Gavin loved each other and loved me. She just could not separate them. This all came to pass.
I had to explain many things to these young children at the time. They were told they were not my children by a young relative when Belinda was visiting Marie, and by a certain teacher to Gavin. The Lord was highly gracious and showed exactly what I was to say. Has it been an easy road all round? Even Marie asked me this when Gavin and I visited her one time. I told her it hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t have changed it.
There have been huge uphill battles: massive issues, untold tears, pain, struggles. Things have been amazing—wonderful and full of His grace and mercy—but also so much misunderstanding, for only as they have grown and matured have I realized the power of genes. Many, many a night I have been left with feelings I just cannot express or give voice to. I love both my children with all my heart; they have been and still are a gift from the Lord. Do I grasp everything about adoption? Do I understand the feeling of abandonment, anger, frustration, habits, mistakes made by biological parents that cause intense problems for their children? Do I wish certain things had been handled differently? Do I know their inner feelings, their pain, their longings? No. There is so much I am still learning, digesting and trying to work through myself.
What I do know is complete TRUTH—and that is, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, is in control of His children’s lives. Both Belinda and Gavin are born-again and love the Lord. They are my children, our children, whether we have the same blood flowing within or not. I gave my life for them. Even though I made mistakes, I would never change what we’ve had. The road is still ahead; as I read and grasp more and more of what their situation has been due to the problems both Marie and Bill had, so I now see as never before.
I share this testimony as one that brings glory and honour to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords—Jesus. Is there more, yes, but for now let this be what is needed to make some understand that no matter what, you can overcome and continue your walk, even if you do not fully understand at given times.
I love you, Belinda. Yes, we have our misunderstandings…our disputes…our different ways of looking at things. But that is how it will be, for we are all different. Your place as my only daughter can never be filled by any other soul. I thank you for everything: your love, your caring, your gift of three amazing, beautiful and talented grandchildren. Most of all, I thank the Lord for you. His ways are not incorrect; His ways are perfect, and He will lead and guide us both in the directions we are to take in the future. I carry you always in my heart…days of yesteryear…times now, and already into the future. For the future is not far off, but is really now, deep within our spirit…just waiting to be revealed.
I love you, Gavin. So many times we have clashed. We struggle, we mourn, and we put broken pieces back together again. You have struggled, suffered, been fragmented into tiny pieces, but always you arise with inner determination and a strength that I respect. So many times your deep inner pain goes beyond what it should, but you have matured, grown and have stood by me through thick and thin. I am understanding far better now, and can only leave you both in the hands of our precious Heavenly Father. I thank you for loving me when I am unlovable, especially to myself. I thank you for your strength in going on regardless of circumstances. I thank you for just being you. No matter the future we will all survive, for you have also made Him your fortress and your rock. Stay close to Him, so that His ever graceful love can soothe and heal what is needed to be made whole.
Most of all I thank you Lord Jesus for your wonderful, never-ending love for me, a sinner. I have been spared so many times; I have been forgiven over and over, and you never toss me aside, for Your plans are perfect. Thank you for leading and guiding me on this journey. I love you. I always will.
June Potter: I am an elderly woman who believes in the grace, mercy and love of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. Writing is a form in which I am able to express all that resides deep within, thus having the advantage to fly like the eagle above all that holds us captive here on earth.