October blessings

By: 

Kay Reminger, Leader Columnist

Through the years personal blessings have overflowed during the colorful month of October and as such, this month has always held a special place in my heart.

I married my high school sweetheart and best friend on Oct. 27, 1979. This year, we are celebrating 38 years together. When we first got married, his folks and we shared the expense of building a small home on the property that we moved into shortly after our wedding, about a mile away from the farm. The intent was that when the timing was right, we’d swap places. Oct. 1, 1988, we did just that. Neither my mother-in-law nor I really liked our new houses at first, but in time, we both grew to love them as we day-by-day transformed them into “home.”

That very month of that very year we moved, another momentous event occurred on Oct. 27, our ninth wedding anniversary. Deep in the throes of the adoption process by then, we received a phone call from our social worker that our file was chosen by a young woman who would eventually become the birth mother of our eldest son. The next few days and then weeks were a whirlwind of emotional chaos as the birth mother had conflicting emotions of her own, swirling in her heart. Changing her mind was a viable option. Thankfully, she first of all, chose life and then secondly, finally chose us. We were kept in a state of uncertainty for weeks.

The time in between knowing we could potentially become parents and the reality of actually snuggling our baby was tumultuous. We had received a second phone call from our social worker a few days later. You know, when you receive news, either good or bad, years from then you recall just where you were and what you were doing? I was in the milkhouse, just after washing up milkers. The milk pump was quiet. The phone rang, shrill in the silence.

“Kay … Heidi changed her mind.” She registered my sharp intake of breath. “But hang on, just hang on, this is extremely normal. She will more than likely change it back.”

She had kept on talking, trying to get me to settle down, but my mind went numb, and my legs dissolved from under me. I found myself plunked on the floor of the milkhouse; my back had slid down against the wall, tears silently spilling from an unlimited pool, the phone pressed against my ear in defiance of the news I was hearing. No! No. No!

Our social worker was in the exact position she needed to be; she was kind, firm, patient and full of compassion. She told us what we needed to do, how we needed to do it and even how we should feel. In less than one month, we brought our son home for good.

When Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” opened the farmhouse door to the splendor of Oz, she was in awe of how colorful her world became. She was perfectly content to live in that black and white farmhouse, but when she opened the door, life took on a whole new dimension. Unexpectedly and joyously, our black-and-white world filled with brilliant color when we became parents.

Even though the outcome of our adoption process brought us our cherished baby boy, I vowed we would never again attempt adoption. It was so painful, so overwrought with emotion, the process so intense my heart could not possibly undertake another journey such as that.

Time has a way of making one change one’s mind, and two years later we tried again and were blessed with another little bundle of joy, our second son. God broke the mold when he created this one. His birth mother chose us face-to-face and we came to love her spunk, joy-filled spirit and zest for life, not to mention the fact that she blessed us with an amazing, sacrificial gift of life, complete with a personality to match hers. This baby boy came to us in the dead of winter, warmed our hearts and colored our world with his unique and special qualities.

Content with our family of four, another day in October came along and with it, brought one more baby into our family. We were living life, the boys were 7 and 5 and then out of the blue, God figured we needed an answer to a prayer we didn’t even know we were praying. On Oct. 14, 1995, I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl; our only daughter. We were a family of five. Amazingly, we were a family of five! I have drawn a heart in my Bible around the verse in Psalms, “He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.” Indeed!

During the sunny days of autumn, God blesses the earth with one last spectacular show before the hush of winter. This year the third week of October held our area in a canopy of color; along hills, through woods and reflecting off lakes and streams. I wanted to make time stand still. I’d pause and stare and soak it in, immersing myself in it, appreciating the brief, exquisite splendor.

From marrying my best friend, to moving into our farmhouse, to our Lord for arranging our family in such an incredible way, to enjoying our creative God’s beauty all around, I thank You, Father, for October blessings!

(“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” Revelations 4:11)