Reader voices: Adoption journey started with a home teaching visit

By By John L. Wandrei

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, May 5 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

An adoption journey 40 years ago that started with a home teaching visit.

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My patriarchal blessing and that of my wife indicate we’ll have children and talks about the importance of teaching them by example and instilling in them a love of the gospel.

But my wife was unable to have children.

On one of my home teaching visits, the sister asked if would be interested in adoption, as she knew of my wife’s situation. I said yes.

She told me her husband’s sister was going to have a child that she couldn’t keep and would we be interested in adopting the child.

The child was in Massachusetts and we were in Vermont, so we hired a lawyer to handle the legal end of it.

Both my wife and I, along the couple who asked if we would adopt, went to the hospital in Fitchburg, Mass., when the baby was born. The husband of the sister I home teach, who wasn’t Mormon, brought the baby out and placed him in my arms.

During a period of time, we had people from the state to check up on us. When it was time to make it official, we were to appear before a judge. The lawyer didn’t think the adoption would be finalized because of the differences of religion between the biological mother and us.

The judge spent most of the time asking about my mother as my mother had once worked for the judge. The lawyer was flabbergasted.

The adoption was finalized.

About a year later, state workers asked if we would adopt another child, a girl this time and a year younger than our son. We said yes.

This happened more than 40 years ago, and we maintain close contact with this couple, and our son has met his biological family by visiting the couple who helped us adopt.

John L. Wandrei lives in North Bennington, Vt.

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