Story by Verna Stutzman

Oct 12, 2000


The adoption agency social worker looked me directly in the eyes and asked, “How will you cope, if 17 or 18 years from now he causes you a lot of grief by getting into drugs or into trouble with the law?”

Without hesitation, I answered, “Without a problem. Our Heavenly Father will help us.” That was 22 years ago and we were being interviewed for the possibility of adopting a Native American child. Somehow I thought that everything would be fine if we prayed ‘hard enough’.

I was wrong. Throughout Jeremy’s growing up years we had a number of challenges with him, but things went relatively smoothly until we returned to Texas five years ago. During his time with the US Marine Corps, he spent two out of three years in the military brig. A year ago he was discharged for ‘bad conduct’.

This past year he has held down a civilian job. Although he has had several accidents and other problems, we hoped he’d ‘turned the corner’. However, a few days ago he was picked up by the California State police and charged with being an accomplice to a burglary and assault with a deadly weapon among other things. His bail is set at $105,000. There is nothing we can do for him now, except pray.

What kind of emotions does a mother feel at a time like this?

Shame – What will people think of us, if they know we have a ‘jailbird’ for a son?

Anger – How could he be so stupid after everything we’ve taught him?

Guilt – Maybe we should have prayed ‘harder’?

Doubt – Maybe it really was a mistake to adopt him?

Fear – What might happen to him if he gets a long prison sentence?

Hope – Hope? Yes, hope that maybe this will be the situation that finally causes him to turn to the Lord Jesus with his whole heart.

I was also right 22 years ago. Our Heavenly Father has helped us. Life was a lot harder than I expected, but He has always been there and He is here with us now. He is with me when I lay on my bed and weep. He is with me when I go about my tasks with a heavy heart. He is with me when I sing for joy. He will never leave me nor forsake me. My future is secure with Him.