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An Answered Prayer for a Heaven-Sent Child

After countless pleas to God for a baby girl, He delivered miracles to her family for Christmas.

A small red dress with a matching pair of red shoes; Photo credit: Getty Images

I looked over my holiday shopping list. Two weeks until Christmas and I had everyone in the family covered—except for my daughter, Christel. I was a little stuck on her present. The one thing she wanted, I had no power to give.

Christel and her husband, Mike, had been trying to have a baby ever since they got married, 10 years earlier. Now, at age 33, after countless treatments and consultations, she didn’t know if she could take one more failed pregnancy test.

I looked back at my Christmas list and Christel’s name with nothing beside it. God, won’t you just go ahead and give her a baby? And then I heard it, quiet and gentle: Buy Christel a baby dress. She’ll have a girl by Christmas.

A baby by Christmas? Not this Christmas, surely. But even next Christmas would be pushing it. Plus, who gives a baby dress to someone struggling like Christel was?

But the voice was insistent. A dress for a baby girl.

I was convinced the instruction came from above. Despite everything I knew to be true, I had to listen. I went to the mall, where I picked out a dress for a newborn. When I got home, I wrapped it and attached a note: You don’t need this gift today, but next year you will, for your baby girl. Love, Mom.

I was a bundle of nerves on Christmas Day, worrying what Christel would think of my gift. But when she opened the box, she held the dress up for everyone to see. “Looks like we’re going to have a baby girl by next Christmas!” she said. The family gasped. Tears streamed down Christel’s face. Were they tears of joy—or had I made the biggest blunder of my life?

A few weeks after Christmas, I called my daughter.

“Any news?” I blurted out when “Christel picked up the phone.

“Relax,” she said, laughing. “I promise if I get pregnant you’ll be the second person to know after Mike.”

I hung up, disheartened. I’d been so sure the voice I heard had come from God. Had I wanted so much for Cristel to be happy that I’d imagined the whole thing?

January passed, then February and March. Every time I saw Christel, she seemed more and more withdrawn. She always put on a brave face, but I knew her hopes were fading once again. I told her that God performed miracles in his own time. But even I wasn’t so sure anymore. All out of options, I changed my strategy. I went back to begging and pleading with God.

God, it’s too late for a Christmas baby this year, I prayed, but could you let Christel get pregnant by next Christmas?

By summer, I stopped asking God for favors and stopped asking Christel for baby updates. It was too painful for her and too embarrassing for me.

Then one afternoon in October, Christel called to chat. She actually sounded cheerful. Excited even.

“Mom, how do you feel about adoption?” she asked.

“It’s great,” I said with a sigh, “but it’s a long and difficult process…”

“Well, a friend of a friend wants to give her baby to a couple who can’t have children. She’s ready to sign the papers. And…her due date is December.”

I just about dropped the phone. Could this be God’s answer to my prayer? For the first time in nearly a year, I felt hopeful again.

Everything happened so quickly after that. A lawyer was hired, the papers were signed, and on the morning of December 16, the call came. The baby girl we’d all been dreaming of and praying for since last Christmas was finally here.

At the hospital, Christel had to tear baby Carlee away from me! We couldn’t wait for her to model her Christmas dress I’d bought at God’s prompting.

The next morning, Christel called and said she needed me to come over right away. I raced out the door. When I got there, I found Christel and Mike grinning like teenagers. Carlee was sound asleep.

“What’s going on?” I said.

“Why don’t you sit down,” Mike said, gesturing toward an overstuffed rocker in the family room.

I took a seat, right on top of something hard and plastic. I pulled the object out from under me and set it on the coffee table. Mike and Christel waited until it hit me what it was—a pregnancy test.

“I’ve taken a million of those,” Christel said. “That’s the first one that’s been pink. I’m pregnant!”

I’d wished for a baby girl and prayed for a pregnancy by Christmas. Well, God delivered on his promise…and then some. By the following December, our family celebrated not one but two little miracles—my healthy, happy grandkids, Carlee and Carson.

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