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Her Dream Came True When God Answered Her Long-Time Prayer

Her female cousins and aunts got together every fall, but she wished someone else could be there too.

Illustration of two sisters holding an angel's hands; By Anna Goddeasi
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Our annual fall get-together with my aunts and cousins in southern Indiana was a “girls only” weekend event I always looked forward to. My mother had died when I was 19, and I found much comfort in being surrounded by the women on her side of the family. We were staying at a charming bed and breakfast, where we told stories on the front porch, played euchre and took turns pushing each other on the tree swing. The weather was perfect. After a full day of warm hugs and laughter, I was ready for a good night’s sleep.

The year before, I’d shared a room with my aunt Sue and cousin Ann. We’d stayed up late, talking in our pajamas. It was almost like I was with my own mom and the sister I never had. But now that I had a young daughter at home and was pregnant with my second child, my relatives wanted to be sure I got the rest I needed. They’d insisted I take a room all to myself. Although I was grateful for their thoughtfulness, I found myself feeling lonely, and maybe even a little jealous.

I had loved growing up with a brother, but had always wondered what it would be like to also have a sister. Someone to share a room with, to share clothes with, and to share advice and giggles about boys. I prayed for God to make my dream real. Alone in my room at the inn, imagining the sisters in our group together in theirs, it looked like my longing was still as strong as ever.

While I knew it was too late for me to have a sister, that didn’t mean it was for my daughter, Natalie. I got into bed and snuggled under the covers. God, I’d love to give Natalie the sister I never had. Of course, I would love whatever child God gave me, just as I loved my brother. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to have another girl, I thought as I drifted off to sleep.

The traditional fall weekend came to an end, and we said our goodbyes until next time. “You’ll be old enough to come with us one day,” I promised Natalie when I got home. I gave my husband updates on family members and shared the highlights of the trip during dinner over the next few weeks. There was always lots to report. Then, one afternoon, I got an odd phone call from my father. He asked if I was sitting down. “Dad, is everything okay?”

Pam Walker, left, at her sister Lisa's (right) Surprise 60th birthday party
Pam Walker, left, at her sister Lisa’s (right) Surprise 60th birthday party

“I have some interesting news,” he began. “First, I have to explain something to you.” At that point, I did sit down. It wasn’t like my straight-shooter dad to draw out a phone call. “Before your mother and I got married,” he said, “she had a baby who was given up for adoption.”

I was shocked beyond measure. My mother had never said a word about this part of her past, and Dad had kept her secret. So why was he suddenly telling me this now?

“I just got off the phone with your sister, Lisa,” he said.

“My sister?!”

“She’s been searching for her birth mother,” Dad went on. “She wants to meet you and your brother.”

It was almost too much to take in. I hadn’t even met her yet, but I already felt angels drawing us together. The sister I’d long ago stopped praying for had been real all along!

Dad put Lisa and me in touch, and in our first phone call, she made plans to visit. Seeing her in person was a dream come true. She looked just like my mother—short with curly hair and a bubbly personality. It was like having a little bit of Mom back in my life again. We talked over one another in a long gab session, firing questions and filling in the details of our lives, until we knew everything there was to know. “I was adopted by a wonderful family,” Lisa assured me. “Our mother gave me a great life.” It turned out we’d even lived close to each other for years without knowing it—and we shared the same wedding anniversary!

When the next get-together rolled around, Lisa was welcomed as the newest sister and female cousin to our family. We chose a new inn for our reunion that year, a bed and breakfast whose proprietors had given quaint names to all the guest rooms. Lisa and I bunked together in “The Sisters Room.”

It’s been 25 years since I found Lisa. Today we’re closer than ever. Oh, and the baby I had? That would be Natalie’s sister, Amanda. God answered all my prayers.

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