I came across this quote recently from an address given at the Families Supporting Adoption National Conference. The speaker Troy Dunn said, “My mom introduced the beautiful concept of adoption in a very simple manner. She said, ‘There is something that is called prayer trading, and we’re going to trade prayers with somebody. Somewhere out there is a girl praying for a good family for her baby. We are going to pray for a good tummy with a baby in it, and we are going to answer each others’ prayers.'”
When we were considering adoption and meeting and learning from birthfamilies, I sometimes felt guilty that I would benefit through someone else’s loss. My prayers to become a mother would be answered though another family’s suffering.
I expressed these feelings once at an adoption conference and was quickly cut off by a birthmother who overheard me. She reminded me adoption benefits both parties. For me, obviously, it provided me with the chance to be a mother… something I wouldn’t have been able to have on my own. For a birthfamily, it provides a hopeful solution to what otherwise might be a hopeless situation. In the case of adoption two families are suffering, and in the end, two families get a happy ending.
And so, as we prayed to adopt, we prayed that Patrick’s birth family would be blessed, comforted, and guided through a difficult time. We continue to pray for them.
We’re in a situation of prayer trading again. I’ve heard other families with children on transplant lists express feelings of extreme guilt as they consider the loss that another family will experience for a transplant to be possible. I’ve felt guilty about this idea myself. However, I’ve also watched families who have lost children and who have chosen organ donation. And I have seen the comfort that comes from knowing that their loss could at least help someone else.
One family in particular comes to mind. One of their sons is waiting for a transplant. Another was recently killed in an accident. When we attending the funeral for the son who’d been lost, I heard his parents and brothers and sisters all proudly state that he had been an bone and tissue donor. I also heard them say that they were praying for their other son’s donor family – as they could now relate in a new way with them.
What a beautiful testament to this miraculous gift organ donation can be. Not only does it give the gift of life to the recipient, but in some small measure the gift of peace to the donor’s loved ones. Prayer trading at it’s best.
I don’t mean in writing this to diminish in any way the grief associated with the loss of a loved one, especially a child. It is real and deep and not something we take lightly. However, organ donation lets a light of hope shine where otherwise there would be two sad endings.
What a marvelous things that sometimes when we are going through our greatest trials that Heavenly Father allows us to answer one another’s prayers.
Please join us as we now trade prayers with Patrick’s donor family. And please consider, if you haven’t done so, registering as an organ donor yourself.