With love from above, comes Grace
In their fifth year of marriage together, Triad Baptist Church members Randy and Lisa Thompson eyed middle age not with dread but with the sweet savor and anticipation of even more happy days together as empty nesters.
Then God changed everything with a call and text message.
The call from one of Lisa’s best friends — early in the morning of March 26, 2016 — came first and brought disturbing news. She told Lisa that her granddaughter and her granddaughter’s sister, whom Randy and Lisa love very much, faced a crisis.
The same mother they shared had decided not to keep her third daughter so the two girls would never get to see their little sister grow up. Lisa’s friend contacted her again later the same day from the hospital while she watched a movie in Kernersville with family and friends.
Her text message read, “The birth mother will put your last name on the birth certificate and says the baby is yours if you will take her.”
On the way home from the theater, Lisa listened to a voicemail message from the social worker asking what she’d decided. What Lisa didn’t know then was that her friend had already called Randy.
So when she got back home they went outside and sat on a bench outside their apartment in Madison to talk things over. The two-hour conversation covered everything from their ages (49 years old for Randy and 48 for Lisa) to the warp-speed switch from empty nesters to parents again and the costs and responsibilities that ‘yes’ would bring. Yet both said God’s presence was so powerful during their talk that it made time seem to stand still and make the rural countryside around them go silent.
“I’m sitting and looking across this field and start hearing, ‘it’s OK, it’s OK to go this way,’ ” Randy said. “I kept hearing that but didn’t realize until after we made the decision that it was God’s Spirit telling me this was His Plan and it was going to be OK. He would be with us.”
Lisa broke the silence with a gentle reminder that the social worker would be calling back any minute for their decision.
Lisa said she’ll never forget Randy’s reply, himself adopted as a child, as tears streamed down both their faces: “He said, ‘What kind of man would I be if I turned that child away?’ ”
The phone rang almost immediately. It was the social worker.
“I said, ‘Yes we’re going to take her,’ ” Lisa said.
So 14 hours after she was born, Randy and Lisa walked into the hospital to meet their new daughter for the first time. They decided to call her “Grace” because she is, just like her name, an example of “God’s favor.”
The adoption was legally finalized Jan. 24, 2017, with the money to pay the cost being almost exactly to the penny what the couple had managed to put in savings after tips from the Financial Peace University class at Triad helped them erase their debts and buy their first house together several weeks before they even knew Grace was coming.
Whenever Randy and Lisa take Grace out, she’s always the focus of attention. Most people think she’s their grandchild. When Lisa takes her out with her daughters Leslee, Kellee, and Emilee, most assume Grace is one of their children. Leslee has three children so Grace is already an aunt!
But young at heart and healthy, Randy and Lisa say they’ve made the transition back to parenthood just fine, thank you — poopy diapers and some sleepless nights and knee burns from playing on the floor included. Lisa’s flexible schedule as a Mary Kay Sales Director helps greatly since there’s no need for daycare.
“I think what has been such a joy is because I am older, I’ve lived longer and I just look at things differently than when I was a younger mom,” Lisa said. “I appreciate every little change I see, and now go with the flow so much more and appreciate every aspect of being a mom again.
“What I think is such a blessing is that Randy and I are going to raise her to love and know the Lord and, for the first time in my life, I have a husband who desires to do that too and I never had that before. I think that’s beautiful. What a blessing for us and a blessing for Grace!”
With the benefit of time, both now trace God’s gift of Grace to His knowing how they’d wished they had met earlier and could have had children of their own.
Now Randy is holding his first child, and one he’s already given back to God. “He chose us and I’ve given Grace back to Him and want to share the gift of her life with others so they come to know Him as their Savior too.” he said.
“To see that smile every day and enjoy holding her and giving her a bottle and playing with her is like being 20 years old again and having your first baby. That’s what it feels like to me. I know she’s brought Lisa and I closer to each other and even closer to God.
“Our love for her grows every day, and we’re excited to see what God is going to do with her life!”