By Cindy R. Williams
The Richardson family, of the Chandler Stake, says their favorite is “From God’s Arms to My Arms to Yours,” a song about adoption by Michael McLean.
“Our ultimate dream was to have children, but with my illness we weren’t able to,” said Brother Jerry Richardson. “Going through LDS Social Services was comforting. You knew that the birthmothers were looking for eternal families for their babies just like us.”
Over the past 19 years, Jerry and his wife, Natalie, adopted three children—two daughters and one son.
Jerry says, “Our first child, Madison, was three days old when she was placed in our arms directly from the hospital.”
“We loved her before we ever saw her,” Natalie adds, “I thought she was the prettiest baby I had ever seen. It was a miracle and such a spiritual time.”
The Richardson’s next daughter, Kennedy, was eight months old when she joined their family.
“We met her birthmother and grandmother and also received a letter from her babysitter who loved her very much. Kennedy was the sweetest, happiest little thing, and we bonded very quickly,” says Natalie.
Kellen, the Richardson’s son, was two when the couple adopted him.
“He was meant to be with our family and fit perfectly,” Jerry says.
They Richardsons have felt that same confirmation with each of their children. They firmly believe, “Our children were supposed to be with us and be our family.”
The couple appreciates the birthmothers of the children.
“The birthmother puts her baby’s needs before her own. It takes a very unselfish person to be able to plan for their child’s future in such a loving way,” says Natalie.
Jerry says they also are grateful for the temple ordinances.
“Having your children sealed to you is such a fabulous celebration. … It’s incredible.”
Another Arizona family, the Wrights, have adopted four children through LDS Social Services.
Geoff Wright, of the Gilbert Arizona Greenfield Stake, says, “We knew early in our marriage that we were not going to be able to conceive children. While at the temple, we received a special witness that our children would come only through adoption.”
“Ultimately, it all comes down to being chosen by a birthmother through inspiration. It’s all about love,” says Natalie Wright.
Nine months later the Wright’s received their son, Jacob. “We knew his spirit had chosen us. We felt overjoyed and filled with love and peace that the will of the Lord had come to pass in our lives,” says Natalie.
“Anna was a month old when we received her, and she felt so peaceful when we held her for the first time. … Jacob was so excited to meet his sister, and called her by name—there was a look of recognition on his face,” says Natalie.
The Wrights submitted papers again when Jacob was four and Anna, three. Jacob prayed for twins. Natalie explained to him that they needed to pray for just one baby, not twins.
“Anna, immediately piped up and said ‘No, mom we are having two babies come to our family.’ … For three years they diligently prayed for our twins to come,” says Natalie.
Within a few days of each other, the Wrights received calls from not one, but two birthmothers.
“We were overjoyed when we heard the news of two sweet baby girls—Ivy and Elly—would join our family.”
The Wrights say they have loved the process of adoption, and, apparently their children feel that.
Natalie said, recently, when Ivy was having her three-year-old well-checkup with a new doctor, “Ivy told the doctor, ‘My mommy couldn’t grow a baby in her tummy so I grew in her heart.’”