(continued from here)
I have never experienced despair like I felt then. I was crazed with helplessness, pain, hollowness. We explored and entertained every option. I really mean: every. The excruciating pain I mentioned in "part 1" does not come close to describing what was happening inside of me. The thought of losing Bryan for eternity was more than I could bear. I sunk to the lowest, deepest, darkest place I have ever been. But there was a spark of hope. I never quite let go of it. It kept me functioning and taking action. It prompted me to prayer. I can say with more certainty than I can tell you what I see, that we have a Father in Heaven who is aware of us. He knows our hearts, He’s patient with our tantrums, He hears our prayers. I can also testify of the humanity of loved ones and strangers alike. We had entire congregations of people praying for us; we had family fasts; we felt the support of friends.
Through a series of people, we got an appointment with an emigration attorney. He listened to our plight and decided to take on our case even though he did not normally handle family law. He felt strongly that “good parents should have as many children as they want and bad parents shouldn’t have any”. So although he was willing to fight for us, he forewarned us that this could end up costing more than a years’ salary. Over a year passed from the time we hired our attorney until December 23, 1994. That was a Friday night, about 7pm when the phone rang and our attorney, Patrick Ceville blurted out the good news. The judge had agreed to meet him in the court house on Christmas Eve, Saturday, to give us the Christmas gift of our lives. Papers were signed and James Bryan Chapman was officially our child, never to be taken from us. The next day, Christmas, he sat in my arms as Priesthood Holders from our church laid hands on his head and gave him a blessing usually given to infants. The day after Christmas Brad and I signed papers at the court house where we also picked up our bill. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the bill was one short page, with the total amount being about $600 – just enough to cover court costs. A month and a half later, Bryan was sealed to us in the Hawaii Temple.
Every single day of my life I offer a prayer of thanks for our miracle children, and Bryan in particular. Truly, this is an age of miracles.
(below: Bryan and Sierra ... 1 year apart, but as close as twins ... the picture below that is one that Sierra took of Bryan recently)