Seen by Christ: Jessica Steele



Jessica Steele, Kennington Ward
After having five children and feeling really good about our family being complete, I began counting our children every night and wondered who was missing, as we gathered for dinner. It continued happening for several weeks, until, I began having feelings that our family was not complete. I kept these feelings to myself for many weeks.
One night when Kevin came home from work, I shared the feelings I was having and to my surprise, he had been feeling the same way. We spent the next several days, talking about what these thoughts and feelings were all about. I had been taking care of babies in the NICU for 20 years and had taken a year off to be with my young children. Were we to foster babies? Adopt? We began to pray about the reason behind these feelings and what we were supposed to do.
I found out that a woman in our ward had adopted children and worked for an adoption agency. I called her one afternoon and asked her all kinds of questions about foster care, fost-adopt and adoption. After a long conversation, she told me they didn’t have enough families for all of the African American babies they were trying to place. We had never thought about adopting children of another race or culture but as we talked about it, we felt very strongly this is what we were to do.
It was a three year process of many failed placements which were hard on us but especially hard on our young family. Finally, within a nineteen month period, our prayers were answered and we were blessed with two beautiful baby girls. They brought so much joy to our family and now we were finally complete! I felt as though everything that had happened to get these babies was a sweet miracle from a loving Heavenly Father.
By the time our girls started junior high, things became somewhat difficult and it wasn’t easy to raise them as teenagers. In fact, it became the greatest challenge in my life. I was discouraged, sad, angry…so many emotions. It became so hard and I started questioning the reason for our decision, so many years prior. It was difficult on our marriage and so hard on our adult children to watch what was happening. I prayed with all my heart for things to become better.
Over a period of a few years, I felt that my prayers weren’t being heard. Through several experiences and continued prayers, I finally began to see and feel what it was that I was to learn. Looking back on this experience, I truly “felt seen” by Jesus Christ. Because of Him, my Heavenly Father began teaching me why these two beautiful daughters had come into my life. They have taught my husband and I, along with our other children, what it means to truly love unconditionally. To accepts our girls for who they are and to allow them to choose for themselves. And to love no matter what! We have become less judgmental, more loving and patient. Through this process, I have felt greater peace in my heart. He has taught me where to turn for peace and what to see in and how to see my girls and others. How to see things differently, through Him! For this I am grateful!
Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

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