Our lives were completely changed on November 21, 2013. On that cold and rainy Thursday, we received the much-anticipated and exciting news: our son had been born! The baby we had prayed for and so desired had arrived. Just 48 hours later, our precious little newborn with tiny hands, soft skin, and big eyes was in our arms. We felt so much love the instant we held him. Words cannot describe how we felt in that solemn and blessed moment. Our hearts were overjoyed at this precious miracle. We wanted to give him a special name, with a special meaning deserving of this love story. We named him, Mateo, gift of God.
My husband and I prayed for a child for nine years. With faith, we petitioned the Lord for the privilege of parenthood. We yearned for that opportunity and the divine responsibility of raising a family. As we lifted our hearts and prayers, we really had no idea what God’s plans were for us. The Lord was silent for nine years. But we never lost hope, we weren’t anxious, nor did we feel empty because we weren’t parents.
His answer came in an incomprehensible and marvelous manner. Before we even began working with an adoption agency, we were given the opportunity to adopt a baby! The biological family was looking to place him with a Seventh-day Adventist couple, and we were connected through a mutual friend. They chose us before the adoption process even began. While we had prayed and waited, without any clear response, our omniscient Father was impressing and guiding the individuals that would make our miracle a reality.
God answered our prayer for a family. We strive to be good parents, steering Mateo away from evil and towards Jesus and eternal life. This miracle renewed our faith in God, proving that the Lord hears and responds to our prayers. Through the years and the silence, He taught us to be patient and wait on Him.
Mateo is a sweet child full of energy. He loves swimming, soccer, biking, camping with our church’s Pathfinder club, and any outdoor activity. He loves to help his dad, his hero, around the house. He also likes books, especially those with animals and insects, and he loves to go to the zoo, carefully observing its inhabitants. We take advantage of these moments to teach him about God’s nature and creation.
We begin each day with family worship. Mateo loves music and singing along with us, something he’s had a knack for since he was younger. We read Bible stories together and each time is a new opportunity to keep him focused and reverent. We are constantly looking for new ideas that will get his attention and keep him interested. It’s fascinating to see him memorize verses from his Sabbath school lesson, as well as recite back the Bible story for that particular week. In the evenings, when the three of us are gathered, we love listening to Mateo tell his dad the story he learned that day. As we finish worship in the evening, we kneel together to pray. He always asks to pray. We teach him to give thanks for the blessings our Father gives us every day and we ask for His blessings and guidance for our family. It is moving to hear his sweet little voice repeating after us.
We’ve been asked if we are going to tell Mateo about his adoption and the answer is a resounding yes! Mateo is a special child because of his beautiful adoption story. It is our family’s most wonderful testimony. It’s a testimony filled with God’s immense love, a love that we pray Mateo will always know and trust.
We hope our testimony inspires others to trust in our Creator’s great power. Trust in the wonderful promises in His Word, know that they are real and true. Trust that He fulfills them and answers the prayers of His children.
Julia, Delfino, and Mateo Hernandez live in Fort Worth, Texas, and are members of the Fort Worth Salim Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church.