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The Dramatic Impact of a Time-Honored Practice

Bradley Mattes   |   May 16, 2018

Adoption is crucial to our efforts of saving babies.

It’s a life-affirming alternative that both mother and child can live with. We can love them both! Adoption has the power to break though the wall of infertility and bless families with the joy of raising children.

The stories of these two families are compelling.

While the barriers to domestic and especially international adoption are getting higher and more difficult to climb, nearly 135,000 U.S. families each year are blessed with a child through adoption.

Out of Darkness Comes Joy

Beth and Rocky, a young couple living in Pennsylvania, were looking to start a family. After Beth experienced problems with infertility, they decided adoption was the best option for them.

The adoption agency they partnered with matched them with a birth mom, Sharon Gurnsey. After experiencing poor communication with Gurnsey, they discovered the heartbreaking reality that she was running a money scam. According to a news report, she “had promised several families her unborn baby and was collecting medical expenses from all of them.”

Beth and Rocky/ ABC27 News

Beth and Rocky were devastated upon hearing the awful truth. In a near whisper to her husband, Beth said, “I don’t know how much more I can take.”

But God had other plans. He decided to turn a disheartening situation into a stunning reflection of His joy and love.

Upon hearing their story on the local news, a young pregnant woman named “Amy” saw it as a sign she should place her then-unborn baby into the hearts and home of Beth and Rocky.

A few months later, Amy gave birth to a beautiful boy, whom Beth and Rocky named Mac James. “He’s an absolute angel,” Beth gushed. The proud father said that little Mac is “everything we could have ever wanted.”

Amy’s sacrifice was Beth’s and Rocky’s joy and happiness. She provided the pieces of their broken hearts that they were helpless to repair themselves. As Beth said, “Believe in miracles. Don’t give up if you want to be a mom.”

What a heartwarming story and what a profound truth: motherhood through adoption is a wonderful miracle for women and men who otherwise couldn’t be mothers and fathers.

Completing the Puzzle

Jim Palmer is a Hall-of-Fame pitcher who spent his entire 19 years in Major League Baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Palmer had always known he was adopted. But he never knew the identity of his birth parents until now.

Jim’s adoptive parents were Moe and Polly Wiesen, major figures in the Manhattan fashion industry who adopted him after his birth in 1945. Ten years after Moe’s death, Polly moved the family across the country to Beverly Hills, California and married Max Palmer, a character actor.

Jim Palmer

Through the first 71 years of his life, Jim never really cared to find out who his birth parents were. While in the big leagues, he semi-joked that he might be the progeny of one of the members of the Kennedy clan.

But that all changed last fall. Jim watched the 2017 baseball playoffs with his wife Susan nestled next to him on the couch, but she was intently staring at her laptop. Susan had started doing research on a website that can unearth unknown family history by way of a DNA test. After various dead-ends and long nights of research, she had a breakthrough.

DNA tests showed a relation to a descendant of Irish immigrants, the Moroney clan of County Clare, Ireland. She eventually discovered a picture of Jenny Moroney and the eyebrows said it all: Jim Palmer was a Moroney.

With the help of relatives and studying the manifests of ships steaming to Ellis Island in the early twentieth century, Susan discovered that Jim’s maternal mother and father were Mary Ann Moroney and Joe Geheran. Mary Ann and Joe were Irish immigrants living in New York City. Mary Ann worked in the textile industry, and Joe was a boxing enthusiast.

Though Jim now knows the identity of his birth parents, his search is not over. The Palmers will continue to research Jim’s birth parents and see if they can figure out why Mary Ann decided to give Jim a new lease on life.

We’re thankful for Amy, Mary Ann and all the mothers who’ve made the choice to make an adoption plan for their babies. Think of the millions of lives saved through the wonderful, life-affirming opportunity adoption breathes into extended families throughout America. Many of us have been touched by the lives of those who were given the opportunity to thrive through adoption.

For adopted babies and their parents,

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