The Ultimate Gift : A True Love Story

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9780966600599: The Ultimate Gift : A True Love Story
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Are you, or is someone you know, being touched by an unplanned pregnancy or infertility?

Have you, or someone you know, been considering adoption?

Do you find yourself or others struggling with pro-life and pro-choice issues?

Every day in America, over 4,000 pregnancies are terminated. Each year, two to three million couples actively seek to adopt a child, but only 50,000 to 75,000 babies are available for adoption. Mike and Annie Sheaffer were one of those couples attempting to adopt but without success. Unexpectedly, they uncovered a middle ground between pro-life and pro-choice camps. They traversed the rocky road through open adoption and opened their hearts and home to two babies, while embracing an extended family relationship with the birth parents. They also founded America's Crisis Pregnancy Helpline through which thousands of distressed and questioning women have been empowered.

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From the Publisher:

F.O.C.U.S Publishing Company - We need more caring role models like Mike and Annie Sheaffer. Ideally, anyone touched by an unplanned pregnancy, infertility or considering abortion or adoption -- especially members of the birthfamily or future adoptive parents -- and those who are grieving and need hope would benefit from reading their book. Quite frankly, it could change the outcome of their lives!

Here's what one birthfather wrote after Mike and Annie adopted his little girl, Hannah:

I'm Matthew Clyne, Hannah's birth father and a student at San Diego State University. I have a very supportive family including mom, dad, an older brother and younger sister. The year Jessica became pregnant, I was 20 years old and in the middle of my second year of school.

Jessica and I initially found out she was pregnant after going to a women's clinic in San Diego. My initial response was overwhelming astonishment and disbelief. Although we weren't using any form of birth control, I was still taken by surprise. Abortion was not an option.

Jessica immediately informed her parents, but it took me almost four months to gain the courage to tell mine. They were surprisingly calm when I told them and were completely supportive.

With both of us being in school, having no money, knowing graduation was several years away, and most importantly, unprepared to raise a child, we felt adoption was our only choice.

We were informed abut Mike and Annie through an adoption facilitator acquainted with Jessica and her mom. Shortly after being sent a letter by Mike and Annie, Jessica and I spoke with them over the phone. We felt really good about our conversation.

When we finally met them, what little insecure doubts I felt were wiped away. I couldn't have expected a sweeter, more loving couple than Mike and Annie. Jessica and I immediately fell in love with them. Besides being wonderful people, they had everything to offer Hannah -- a stable income, experience with an adopted child, and a supportive environment of friends and adopted children.

The time between meeting Mike and Annie and the transfer of Hannah to them was very hard. Jessica and I had mixed emotions over whether we could go through with the adoption. But deep inside, we knew we were doing the right thing. When Jessica buckled Hannah into Mike and Annie's rental car for the last time, I couldn't believe what was happening. In my heart, I wanted nothing more than to grab Hannah and Jessica and run. But in my mind, I reasoned that wouldn't be the smartest thing to do. I wanted so much to keep Hannah, but I realized it was just fantasy to think we could make it.

My family has adjusted to the adoption as well as possible. Both Jessica and I receive pictures of Hannah every several weeks. Mike and Annie have also sent a videotape of their beautiful family and plan to continue to do so. This helps a lot and includes me in my child's progress. I feel satisfied with the adoption today and thank God for allowing my child to grow up in a loving environment without unnecessary struggles.

I would like to thank Mike and Annie for their continuous flow of detailed information about Hannah's progress. Jessica and I thank God for bringing them into our lives at the best possible time.

Matt

From the Author:

Mike Sheaffer, msheaf@dallas.net - One weekend during August of 1994, Annie and I were in Pensacola, Florida staying with my parents who are retired there. The purpose of our visit was to meet a birth mother and birth father who were considering placing their baby for adoption with us. We had learned of this couple through my brother, who at the time, also lived in Pensacola.

My brother Eric, is a minister and is involved with single adults, which is how he came to know the birth mother. Eric also knew that Annie and I were struggling to build our family.

A couple of weeks prior to our visit, two murders of abortion providers occurred outside of an abortion clinic in Pensacola. This story made the national spotlight. The futility of it all -- the abortions, the murders, the pro-life and pro-choice struggle -- was weighing on my heart by the time we arrived in Pensacola. The murdering of people who were performing abortions was not the answer anymore than 4,000 abortions per day in our country was the answer.

By Saturday evening, we had concluded our day-long interviews with the birth parents and their family members, and, overall, had an encouraging day. Now we had hope. The effort Annie and I had expended during the previous two years to grow our family had worn on us. I couldn't help but think that if only there could be fewer abortions, there would be more babies available for adoption. The two murders outside of the abortion clinic confirmed a middle ground must be found.

Sitting at the dinner table that night, I mentioned to Annie and my parents that no one seems to be able to find a way for the pro-life and pro-choice communities to compromise. We know there are bright and well-meaning people in both camps who have tried, to no avail. So, I offered, "The only thing I can think of is, what if Jesus were here on earth? How would He solve the problem?...And He couldn't use His supernatural power -- Jesus, as a human, working with His wisdom, love, grace, and holiness -- how would He deal with the pro-life/pro-choice struggle? How would He arbitrate between the two camps? If He had to deal with the situation, what would He do?" We never did come up with any ideas, and that was pretty much the end of the conversation. For the next couple of months, I would contemplate this, but to no avail. Little did I know that during the next couple of years of my life, I would learn the answer to my question.

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