A Heart for Adoption and Biracial Babies

Biracial Babies

By Jim and Becky Ulmer

Thirty years ago, when Jim and I were first married, we had it all planned. We would each work full time for at least 5 years, and then start a family. We never even considered that God might have a different plan. It did not take long to find that out.

Ten months after our wedding, I came down with what we thought was the flu. Instead, it was our first pregnancy, and we began to realize we were not in control. We were excited about the hope of a baby, and with no complications other than the normal morning sickness, nine months later our daughter Kelly was born, healthy and beautiful. We began the new stage of parenting.

When Kelly was 3 years old, we decided it was time for baby number two. We conceived easily and our plan was now on a revised track. Or so we thought. Four months into the pregnancy, everything changed. A routine doctor’s visit turned out to not be routine at all. Suddenly there was no heartbeat, and an ultrasound revealed fetal demise. There was no explanation and nothing could be done. Our hearts were broken, and we were confused. But the doctor gave us hope that we could soon try again.

Six months later we were pregnant for the third time – and 12 weeks later history repeated itself. The seemingly healthy pregnancy was ended with the familiar office visit and the absence of a heartbeat. Ultrasound revealed the same circumstances and now it was time to figure out what had gone wrong.

We visited with a fertility specialist, and after multiple tests, we learned the cause of the miscarriages – a chromosome abnormality.  This was disappointing news, as nothing could be done to correct it, and there were various potential problems and abnormalities that could occur if we were to try to have another child. We thanked God for answers, and especially for the miracle of Kelly’s birth. We decided not to try again to have another child.

After healing physically from the miscarriages, surgical procedures and the battery of tests, our hearts were sad as we longed for another child. We began praying about adoption, and looked into local agencies, attorneys and support groups. We narrowed down the opportunities and did the necessary paperwork to add our names to the lists of two separate attorneys who specialized in adoptions. One was in Tampa FL, and the other was located in Boca Raton, FL. The lists were long, and we were told it may take from 2 to 3 years before we could adopt a baby. We began praying for a little boy.

Just over a year later, on a Monday morning in September of 1985, Jim was at work, Kelly was at school and I was at home. A call came, and it was the Tampa attorney. He introduced himself over the phone as if we had never met, and told me that a baby boy had been born in Tampa, was now three days old, and needed a home. I told him I knew who he was, and that we were on his list, still well down the list in fact. He explained that he had not even looked at his list in making this call – this particular baby was a biracial baby, and the people on his list were all, he assumed, waiting to adopt same-race babies. He further explained that instead of using his list, he had called another attorney he knew, to see if she might have a couple she could recommend for this baby. This other attorney was the same attorney in Boca Raton we had previously contacted! She suggested that he call us. We had no idea that these two attorneys even knew each other. Our Tampa attorney was surprised about this “coincidence” as well.

We had not thought about adopting and raising a biracial child. The attorney needed a quick reply – but how could we make this decision so fast? Our attorney encouraged us, said we could maybe visit the baby in the hospital, but that he would need an answer soon. He said he would wait for my return call with an answer after I was able to get in touch with Jim.

This was before the days of cell phones, but Jim’s office found him at a business meeting on the opposite end of town. I had no choice but to tell him everything over the phone after interrupting his meeting. Jim was excited and steady, and told me to call the attorney back and say “yes.” He would come home right away so we could talk and pray.

“How could we?” I thought, and said to Jim. This wasn’t the plan! The plan, our plan, was for a boy, but I reminded Jim we hadn’t ever considered or discussed a biracial adoption. We agreed that I would call the attorney to schedule a visit to the hospital. By the time Jim arrived home, I was literally shaking. We got on our knees and prayed for wisdom, and then Jim said something that I have never forgotten.

He told me that we could say no, and life would be easier perhaps, but that we would miss out on God’s blessing. His blessing in these circumstances, in this child, and in the family He was creating. The circumstances were not a coincidence. He said that this was the baby God had chosen to bring into our family. And he was right.

Before we even saw this sweet baby boy, our decision was made. Sixteen days later, after HRS completed the approval process, our son, Cason James Ulmer, came home.

He is now 23 years old and has greatly enriched the lives of our immediate and extended families in so many ways. God has faithfully provided all that we have needed spiritually, physically, financially and emotionally to raise our son. We have learned many lessons through our experience with adoption. We have learned anew that God does indeed have a plan for our lives. It is different than the plan we think up ourselves, and far, far better, too. He providentially guides us and shapes us through the circumstances of life.

We did not know if we could ever love a second child as much as our first, or an adopted child as much as a biological child. But God has demonstrated that same love toward us as toward His own Son Jesus Christ, and made us co-heirs with Him. We can love an adopted, biracial child because of the Father’s love for us. We thank God for enriching our lives with both Kelly and Cason.

© 2014 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.

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  • KrisFromMI

    Well…..I hate to be a negative nelly for the first comment….LOL…But here is my story and I don’t know where else to put it. I have been searching the internet SO much the last few days. I just need some advice. Me and my husband have been together for going on 18 years. We have been married for almost 8 of them years. I was 27 he was 33 when we very first got together. I had 4 children. When we met he was not in a very good place. he was HEAVILY addicted to drugs and pretty much homeless. We seen each other a few times just “around” not dating or anything. He came to my house one night, and straight up told me, he had a SERIOUS problem and wanted to stop. That was the begining for us.Well life went along….we have been together ever since. we have had VERY bad downs and VERY good up’s! I will spare you all all of the details. Well, this is where I feel the demise of our relationship took the turn it is to at this point in time. Last year one of my husbands friends ( a much older friend at 74) got sick and eventually passed away. Him and his wife and me and my husband were very close ( she was much younger than her husband at 48 maybe). She was who I considered one of my best friends. We talked about EVERYTHING. Well I found out that a month after HER husband passed away that her and MY husband spent endless hours on the phone to eachother everyday. They would talk from the time my husband left the house in the morning (he is a truck driver) until the time he got home at night. Monday through Friday they talked for a minimum of 6 hours a day. I talked to “her” probably 5 to six times a week M-F and much more often on the weekends. I figured out one weekend that something wasn’t adding up. My husband told me a couple things that I KNEW didn’t tell him. After thinking about it over night, I figured out that he had been talking to “her” because she was the ONLY one I had said any of these things to. I asked my husband if he had been talking to “her”. He said yea, once in a while. I was like OK. ( “thought” it’s ok THEY were friends too) Well my mind would not let it rest. I looked on his phone and there were no calls from her or to her. That kind of boggled me. So I looked on out phone account.I ALMOST passed out!!! There were 6555 minutes of them talking to eachother in approx 20 days of the month that we were into. I didn’t know WHAT to do. He was sleeping in his chair. I walked outside, I went to my other girlfriend’s house and poured my heart out to her. She cried with me. I thought Hmmmmm….I am gonna call “her” off on my hubbys phone and see what her reaction would be to it being ME. :) She said Hiiiii……I said Hey…..she asked what I was up to…I said oh not much. I just got a question for ya…she said yea? I asked her if she had talked to my husband lately…..she says yea once in a while….I was like WHAT?! once in a while?!?! she hung up on me and has NEVER answered me again. I MARCHED to OUR house and gave my husband ONE last chance to tell me the truth. I asked him HOW much do you talk to “her” and he was adiment that it was ONCE IN A WHILE. I busted out my computer with the phone records on it and asked him AGAIN……NOW tell me……HOW often do you talk to her? well needless to say it has been ROUGH…..VERY rough. We have been working on our marriage, we do really good for a while and then something happens and I find myself dwelling on WHY did he so this to me…….Well THIS weekend he threw me ANOTHER blow that I am TRYING to deal with. He told me that he doesn’t find my breast attractive, AT ALL, actually he said that they just TOTALLY turn him off….he said he didn’t want to hurt my feelings but they just DON’T. He continued on to ask me if I breast fed my kids when they were born….I was TOTALLY dumbfounded and didn’t even know what to do. All I could do was cry! I feel SO horrible. There is NOTHING I can do about the way my breast are. I am getting older and YES I have had FOUR children! I am by NO means a beauty queen (far from it) but MAN…..for being 44 and having FOUR kids I THOUGHT I looked pretty darn good. But he busted that balloon too. I feel SO insignifigant and I don’t know WHAT to do anymore. I feel like NOTHING I do….or don’t do is right. I feel like I will NEVER make him happy so when do I QUIT trying to make HIM happy and start on making ME happy? I don’t know….I guess I just want some advice. I am 44 years old I am 5’7″ tall, I weigh 148 lbs. Part of me says IF he doesn’t “want” me, I am SURE I can find someone that DOES. But THAT is NOT me…….I LOVE my husband. I WANT to make HIM happy…..BUT I NEED to feel happy too :(

    • Karen

      Oh Kris, my heart goes out to you! What a heartbreaking situation you are in! In addition to the grief of losing a good friend you’re grieving the loss of trust in, and betrayal by, 2 of those who mean the most to you! Tragically, it sounds like grief has “thrown” them together, inappropriately. I hope someone has given you the name of a good Christian counselor in your area who can help you through this. And marriage counselor. This is too much to bear and sort out on your own…I’m so glad you have another friend you’ve been able to process this with, and cry with. Lean on that/those friend(s). I don’t know if this will help, but I heard it once……Set aside time(s), and amount of time, each day to give yourself permission to grieve. Then move through your day telling yourself at such-and-such a time you can grieve with abandon but right now you need to function. Maybe ___ minutes every 1/2 hour or hour, to begin with? I’m praying that you will have God’s wisdom and God’s strength for this moment. This hour. Today. Every day.

      • KrisFromMI

        Thank You Karen! :) I was begining to wonder if anyone read these things LOL Yes it does stink. I have always thought of myself as a very strong person, but THIS particular thing has thrown me for a loop. He still to this day “says” that nothing “physical” happened. My feelings are that all of it….physical and/or emotional is wrong. If they were doing nothing wrong than WHY were all of the calls and text deleted and also “pictures”, of WHAT I have no idea. I have had several people that know us say that they had seen things earlier. It all plays with my heart. I WANT to believe my husband. But in my heart of hearts I fear that he is lying to me. Then I have other people that have told me the stuff they have seen, and it tears me apart to think about it. My problem is that I am the type of person to just put on a happy face and keep all my feelings tucked inside. Sometimes though I BLOW my cork. It takes an awful lot…..but when it goes….it goes :)
        Some days I think Oh I will be fine! I can sort this all out. I was doing really good….then the this past weekend happened and I though WHAT have I been doing all of this time?!?!? I feel like a fool. Since the “friend” episode happened I have been trying really hard to be more flirtatious, dressing to seduce him or what not. Then I get the revalation from him that WOW I really don’t even turn him on :( He tells me I LOVE YOU! I told him I think that HIS definition of love and MY definition of love must be 2 COMPLETELY different things. I would NEVER do the things and say the things to him (the man I LOVE) that he does to me and he has no response to that.I think that he has some VERY deep issues that he needs to deal with and I am not capable of helping him with that. We can help each other with a lot of things and we have but I don’t know if his upbringing or WHAT his issues really are. I know that HE is not a very happy person, he is very negative about almost everything and he always thinks he has it the worst of ANYONE. I have tried for going on 18 years to help him through all of the troubles that he has had. BUT these issues I can’t fix……at least on my own. I WISH I didn’t love this man with EVERYTHING that I am. I wish I hated his guts and could care less….but I don’t. To answer your question about counciling…I have been in contact with one place, but they said that I would need to contact a different place because they deal more with people that are mentally “unstabe” I understand what they mean but somedays I feel UNSTABLE. I need to contact some other places. Like I say….I am having the days now where I “think” I can deal with this my self. :)

  • JBA

    I was truly blown away after reading this article. I was expecting to read about how to shop ’til you drop or have a girls’ night out with your closest friends in order to feel like a princess. But the author emphasizes that a woman should focus on her inner beauty instead of what the world considers beautiful is only external and very superficial. BRAVO, Nancy Jenkins! After reading just a few lines of your article, immediately, I realized I am a princess. I am a Cinderella. Better yet, I am a child of the King who possesses so much more than I ever realized. I do possess those internal qualities that God truly admires-being kind, bold, hopeful, resourceful, and honorable. I thank God for using you to help me understand that I am truly beautiful!

  • SaraLynn

    Thank you for this article. I loved it except one of the primary things that hit me in this new Cinderella movie was to Be Forgiving. It was a powerful scene at the end of the movie when Cinderella turns and tells her stepmother that she forgives her. Unforgiveness can destroy a person from the inside out! Cinderella could never have a happily ever after if she was not forgiving.