Twenty-one year old Travis shut the door and locked it. Checking to make sure it was latched, he turned around and headed home. The building that he just left served two purposes: the lower level was a church and the upper level was the office/headquarters for Anabaptist Publishers, a Christian publishing company that also had a weekly radio and TV show, Baptists on the Air. Every Sunday, Travis or one of the other men led the service, while another one gave the message. Since Travis lived only three blocks away, he decided to walk.
As he neared his home, however, he thought he saw something on his front porch. Arriving at the swing, he noticed a baby carrier, a diaper bag, and a note tapped to the baby carrier handle. He picked up the note and read:
This is Joanna. She is nine months old; she was born in September of last year. I can no longer take care of her. Please excuse the inconvenience. I have included $100 for her care.
Sincerely, Joanna’s mother
Travis picked up the bay carrier and the diaper bag and headed inside. Just as he turned the kitchen lights on, his eyes caught on to a note on the refrigerator:
I took baby Kelly shopping. I’ll be back in a few.
“So that’s where Tracy went,” Travis said. His wife usually met him at the door, so he suspected that she had left for something.
“What do you have there?” Tracy asked after she walked into the kitchen.
“Tracy my dear,” Travis said, “I would like you to meet Joanna.”
“Joanna?” Tracy asked.
Travis laughed. “When I came home this evening, I found her on the porch with this note.” He handed the note to Tracy.
“Well who would do that?” Tracy asked.
“I have no idea,” Travis replied. “Since it’s typed out, there’s no way to even begin looking.”
“Did you find the money?’
“Yeah,” Travis said, “along with the birth certificate. Only problem is: there’s no last name.”
“Yep. No last name.”
“And the $100 is in cash too, right?”
“Three twenties; two tens; three fives; five ones,” Travis said.
“And a diaper bag to go with it,” Tracy added.
“Complete with diapers, goat milk formula, three bottles, and everything else,” Travis stated.
“Two sets of spare clothes,” Travis answered. “Plus a baby carrier and two pacifiers.”
“And three toys,” Tracy said, looking through the contents.
“And the money was hidden in an envelope amongst the diapers,” Travis said.
“She’s cute,” Tracy said, looking at the baby.
“So what are we going to do?” Tracy asked.
“I think about the only thing we can do is adopt her,” Travis said. “I don’t want to take her anywhere.”
“I talked to Robert; or rather, I called Robert,” Travis said.
“‘Trav, if you found the baby, and there’s no missing person call on it, then you can keep it if you want.’”
Robert was the police officer who was only three blocks from Travis’s home. “He said he can look at her tomorrow at church,” Travis said.
And Robert did.
“Yeah, there’s no missing person call on this girl,” Robert said. “So I guess you just adopt.”
“Jump up and down, Trav,” Bill, the black attorney that attended the church, put in. “That’s a fun process.”
“Yeah,” Tracy laughed.
“But hey,” Robert put in, “at least you’ve got the attorney.”
“Oh no!” Bill groaned in mock disgust.
“Hey you said it was fun,” Travis reminded him.
“Fun for you, not me,” Bill replied.
And so, Travis and Tracy began the long process of adoption. After about ten, long months, they finally signed the final papers. Joanna was officially theirs.
“You know Bill,” Travis said one Sunday after the adoption process was over. “This deal had taught me something.”
“What’s that?” Bill asked.
“Well, Joanna is ours by adoption,” Travis replied, “just like we are God’s by adoption. Now, when the adoption process is finally over, the child is legally yours.” Travis paused for a breath.
“Just like we’re God’s,” Bill said. “Only His adoption process is instant.”
“Exactly,” Travis replied. “And you know what else?”
“The only way Joanna could not be ours, is if we gave her up or something like that. Which of course, we will never do.
“But there’s something interesting: the only way we couldn’t be God’s, is if He gave us up; which of course, He has also promised to not do.’
“So if you’re saved,” Bill said, catching on, “DON’T EXPECT TO LOSE IT!”