About 12 years ago, after our second son was born, I chose to receive a vasectomy. I won't go into the whys or what-fors here, other than to state that it was a decision I have since regretted, especially since I have often wished for a daughter. Vasectomy reversals are seldom successful (approximately 3% chance of success) and most insurance companies will not pay for a reversal.
Before Mass last night, I knelt at the Marian shrine built into one corner of the church, lit a votive and prayed the Rosary. Among my intentions was that if The Father willed it, to find a way to provide for us a daughter. The Lord responded by sending Fr. Peter Hereley, O.P., a visiting priest performing churc h outreach for an organization called Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA). CFCA provides sponsored services to needy children and elderly in developiong countries. There are many organizations like this, but what made this one unique, in my opinion, is that a sponsored child or elderly person only has one sponsor and the services funded by the sponsor is tailored to the sponsored person's needs (they do not receive money directly and only 3% goes to overhead). While Fr. Hereley was presenting the program, I felt The Spirit telling me that this was God's answer. While I would not receive a daughter of my own, I could still make a difference in a young girl's life, for the better.
After Mass, there was a table set up with profile packets of various children and elderly that needed sponsors. My wife wanted to sponsor a child from her birth country of El Salvador and I found the profile packet of a 10-year old girl (whome I will call Abby) from there. We did not pick up the packet though and went home. While preparing dinner in the kitchen, my wife and I discussed the matter and decided that I would go back before morning Mass and fill out the sponsorship form for that little girl. We would becom Abby's sponsors. I woke up early, showered and dressed and was out the door by 8:30am, worried that someone else might have already picked up Abby's profile and chosen to sponsor her. When I arrived there and looked over the table, I was relieved to find her profile still there. I picked it up and sat down in a nearby pew to fill out the sponsorship form. When I handed Fr. Hereley the form, I asked him how they would know which child I was chosing to sponsor and he pointed out the section near the top of the form where Abby's full name was listed, to which I jokingly said, "Well, you can see how observant I am". I suppose that between my excitement and the early hour (I am NOT a morning person), no matter how much I looked at the form on my own, I kept overlooking that section.
Now I must wait to receive my first "bill" and send in the first sponsorship payment and then receive information on how to write letters to this little girl that hopefully will have a better chance at a more fruitful life. Eventually we will also have the opportunity to travel to El Salvador to meet Abby and her family in person.
The Lord answers our prayers, often just not in the ways that we expect. If we listen to The Spirit and follow His will, we will find peace and joy.