22 Av 5781 / Saturday, July 31, 2021 | Torah Reading: Eikev
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The Childless Couple    

The Childless Couple

The couple came to the Ukraine to adopt a child, but suddenly the husband was asked to be the tenth man in a minyan an hour, in a place called Uman...


I recently read, or attempted to read, an amazing book about miracles that people have experienced as a result of connecting in some way with Rebbe Nachman. I say “attempted to read” because the book is in Hebrew and without vowels. I was reading like a five-year-old, mouthing the words slowly as I went along. I didn’t understand much of what I was reading, even though I grew up in a home where my parents spoke (yelled, actually) Hebrew to each other. My husband lovingly calls me a defective Israeli.
Nonetheless, I managed to get the gist of the following story, and I found it so amazing and inspiring I wanted to share it with you.
There was a secular Israeli couple who were married for 25 years with no children. All of their previous attempts at having children resulted in heartbreak, and for many years they had given up hope. At long last, the wife decided that they should adopt. After the long process, they had decided on adopting a Ukranian baby.
They were in the clouds. They nearly bought out the entire toy store and purchased the most beautiful bedroom set they could find. The closet was already bursting with enough clothes for five children. Their dream was finally coming true.
The night before the flight, they couldn’t sleep. All night they imagined what it would be like to finally have a child after so many difficult and lonely years. When they finally arrived at the Ukranian orphanage, they were given a choice of three different children. They decided to adopt a sweet-looking four year old boy, with angelic blonde hair and sky-blue eyes.
The day before they were supposed to leave, the boy developed some type of infection (I don’t know what type since I couldn’t understand that part!) and he had to go to the hospital. This was an unexpected turn of events and the parents were disappointed that they weren’t yet able to take him home. They took turns spending every waking and sleeping hour by his hospital bed.
One day as the husband was walking into the hospital to begin his shift, a guy stops him and says, “Hey, can you join us for a minyan? We need a tenth person.”
The husband looks at this guy incredulously and asks, “How did you know I was Jewish? I’m not wearing a kippah.”
The first guy smiled and said, “I just knew. So can you come with us? I can have you back here in a couple of hours.”
The husband said, “I don’t know how to pray…”
Smiley Guy responded, “It’s okay- we just need you to be there.” So with his wife’s permission, he was off with a total stranger in the middle of the Ukraine to a minyan an hour away.
In the car, Smiley Guy asked him what they were doing in a Ukrainan hospital. He told him the story, and Smiley Guy pointed out how many potential problems there were for adopting a non-Jew. SG mentioned that he knew a wonderful family that was looking for someone to adopt the four-month-old, as the mother had just passed away, and the father couldn’t handle the baby along with the other 17 kids (!) and would be happy to give him to a nice Jewish couple. The husband mentioned that they had already paid the adoption money and there was no way to back out.
As it turned out, the minyan was held at the Tzion in Uman, the building where Rebbe Nachman is buried. The husband hung out in the back for the prayers, then listened to a very moving speech that the Rabbi gave. I have no idea what he said; I just know that the husband was blown away. He was so moved, in fact, that he spent the next four hours crying non-stop near the grave of Rebbe Nachman. He cried out all of his years of pain and frustration, until he finally collapsed on the floor in his large puddle of tears.
Suddenly, he gets a frantic phone call from his wife. The adoption was off. The birth mother came to the hospital with the adoption money and decided that she wanted to keep her son. The husband told his wife to come to the Tzion. An hour later, she was the one crying for another four hours until she finally collapsed as well. Imagine the emotional rollercoaster- after so many years of waiting and being so close to realizing their dream, it was ripped away at the last minute.
When she was calm again, her husband introduced her to Smiley Guy and asked him to find out if the baby was still available. To their joy, he was! After a quick adoption process in which they promised to raise him in a Torah-observant home, they finally had their little angel! Of course, they became dedicated followers of Rebbe Nachman after having experienced such a miracle.
The bigger miracle, however, happened a year later when the wife, already in her 50’s, gave birth to twin girls!

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  1 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  Such an inspiring story. I will share this with my friends.
Malka5/26/2016 8:39:09 AM

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