GLENDORA, Calif. Close to Christmas, we would usually go caroling at the homes of friends and neighbors. Our four children, all girls then ages 4 to 11, had been taught by my wife a new song. Its words were "Santa, give us a baby brother, but do not tell mom or dad."

One of the homes we visited while caroling, unbeknownst to us, was the residence of an attorney.

A week before Christmas, our family planned a more unusual Christmas Eve. It was decided that we would have a birthday party and dinner as we supposed the Christ child might have received at age 10.

Mom made several tries at Holy Land food. She provided some crackers with cheese, goat milk, dates, nuts and oranges. I had taken the table legs off and put the table low to the floor on bricks. We sat on our bed pillows, the girls wearing scarves while I had a homemade yarmulke made of black paper. We sang "Happy Birthday" and gave written gifts to the birthday boy, notes to Him put in an envelope unread. I put it away to be found and read the following year, giving me a great satisfaction in their love.

Christmas Day, we put the tree up and decorated it with the usual pleasure of the season. On Dec. 29, we received a telephone call from the attorney for whom we had sung. He asked if we were thinking of adoption.

He explained that a baby boy was born instead of a girl that had been expected. The adoptive parents had changed their minds. They had wanted only a girl. He was asking my wife and, in turn, me if we wanted the baby.

"Of course!" was our answer.

We were told to get the boy from the hospital. An hour later, we returned home to introduce the 6-hour-old infant to his happy sisters. They had been busy finding dish towels for diapers and making a bed from a drawer with neatly folded towels as padding.

All of our loving hearts thanked God for what, to this day, is the best gift we were ever given for Christmas.


Abraham Vanwyk is a member of the Glendora 4th Ward, Glendora California Stake