By By Kyalah Jones |
December 17, 2003
A beautiful baby girl named, Elizabeth, was born on Oct. 5, 2000. She had gorgeous blonde hair, smooth white skin and big ocean blue eyes. From this description one may think that Elizabeth enjoyed a normal life as a baby, full of smelly diapers, rattles and warm bottles. Unfortunately, Elizabeth did not get to experience this life during her very first months on this earth. Before she was even eight months old, she had suffered from severe physical abuse. This mistreatment caused her to have a broken hip, ribs, arm, and both legs. The was placed into the lives of two loving Christian people, who have been inspired by her strength and determination.
Tom Molnar, Director of Annual Giving, and his wife Mary graduated from Bethel College in 1990 and 1992, respectively. While they were dating, a conversation arose concerning their personal feelings on adoption. Tom, at first, was not exactly excited about having a blended family. He felt that it would distort the image that he had always had on how his family should look.
"There's a certain way I thought my life would look," he says.
After contemplating over it a little more, the Molnars came to the conclusion that there were too many children in the world that needed good, loving, Christian homes, and they felt that God was calling them to this ministry. Arriving at this conclusion required extensive prayer and remembering what family values meant to both of them. So in 1996 the Molnars received the first child that they wished to adopt. However, this adoption fell through, because the young, teenage mother decided that she would like to keep the child for her own. At first, this news discouraged the Molnars and they decided to wait a few years until they decided to get back into the adoption process.
Joey was the first child that the Molnars adopted. He came in to their home when he was just two days old. By adopting Joey, the Molnars were able to experience what it was really like to have their own child, and because of this they were not willing to stop at just one. By way of a couple of friends, Tom and Mary heard about the need for international adoption. Because of overpopulation, China has put into effect the one-child policy. Mothers that have more than one child feel that they have to pretty much throw the child away so that their government does not take disciplinary actions against them. The Molnars felt that this was the next place that they should seek to adopt from, because so many children were being neglected and rejected. Tom and Mary were told about a little girl who was found by police in a cardboard box in front of a factory. They were overjoyed when they learned that she was available for adoption. They eagerly took on this next child and welcomed her with open arms. Gracie's adoption was finally completed in 2002, and she then officially became apart of the Molnar family. They were now just one step away from having the number of children that they had always dreamed of: three.
Every year, over three million referrals concerning the welfare of approximately five million children are made to Child Protective Services agencies throughout the United States. Elizabeth was one of these children. Between five and eight months of age, Elizabeth was physically abused by people that should have been there to protect and shield her. Psychologists have said that children raised in an abusive home usually grow up to be what some call a problem child. This, however, is not the way that God wanted Elizabeth to live her life, and she was fortunate enough to be taken in to a home with people that were willing to give her the love that she needed.
When Elizabeth came into the Molnars home in the summer of 2001 as a foster child, her legs, which had been broken, were not growing properly. With all of the abuse and injuries that Elizabeth suffered, it seemed inevitable that she would go her whole life having numerous surgeries and psychiatric visits. With the help of God, this will not be the case for Elizabeth. When she was fifteen months, the Molnars were able to see their beautiful foster child take her first steps. Up until then, she "would roll around on the floor," Tom recalls. Although fifteen months may seem a little late, someone in her condition is blessed to even be able to walk at all. She is also a tad bit behind on her speech. This is normal for abused children, but they are usually able to catch up with their peers.
Elizabeth is now three years old, and on Nov. 14 of this year she was scheduled to go through surgery at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. During this surgery, the doctors had prepared to break her legs, so that they would be able to reset them. After her surgery, she would have to wear casts on her legs that would restrain her legs to a frog-like position. As Tom watched his daughter put on the garments for surgery, he was reminded of the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham was told by God that he was to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham was more than willing to offer his only son up to the Lord. Like Abraham, Tom feels that God was testing their faith. Right before they performed the operation, the doctors took one final x-ray. When they returned, Tom and Mary were happy to receive the news that Elizabeth would not have to have surgery after all. The Molnars felt the same feeling of relief and thankfulness that Abraham did when the angel appeared to him and told him that he did not have to sacrifice his son after all. The doctors found that her legs were healing on their own. So, instead of sitting in the hospital all day long, the Molnar family was able to enjoy a fun day at the Indianapolis Kids Museum.
Feeling like your mother just threw you away into the arms of another person is sometimes an extremely hard thing to deal with. Although she might have done it for very good reasons, for instance, not having enough money, a child that is put up for adoption still has feelings of being alone. There is a void that every adopted child feels and by living in a Christian home, that void will be filled by Jesus Christ.
The most positive result that Tom feels he has received from adopting is, "The reliance of faith and Christ through it all. When you're open in life with goals, dreams, plans … and don't take them back, it's kind of neat what happens." Not only have him and his wife been able to fulfill their dreams, they have also been able to give three wonderful children the lives that they deserve.
One final message that he wanted to express to Bethel students was, "You guys have dreams and goals ... I encourage you to be open and take steps in faith and don't be afraid to do something that you don't think you can."