Recently on Morning Air, John Morales shared the incredible story of the adoption of his son, Joseph. September 16th was Joseph’s birthday, so in his honor, John recounted the beautiful experience that was the journey to finding his son.
Sheila Liaugminas joined John for this segment as she and her husband played an integral role in the connection of Joseph’s birth mother and his adoptive parents, John and Cindy. While John has told the story many times to people all over the country, John and Sheila have never told it together in public.
The story begins on September 6th, 2007 when John was in Rome for a sports and faith conference. He and Cindy had been married for two and a half years and had just been unable to have a baby. So, while in Rome, John visited the tomb of his hero, Pope St. John Paul II. Getting down on his knees, John implored God to bless him and his wife with a baby. Twelve days later, John was back in the States and at about 5pm, he received a call from Sheila.
Sheila, who was a longtime friend of John’s, had been on her way to Mass and had received a call from her husband Dale, an OB/GYN. He had explained to her that one of his patients had given birth to her baby on September 16th and due to her critical situation, was requesting an emergency adoption. Dale had asked Sheila if John and Cindy were still looking to adopt, so Sheila had called John immediately!
John thought it only prudent to discuss it with his wife before committing, so after hanging up with Sheila, he called Cindy. Understanding that time was of the essence for this mother, Cindy had responded, “Are you kidding me? Why didn’t you tell her yes? Yes!” Before Sheila had even reached the Church to go to Mass, she got a call back from John saying that yes, they were still looking to adopt! “So, you called me that fast, John, and you said, ‘Yes! Yes!’ And I said, ‘Ok, John, I’m going to Mass. I’m going to pray for you and call Dale the minute I get out of church!’”
Sheila had told John that the mother was going to be discharged the next morning and so they had to go to Elmhurst Hospital the very next day. John and Cindy went into “big-time prayer mode,” praying the Rosary to Our Lady of Guadalupe all night and in the car on the way to the hospital the following morning. They arrived there in a state of excitement and nervousness. “We walk into the hospital and the birth mother is breastfeeding the baby and my wife is thinking, ‘That is not a good sign.’”
However, after spending several hours talking to the mother, John and Cindy were able to put the mother at ease. They conveyed to her that they would make good Catholic parents, protectors, and providers for her precious baby. And just like that, she gave the baby to Cindy. John distinctly remembers the last thing he said to the birth mother right before she signed the documents. She asked him, “Would you promise me that you’ll take care of my baby?”
John looked her in the eye and, in the example of St. Joseph, his son’s namesake, replied, “I promise to take care of him as if he were my own flesh.”
Joseph was born on Mexican Independence Day, baptized on the Feast of Christ the King, and celebrated his 14th birthday this past Thursday.
St. Joseph, pray for us.