Halina Pastuszko decided that she didn’t want any more children after giving birth to a third daughter in Poland.
But she learned at the age of 42, the same year that her first grandchild was born, that she was five months pregnant.
The pregnancy alarmed the physician, and he warned that the child might be born disabled because of Halina’s age. Poland lacked facilities to raise disabled children at the time.
The physician suggested an abortion and gave Halina the telephone number for a doctor who could perform the procedure.
From home, Halina tried to call for an appointment, but she got no answer. Giving up, she returned to work as an accountant for a city housing department in Rumia.
Meanwhile, her husband, Władysław, learned from a daughter that his wife had tried to call the abortion doctor, and he rushed to her workplace.
“This is my decision,” Halina said. “I want to have an abortion.”
Falling to his knees, Władysław pleaded, “Please, don’t do it.”
Halina asked whether he would leave her if she had the abortion.
“No,” he said. “No matter what happens, I will never leave you.”
Halina’s heart was touched.
“OK, let’s have this child,” she said.
Adam, a healthy baby boy, was born three and a half months later. For the first time, Halina realized people can be wrong no matter how strong their opinions. If God wants to accomplish something, He will fulfill His plans.
Halina began to wonder why her husband attended a Seventh-day Adventist church. She hadn’t thought much about God in Communist-era Poland. But now she felt grateful for her healthy baby and wanted to do something good for God. She decided to become an Adventist.
Without her husband’s knowledge, she started studying the Bible with an Adventist pastor. She surprised him by being baptized at a camp meeting.
Several years passed, and Halina enrolled at the Adventist seminary in Poland to pursue higher education. During a class, she was moved to hear a man with Down Syndrome speak about the difficulties of disabled people. She decided to write her thesis on how to care for disabled children. Around the same time, she met a physical therapist who was working with a 10-year-old disabled boy at an orphanage.
Halina stopped by the orphanage to see the boy and loved him immediately. Dawid had been abandoned as a baby, and the orphanage had unsuccessfully tried to find an adoptive family.
Halina applied to join a government program that allows families to take orphans home for the weekend. Soon she and her husband were taking Dawid home on Friday afternoons and returning him to the orphanage on Sunday evenings.
One Sunday evening, Dawid didn’t want to go back to the orphanage. He clung to a chair and cried loudly. Halina also cried. She had to make a decision. She decided to adopt Dawid.
Halina and Wladyslaw gathered the family together to announce the decision. Everyone opposed the idea except Adam, who was 12. After the family meeting, he wrote a tender letter to his parents.
“No matter how Dawid may act, I want him in our family forever,” he wrote.
Halina decided to take early retirement so she could devote all her time to Dawid.
The Polish government, however, informed Halina that a woman in her mid-50s was too old to adopt a child. But she found a loophole. She could become a foster parent. The court judge quickly approved her case.
“There are beautiful moments lying ahead for your family,” he said. “Dawid has waited all his life to become part of your family.”
On July 2, 2009, Dawid came home.
Months after moving in, he had a first operation on his legs. The results disappointed the doctor, and he cautioned that the boy would never walk. He was wrong, no matter how strong his opinion. If God wants to accomplish something, He will fulfill His plans. Dawid had four more operations and can today walk on his own with walking sticks.
Dawid, now 17, is a living witness to God. When the family goes out, people marvel at Dawid. They ask many questions, and the family replies by sharing the gospel. They love to distribute “The Great Controversy,” and they have passed out 200 copies in the past year.
Dawid loves the Bible, and he has memorized several chapters. His favorite is Psalms 23. It sums up his life.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,” he said.