You probably don't know off the top of your head who he is. He is Hannah's husband and he is mentioned in the book of the BIble 1 Samuel.
A few years ago when Chris and I were facing infertility and our desire to have a family, I would often go to Hannah's story and find comfort in her journey of barrenness. However, as I have re-read this story last week, I am particularly drawn to her husband's journey.
Hannah cried out for a son and she made a vow to God that if she conceived that she would dedicate her child to him. She even went so far to say that she would allow him grow up in the temple to be trained and raised by the priest.
Sure enough- she had a son.
So, here is Elkanah. He didn't make any vows to God. He wasn't so desperate for a child that he promised to devote him to grow up in the temple. But his wife did. So this put him in an interesting situation. He could have told Hannah, "No way, this is my son too and he is not going anywhere". But he didn't. In fact he prayed that Hannah would be able to fulfill her commitment to God after their son was weaned. He took Hannah to the temple to give their son, Samuel, to the priest. He left empty handed with her.
It's one thing to have your own faith and commitments, but it is another thing to walk along side someone else who has a strong faith and conviction and to back them up in their decisions. This was the kind of husband Elkanah was to Hannah.
We are planning to adopt again in the next few months. The lady who gave birth to Liliana is pregnant again and decided she wants to place this baby in our family- to grow up with us as parents and Liliana as a big sister. I have such respect for any birth mom who faces these tough decisions and out of love chooses what she thinks best for the child.
Yet, as I have been reflecting on Elkanah, I know that there is a boyfriend tied in to the story, that also has to make the same tough choices about this baby. Our particular adoption story is unique, in that Liilana's new sibling -to -be is a full blooded sibling. Two years ago a very selfless, tough choice was made to place Liliana in our home; one that was initiated and driven by her birth mom. It took her boyfriend several months to get on the same page, but he came to the spot where he knew that was the best decision. Now another tough choice must be made. I can hardly imagine what that is like to do once in a lifetime, much less twice.
Granted the situations and circumstances are different, but I am praying that he has the same strength that Elkanah had.