I've been thinking a lot lately of our child...what he/she is doing at this moment, what he/she looks like (see my last post), and just who he/she is in general. It's impossible to think about our child, without also thinking about his/her birth mother.
How can you thank someone that you've never even met? How can you possibly repay a gift as huge as the one that she is giving us? It breaks my heart to think that if circumstances were different; if she had the money or resources to raise a child, if she were not alone, if any of the hundreds of things that might cause a mother to have to give up her child were not true, then she would know the joy that too many of us take for granted...the joy of motherhood.
Liam and I have the opportunity (it's actually required now) to meet this incredible woman and perhaps some other members of our child's birth family. Many people have expressed to us that they would feel awkward meeting the birth mother of thier child and I too have mixed feelings about this. However, every negative or "awkward" feeling that I have, is about me. What will I say? How should I act? It has little to do with her or our child, for that matter.
Is it in our child's best interest to know his/her birth story? Yes. Is it in his/her best interest to know some of the reasons that led to his/her adoption? Of course it is. Is it in his/her best interest to possibly have a picture of his/her birth mother? Again, yes. Is it in the birth mother's best interest to hear our story? Yes. Is it in her best interest to meet us and hopefully feel that she has made the right decision in trusting us to raise her child? Yes. I can deal with a bit of awkwardness if it will help my child know the answers to some important questions that he/she may have on down the line.
I feel convicted to pray for our child's birth mother. I can't imagine having to give up a child (well, perhaps through the miscarriages, I have some idea, though not a child that I have loved, carried, and felt move for 9 months), but I do know what it feels like to want something so much that it literally makes your body ache with need and to wish desperately that things were different. I pray for her health. I pray for her peace of mind. I pray that she can somehow feel my deep gratitude envelope her. I pray that she will never doubt her decision. I pray that she knows God's love the way that I do and the way that we will raise this child to know.
Below is what I wrote when filling out the data form necessary for our homestudy. The question was what are our feelings towards the birth mother/father?
There is no way that I can begin to understand the sacrifice and selflessness that these families have shown. Having wanted a child for so long, I can’t imagine the anguish that one must feel at having to give their child away. It is a rare person that can think above their own needs to the needs of another; and for some, this extends to their own child. I see evidence of this every day as a school teacher. It is both Liam’s and my wish to have continued communication with the birth family. Through Holt, we would love to exchange letters and pictures. Not only do we feel that this is important to our child to give him a sense of where he was born and the love that his birth parents had for him, but also to provide for the birth family some peace about their decision.
So, this is my continued prayer...
Bless her life, dear Lord. Give her an abundance of happiness and love and family. Please let her feel the prayers we have for her on each birthday of our child, each Christmas, each Mother's Day, each moment that we spend as parents. We think of her with reverence and love and inexpressible gratitude. Amen.