Thursday, June 18, 2015

Greater Love

This was not my planned post for today.  But, as usual, God has laid it on my heart to write about how He has worked in my life.

This is my birth-mother, Michelle.  She is also my mother's sister (it's complicated, but you get used to it after 30-something years). 

I have a very deep love for my mother, my adoptive mother. There is no question in my mind that she is my real mother. She has shown me a love that only a mother could.  She has loved me through tears of pain and tears of joy, laughter, fun times, anger, difficult times, and everything in between.  She has shown me the love of Christ and for that, I am eternally grateful.

That being said, I feel I need to acknowledge the love I have for my birth-mother as well.I only wish I could have said this to her while she was still alive.

We often think of this verse (John 15:13) in terms of sacrificing our life for a friend and Christ's ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.  But I see this through the lens of adoption.

As a mother who has carried four babies in her belly (three that are here with us and one born into Heaven's nursery-for more on that click here), I look at the picture of my birth-mother, pregnant with me, and I see hope and excitement for a future with the child that grows within.

But I know the outcome, and it was not the story she imagined.

I cannot comprehend the sacrificial love that she expressed by giving me up for adoption. The combination of joy and pain she must have felt watching me grow up from a distance. 

Greater love hath no man mother than to sacrifice her life personal desires for a friend child.

She was not perfect.  Some would say that her situation was a result of her own poor life choices-and they would be right.  But she made good choices, too.  She made one choice that many women could not fathom.  She chose to die to her personal desires and sacrifice them for her child.

Most mothers will tell you that they would do anything for their children, including lay down their own lives.  But I think the sacrifice of adoption takes more. And an adoption situation where you continue to be in that child's life, but must watch as they call another woman "Momma", must take a level of sacrifice that few are capable of.

My adoption story is more than this one picture.  I have honestly never thought much about who my birth-mother was before I have actual memories of her (by which time she was functionally my Aunt Michelle).  This photo has allowed me to connect with her in a way I have never experienced.  At this moment in time, she shared all of the hopes and dreams that I felt with each of my pregnancies.  And then she had the strength to let them go.

I have experienced the loss of those dreams.  I have had them torn from my womb in a painful and terrible way. 

But she laid them on the altar in the ultimate act of self-sacrifice.  And for that, I am forever grateful.