We are approaching our first Mothers’ Day as an adoptive family. And this quote is frequently on my mind:
“A child born to another woman calls me “Mummy” the depth of that tragedy and the enormity of that privilege are not lost on me.” (Jody Landers)
Tragedy and privilege.
Two mothers approaching Mothering Sunday, one will receive cards, smiles, chocolatey kisses, crafts from school and clubs, the other lives in a house, once full, but now empty of children.
Sometimes the weight of that tragedy is overwhelming. We have photos of Star’s first mother, we know where she went to school, the things she enjoyed doing and some of the choices she made.
There are so many questions I would like to ask her “why?”
“why did you choose to do that, why him?”
“why couldn’t you (or wouldn’t you) accept help?”
Sometimes there is just anger and “how could you.”
Then, at times there is a deep sorrow, for a mother who tried and failed, and had her children permanently removed.
You see, on the day of the court hearing, hundred of miles away, I could picture them, getting up and dressed, taking the money they had saved up for the bus fare to go to court to plead to have their daughter back. By this point we knew it was (legally) futile. We have her letter to the court which states they love her, that they want her back, and that no one will ever love their daughter the way they do.
And in a way they are correct.
I did not give birth or carry her in my womb. I did not see her smile for the first time or watch her take her first steps.
Neither was I there to hold her when she was afraid, cold and hungry. I was not there to protect her, or to explain to her what was happening, when those who should have loved, protected and always put her first, didn’t.
I was not there the day she lost everything and everyone she had ever known.
But I am here now.
I did not gain the right to be her Mummy through biology, no, ours was a long, risky, uncertain process, to finally, legally be her adoptive parents. For us adoption is a reality of what God has done for us, in Jesus. In adopting a child into our family, we are simply loving because “he first loved us.”
Or as I read once:
“We adopt not because we are the rescuers. No, it is because we are the rescued.” (David Platt)
When you adopt you realise that the pain, loss and tragedy of the child’s journey comes too. The memories and the scars can’t be easily left behind. But we take comfort and strength in the fact that interceding for us in heaven stands the one who endured the cross, was raised to life and bears the nail marks in his hands as he prays.
God knows about the cost of adopting children into his family. Because it took Calvary to bring me into his forever family. Not just words, but action: bearing the judgement I deserve, pain, separation from his Father and outrageous sacrificial love.
Which makes me think about love, what it is and how we communicate it.
Someone tried to tell me once that Makaton was a less valid form of communication than speech.
I know they are wrong..
Because when my daughter signed that I was her “forever Mummy” for the first time, I thought my heart would burst.
She is my daughter and I am her forever mummy. On this Mother’s Day and for always.
Her story, is now part of my story and it involves pain and privilege, loss and joy. As we pray together at night we list the members of her families, adoptive and birth, and pray that our mighty loving God will meet with and help each one.
How comforting it is to lift her birth family and our family to our perfect Heavenly Father in prayer. To thank him that we are now an adoptive family, to thank him for our safety, fun and joy, to entrust to his care the impact of the past, to ask for strength for the challenges of each day, and to know he promises to be with us and to help us on this Mothering Sunday and always.