I’m not sure how to put into words what my heart is feeling as I sit at my desk tonight. The past month has been the most joy-filled and dread-filled. I have experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows and right now I’m feeling a little bit numb. I’ve been retyping and deleting my words for the last 30 minutes, unsure of whether to publish this little chapter of my life – it’s definitely a little darker than my normal posts, but it is my life right now and sometimes it’s cathartic to spill it out. Maybe this experience will be helpful or encouraging to someone reading it? I’ve been attacked on this blog before by mean-spirited comments and it was tough to accept, and while I realise that publishing on the internet invites differing opinions, I beg you to be gentle with my fragile heart just this once.
I did something an emergency mother is not supposed to do…
I fell in love with the baby placed in my care. Not in the ‘oh she’s a cute baby’ way, but in the deep ‘I want to be your forever mommy’ way. Within days of meeting this precious baby girl I felt a connection so strong that it literally brought me to my knees. And for the first time, Terence felt it too. Baby J is our 4th baby, and whilst I’ve loved each baby dearly, I always knew they belonged to other parents and it was my joy to prepare them for their forever families. This time felt different. I’m not sure if it’s because she looks like our baby, or if it’s because we are moving towards a different space in our lives and little J felt like the perfect fit for our little family. She came to us at the craziest time. We had weddings and bridal showers and family commitments. I almost told my social worker that we wouldn’t be able to take her, but I also knew she had no where else to go as all the other emergency moms had babies. Terence and I spoke at length, we worked out our finances, we spoke to our family, we prayed and as each puzzle piece seemingly fell into place, we believed it to affirmation that little J could be ours.
And then we approached our social worker…
And soon our ‘perfectly organised plan’ started crumbling. We were told it would not be possible for us to adopt little J. We were crushed. We pleaded with the Lord to work a miracle and we asked our friends and family to pray to. We sought advice from other social workers and pleaded with ours and yet the doors continued to close. I’d like to point out that we love our social worker very much, and a lot of what she says makes sense, but when you’re looking down into those sweet blue eyes, all you want to do is scream at the policies and procedures that are taking this child away from you.
And so we are here – the night before our little J-bug goes to a new home – bracing ourselves for the inevitable pain coming tomorrow and also trying to make the most of every cuddle, kiss and precious moment we have with our little gift. That is what this month has been for us. An unexpected, undeserved gift and privilege to have cared for this baby girl straight from the hospital. Through my grief I know that God continues to work for the good of those who love Him. I love Him dearly, even though I feel so out of control and so uncertain of His plan for our lives, I know that He loves Terence and I and that He loves our little J and has a perfect plan for her life.
I’ve been thinking about some of the things that God may be trying to teach me through this process – things I wouldn’t have learnt if I hadn’t said yes to taking little J. I have learnt that children are a blessing from the Lord; a true, undeserved gift. One that truly belongs to the Giver. It is so easy to feel like we own our children and can choose to care for them as we see fit. Being an emergency mom has helped me to keep focused on who these babies really belong to. Not me, not the social worker or even the biological or adoptive parents, but God. I wish I could fully understand why God has not chosen to give little J to us, but I have been forced to acknowledge that she belongs to Him and He is good, all the time.
I have also grown in empathy for birth mothers. It is so easy to judge a woman for giving up her child and I have been guilty of doing this in the past. I don’t know who little J’s birth mother is, but I know that she loved her daughter, enough to do what she felt is the best for her despite the cost to herself. I have been humbled by her sacrifice as I look at this baby and face her leaving me too.
I have learnt that I love being a mother and am amazed at the incredible joy children can bring to ones life. By nature I am a box-ticker. I thought I could only be a mother when Terence and I had a house with a garden and a fancy car and a cushy life. I believed that would bring me joy, and yet I was content being a mom in my little flat with no garden and a car with no 5th gear. I have learnt that if I link motherhood to material wealth I may be missing out on motherhood for all the wrong reasons and for a very long time.
I have learnt that my husband is going to make an incredible, God-fearing father and this warms my heart more than you can imagine. Very few women have the opportunity to have a glimps into their husband’s character as a father before he actually is one. If you know my husband, you’ll know he’s not the baby-crazy type, but I have seen his heart soften towards this baby and a protectiveness develop that has made me fall more in love with him. I know that if little J had stayed with us she would have been the luckiest girl to have a daddy like him. I feel honoured to call him my husband and so excited to have a family with him one day. This last month has been a confirmation that God has chosen the perfect partner for me.
I have been reminded of why I love adoption. God redeems, dear friends. From trauma He brings restoration to the children He loves so dearly. Adoption is such a beautiful picture of our adoption into God’s family. My prayer is that more people would pray about adoption as a way to add to their families. It is hard, but it is good. I hope to add to our family through adoption in the future.
And now it is time for me to feed my little J her bottle and savour every second of it. Thank you for your love, prayer and support over this passed month. We have been so touched by your messages on this blog, on facebook, via sms and email. Please keep praying for little J and her future family. And if you have a spare prayer, please pray for strength for us for tomorrow and the coming days.
If you’re a mommy or a daddy, feel blessed today because you really are.