Monday, May 9, 2016

Thoughts About A Bio Mom On Mother's Day

When I awakened on Sunday, Mother's Day, I found myself not only grateful for the wonderful mother my wife is to our two boys, but I also found myself thinking a great deal about Cava's biological mother. We know so little about someone who is so instrumental in the life of our family. 

So often on Mother's Day, we get so caught up in the celebration that we forget, for many, this is a day of sorrow. Many times throughout the day, my thoughts turned to a woman in Ukraine who I have never met but to whom I am so grateful. All I know is that in an act of heart-breaking love, she gave up her son in the hopes he would have a better life, a life she could not provide him. Yet in this act of unselfish love, how many times over the years has it caused her grief?

How many tears has she shed since that day?

How many times a day does she think about him and wonder where he is and how he is doing?

While Ukraine does not have Mother's Day, but has International Women's Day, is it still a painful reminder for her?

How painful is it for her to come across other women, mothers with their children, who are at play or showing affection for one another, and her heart aches a little more in what she will never again experience? 

Adoption carries both joy and sorrow. An adoptive parent must hold both of them within themselves. They know that the love they now have came at a great loss to another.  My heart was burdened for this woman today. 

There are those who might use the verse in Romans about how God works all things together for good in terms of adoption, but it's hard for me to; not because Cava's life isn't better now but because he will always carry the pain of loss, of abandonment, and of rejection throughout his entire life. It's also hard for me to apply this verse because I know that in another part of the world there's a woman who will always carry the pain of her sacrificial love inside of her. For her, every other mother with their child is a condemnation of her failure. 

I have shed tears for her pain and grieved for her grieving. 

She cannot kiss or hug her son. She cannot calm his fears at night and soothe him back to sleep. She cannot take care of him when he falls and scratches his knees or wipe away his tears. She cannot sing to him or say, "Я люблю тебе , мій сину (I love you, my son)."  

I have prayed for her a lot during this past Mother's Day.

I prayed because I could not hug her. I could not comfort her. I could not thank her.

I did what I could do: prayed. I prayed that God would do what I could not. I prayed that He would pour out His love and mercy and compassion and kindness on her. I prayed that He would comfort her in her times of loneliness, brokenness, and in her times of despair and pain. "Give her Your peace, Lord. Show her Your tender mercies."

While I was praying for this woman, I found myself thinking of one of my favorite children's books: Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Taking it off the shelf, I reread this beloved work and was deeply moved by its message. What struck me most was the following page:

I found myself crying for this Ukrainian mother who so loved a little boy, her little boy, even more than she loved herself. She unselfishly gave him up.

Then I began to think about and pray for any mother who did this act out of the hopes that their son or daughter would have a better life. I prayed for those who see this as a day they would most like to forget motherhood and this day is not a joyous one for them. I pray that God and those around them would show them such tenderness and compassion. I prayed for their healing: that Christ would show his mercy to a bruised reed and smoldering wick. That they would feel his embrace, his love and grace. 

I write this because I want those biological mothers to know, adoptive parents do think of you, pray for you, love you and wish that they could thank you. You are in our thoughts, prayers and hearts not only today but every day we look at our adoptive children and wonder whether they have your eyes or nose or laugh. 

We thank you that you gave them life and opportunity. 

You, though we may never meet you, are just as much a part of our families as these children.

We love you.

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