Even though I’ve wanted to adopt for a long time, and the home study process and seemingly never-ending application process appeared to be overwhelming drawn out (ha! in actuality our 6 month start-to-finish process was nothing) I was not prepared for the birth mom experience.
When we started I remember thinking, “I don’t want to talk to the birth mom or anything” because in my naiveity I thought it would somehow take away from my attachment. Fears crept in and I believed that my future child would reject me as his mother if I kept in touch with his birth mom. Instead of trusting in the One who creates life, I had decided to develop my own reality that would seemingly “protect” me and my child.
Nothing could have been further from the truth…and even from the very first phone call shared between our birth mom and me; it was apparent- God loves this woman and wanted us to share in His compassion. My heart went out to the 20 year old girl, who shared that her whole pregnancy had been stressful because of her family’s lack of support about her decision to give her baby up for adoption. As she stated on her application, the only other option she considered was abortion and in the end “her faith” is what led her to carry this baby into the world- despite knowing how hard it would be to give him up, she chose life…she chose love.
After receiving the shocking “she’s in labor” call (3 weeks early)- I had 20 hours of driving to contemplate the situation and try to put myself in our birthmom’s shoes, if even just for a small glimpse. God gave me such love for this woman I’d never met and when we finally walked into the hospital to meet her, I felt so connected that I couldn’t help but care about her. She is a quiet, strong woman and I could tell from the moment I walked in that she was confident in her decision. Immediately holding out her baby boy to place him in my arms was her simple yet resounding, “I trust you” and I was overwhelmed.
From the moment our child entered this world, he was wanted. This was not a situation where his mom didn’t care- in fact, it was just the opposite. She cared so much and knew, because of many reasons, that she could not provide for this baby well on her own. Within the adoption world, this scenario is much more common- and something that I was not necessarily prepared for. I hadn’t realized the reality behind many adoptions…the sacrifice and strength it takes to give your child up.
On the last day, after Josiah’s birth mom signed his papers and gave away her child, she asked to see us one last time. With tears in her eyes, she stared up at us and simply said “Please tell him that I love him, and I did this because I love him. Will you make sure he knows who I am, and that he knows that I care about him?” As tear drops fell across my face, I nodded over and over…”of course, of course, we’ll tell him, we honor you, we are forever grateful to you…thank you…” Then she opened her arms for a hug and we held her- so grateful for her decision, so unaware of anything else.
After praying for her and blessing her one more time…we walked out her hospital room door and the only thing I kept saying was “she’s amazing, isn’t she amazing?” Her strength and beauty overwhelmed me and I couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief as our son was brought to us moments later. She chose us to love her little boy for the rest of his days. She chose us to be his mom and dad.
She chose life.