by guest blogger ch
Our daughter, LC, is adopted. My husband and I stood in the delivery room and watched her birth. We were left speechless by the honor of becoming her parents in a way that felt as if we had been tangibly touched by the hand of God.
(What if adoption didn’t ask a birth mother to say, "Take this from me" but, instead whispered, "Share this child with me"?)
The truth is, we adopted a baby that didn’t need a mom. LC has a mother. And, believe me, she has earned the title. When she learned of her unborn baby’s diagnosis of Down syndrome and multiple heart defects early in her pregnancy, she did her research and attended numerous appointments with a variety of specialists to ensure this child would have every possible chance at a healthy birth.
For over 200 mornings she was kicked awake by little feet that would one day run through someone else's home. Month after month, she saw doctors and endured procedures to care for a baby’s heart she would entrust to someone else's keeping. For so many weeks, she sacrificed relationships, social acceptance, and convenience to shelter a tiny body. Night after night, she prayed for her child, and for the strength she would need to say good bye.
(What if adoption wasn’t about breaking ties but about building teams?)
People immediately become uneasy when I acknowledge LC’s birth mother. They rush to assure me that I am LC's mom...as if the two were mutually exclusive. I am, indeed, LC's mom and quite proud to be so! I am equally honored to have been invited to assume that role by a woman whose humor, courage, and faith both humble and astound me.
Because of this woman’s choice, LC was blessed with life. She will never feel that she was baby with an undesirable diagnosis —abandoned and found by new parents. LC will know she was unceasingly loved by a multitude of people from the moment each one learned of her impending arrival. She will know that the love she deserves required more than a single person could provide. She will also know that love didn’t require a relationship to be broken, just expanded. We were chosen as a gift to LC by someone who loved her, and continues to do so.
(What if the arms reaching out to adopt a child ensured a bestowing mother would never have to let go?)
God didn’t bring LC to us. Instead, He brought us to LC’s mother. He didn’t send us because we were equipped with amazing faith or infallible parenting skills, nor because we needed a baby. He sent us because He had heard the sound of a mother’s heart breaking.
We didn’t go to create a new family, but to join an existing one. A baby was coming who would need the prayers and ferocious love of more than a few to bring her through the trials she would face in this world. Our reaching arms weren’t fixed to take away. God intended them to hold something together and LC’s mother was brave enough to open her own, and invite us in.
(What if adoption was less about abandonment and more about abundance?)
Our near-daily chats with LC’s mother don’t lessen LC’s recognition of my husband and I as her parents. The presence of a Kellymom in LC’s life does not rob me of my own Momma title. The acknowledgment of our shared parenting role doesn’t compromise the impact my husband and I have on LC’s life, or call into question to whom she belongs. LC belongs to a God who proves it every day through the miracles He works in and through her.
She has been entrusted to us for now and we have been called to continue a good work begun in her long before she reached our hearts or arms. She is both the result of a promise kept to us by God and a reminder of the promise we have vowed to keep.
Inside LC’s baby book, beside a picture of her mother, are lines from the poem, "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" by John Donne.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.
(What if adoption was about creating a blended family to celebrate and share life?)
LC is not the claimed fragment of a mother’s broken heart tossed aside. She is the unifying rhythm of a group of people who have unexpectedly found themselves sharing a single heartbeat. We are a family made possible by a mother’s courageous faith and the grace of an infinitely loving God. We are a family held together by a love like spun gold, wrapping us up and increasing our value to more than we would have ever been alone. There is no question that agonizing sacrifices have been asked of each of us along the way, but also no doubt that they have added to the luster and shine of the treasure we now find ourselves sharing.
How to Share the Love
If you are pregnant with a baby that has been diagnosed with Down syndrome and would like to know more about sharing this gift of a child with another family, please contact Adoption STAR. They can assist you with finding a waiting family with whom to share your precious child.