Friday, July 25, 2014

The sorrow before the joy

Adoption is beautiful. Something absolutely stunning occurs when we witness redemption. It glows and pours out and lights up everyone around us. And yet adoption- every time- begins with tragedy. There are no situations in which a mother and child spend nine months together and then are separated that is in of itself a good thing. Circumstances, sin, brokenness, trauma... Something happens and suddenly adoption is necessary. We can not celebrate the beauty of adoption without recognizing the sorrow of the loss. The loss of the child AND of the mother. Even when it is necessary that a child be removed from the mother, or when a mother chooses to place her baby, there is still a shift in design. We were not created to give birth to other mother's children. We were not created to grow up without our mama's care. But because we live in a fallen world, these situations are inevitable. I'm a Presbyterian. I believe in predestination. I believe in grace alone,  But even when providence has declared this moment and these situations, there is sorrow. A mother's inability to parent her child does not negate her inherent mother-ness. Her grief is not disposable. When Lazarus died and Jesus delayed and Martha and Mary cried, so did our savior.  It was sorrow over our condition for which Jesus wept. (John 11) The weight of our sorrow. The heaviness of our brokenness. Jesus knew from before Lazarus died that he would raise him from the dead. He never stops speaking that truth to his followers, to Mary and Martha and yet he weeps as he witnesses their sorrow. 
In every adoption he sees the ending. The price has been paid and redemption has been planned, but first there is and must be weeping. I think of our birth mother. I grieve for her, possibly before she even grieves. At the same time I fully believe with confidence that our future holds princess parties, ballet slippers, flannel gowns on Christmas morning, painted toe nails, giggling conversations across the kitchen counter. I have faith in the future, but I'm fully aware of what has to happen first. 
There is a rising online presence of adopted children who are now adults and angry about their story. They have a right to be. Their story is one of sorrow. The adoption discussion does indeed tend to be very adoptive parent focused. But at the same time adoption does not happen to just the child. Ultimately adoption is a story that belongs to God, the author of adoption. The author of parenthood and childhood and relationships. Those stories of sorrow are also stories of hope. Every adopted child should have that, but sadly many do not. Texas foster care is under immense scrutiny because so many children have died under the states care. Tragic ends to tragic stories. But I have to choose to believe that adoption is beautiful. Because He is beautiful. But today, today I grieve her loss. Our daughter's mother's loss.  My daughter's loss. The condition of sin that causes these losses to begin with. 

I cling to the stories I know, the redemption lived out before me in my fellow walkers of this path. Parents who have entered in to their children's sorrow, and some who have chosen to walk beside the birth moms as well. For those who can not know the birth mother I know prayers have been poured out on her behalf. In these hard days... The ones where I imagine my daughter and feel only sorrow, I look through my Facebook for these faces. These Mamas and their beloveds. These little mirrors of redemption and I am comforted by their smiles, by the beauty... By the promise. Hebrews 6:19 is a daily refreshment for me.  I have this hope as an anchor for my soul , FIRM and STEADFAST. For he has entered the inner curtain BEFORE me. These precious women, and so many others not pictured, have entered this curtain of adoption before me and I am so grateful that they surround me. 

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