Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Other Mother

Since day one, many have asked about The New Chick's biological mom. And for all seven of the months he's lived in my house, I've put off writing about her. But, there is a season for everything, and a time for every purpose under heaven. 

The first time I saw her it was in the Chambers County Courthouse. I looked up from admiring the five day old baby who was snug against my chest, and saw her walking toward us. I knew her by the tears pouring unchecked down her face. She humbly asked me if she could hold him, and I began to wonder at the world I had just entered.

As I unswaddled all five precious pounds and placed him in his mothers arms, I realized this entire endeavor was going to require more of my heart than I had expected. I felt all at once tremendous pain for her, and ferocious protection over him. 

Those two emotions would only swell with the passing weeks. At times they were at war within my soul. 

Someone commented on her right after he came to us. They posed a question, that was really more of a statement, along the lines of how could anyone do what she has done. The person went on to make her out as a total sinner, and me a total saint.

I just blinked and ashamedly said nothing. But inside was a raging inferno.

There is nothing fundamentally different about she and me. The only thing that polarizes her life from mine is that I was given a gift when I was 6.  

The gift of the Holy Spirit when I got adopted by The King.

Without that gift I would have been her. I would have chased this world and let it have it's way with me. I would have made costly decisions; looking to all the wrong things to make me feel happy and all the wrong people to make me feel loved. I would have given myself to a man way too early and gotten pregnant and had a baby. 

It would have been me watching the social workers walk out of the hospital with my first born son, still sore from giving birth to him. 
It would have been me wondering where they took him.
And who was holding him. And what was going to happen to him.
It would have been me facing every parent's worst nightmare.

It would have been me.

But Jesus.

I won't lie. There's another side to my feelings about her. It's not jealousy. Or competition. It's more like looking at her and wondering if I will be her in a few months. 

I fear the pain she's already lived through.

Handing my baby over to the social workers to be cared for by strangers. Wondering where he is and if he needs me. Missing his firsts and wanting him so desperately it hurts. Fearing that he's wants Mama, but can't have her.

I hate the notion that her success will mean my greatest loss. And just as much I loathe the idea that if she fails, I somehow win. 

Because if he goes back, I'll curl up and die for a while. But if he stays, I'll grieve with the knowledge that she'll do the same. Either way, pain will be thick. 

It's true that she and I are very different. I was adopted and she wasn't. She brought him into the world and I didn't. I know him in ways she doesn't. 

And every time I say "Come to Mama" I am reminded that there is another.

But in this we are the same. 

She and I are both the other mother.

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  1. Beautifully said. Only because of grace.

  2. i'm sobbing as I read this because our precious son went back to his biofamily at 16 months. I miss him so much it's physically painful. i'm so, so thankful that I get to be in his life as his "aunt" and provide "childcare" for him a few days a week, but everyday it's like another inflicted wound when I have to send him to his other home. Whatever it takes we will stay in his life, but I feel so embittered towards the entire process of foster care, even though I know everything you wrote is true. And I know that by being in their lives we can witness to his biofamily, but I miss him every.single.second. he isn't with me. My heart aches to have him home. To me, I will always be his mother.

    1. Sweet lady. My heart bleeds over this. Some days I wonder at the insanity of this whole thing.

  3. You totally put my heart into words. My son is now almost 3 years old and I think about the other mother daily. She loved him but couldn't over come get demons. So instead of her enjoying this beautiful little boy, I get to by the grace of God I get to call him my son.

  4. A friend whom we are walking the foster to adopt journey with shared this post and it touched both of us. I realized from looking around your blog that we lived in the same area for several years. We transplanted to Chambers Co., AL and served a church in ELBA for 4 1/2 years. We consider it home. We will be praying for you as you walk this journey.

    1. Wow, Robin! That is so cool. Which church were you at? And thank you for praying!

  5. So beautifully phrased - I recognize the heartbreak of knowing that if the "son of my heart" were to remain with me would have meant his parents were suffering & unable to overcome their demons, but their success meant my loss. We had our little boy from 3 weeks old until he was 27 months old. We have, however, maintained a relationship with him and his family that has spanned the years - and our little 6 year old still comes home every few weekends & occasionally slips and calls me "Mom", which is the sweetest sound I think I've ever heard. Thanks for sharing so eloquently and honestly what our journey has looked & felt like.

  6. This was sent to me just today, as I sit here curled up with baby girl after a visit, & it overwhelms me how you know my thoughts & so eloquently explain the fears but with a reminder of God's great grace & how it covers. Amazing.

  7. I love this on so many levels! I have been there and felt that. Thank you for sharing,

    Chrissy Huffman

    1. Thanks, Chrissy, for taking a moment to comment! I always appreciate hearing from those who have "been there and felt that".

    2. Thanks, Chrissy, for taking a moment to comment! I always appreciate hearing from those who have "been there and felt that".

    3. Thanks, Chrissy, for taking a moment to comment! I always appreciate hearing from those who have "been there and felt that".

    4. Thanks, Chrissy, for taking a moment to comment! I always appreciate hearing from those who have "been there and felt that".

    5. Thanks, Chrissy, for taking a moment to comment! I always appreciate hearing from those who have "been there and felt that".