Dear Birth Mother,

As you can imagine, I’ve spent many of my days over the last 5 months thanking God for our little girl, but I wouldn’t have this little bundle of goodness if it weren’t for the mother that cared for her first. I’m not going to give you the details of her birth mother’s story, those will be held private for Phoebe. She may share or not share, whenever she feels appropriate, it’s her story.

But let’s just talk about birth mothers in general. Heroic? I might say yes. To love someone so much that you provide safety and shelter and then do the most selfless thing imaginable… give it away. You slept uncomfortably, you vomited, you stretched, you grew, you burped and belched and struggled with scars and C-sections and whatever else came with the safety and shelter you provided and yet when it was all over you didn’t even keep the reward for your scars. You gave it away. When I think of birth mothers, I can’t help but think of a story that fascinated me as a child – it was my favorite one, the story in the Bible where Solomon is the King (the wisest of all time if you aren’t aware) and two women come into his court.

1 Kings 3:16-27New Living Translation (NLT) Solomon Judges Wisely

16 Some time later two prostitutes came to the king to have an argument settled.

17 “Please, my lord,” one of them began, “this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was with me in the house.

18 Three days later this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there were only two of us in the house.

19 “But her baby died during the night when she rolled over on it.

20 Then she got up in the night and took my son from beside me while I was asleep. She laid her dead child in my arms and took mine to sleep beside her.

21 And in the morning when I tried to nurse my son, he was dead! But when I looked more closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t my son at all.”

22 Then the other woman interrupted, “It certainly was your son, and the living child is mine.” “No,” the first woman said, “the living child is mine, and the dead one is yours.” And so they argued back and forth before the king.

23 Then the king said, “Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other.

24 All right, bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought to the king.

25 Then he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!”

26 Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child—please do not kill him!” But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!”

27 Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!”

The real mother was willing to do the most difficult thing, give her child away and hope safety was provided for it. She was going to turn it over to a liar and a thief – all to save her precious child’s life. She assumed it was better off in those conditions than dead. Isn’t that interesting? I’m not going to get into the debates of today… but you can clearly see where I could go with this. Just because someone can’t give a child the life you think it deserves, it still deserves life.

In a world where we promote not judging others, where we cram things in other people’s faces – all in the name of being different and unique, do people who find themselves pregnant still face “judgement” of others? What if we started there? Human conception has been around, since the beginning. Literally THE BEGINNING. All the way back, you have women, unwed women, women subject to multiple husbands or affairs etc… pregnant. Why on earth do we, in 2015, pass judgement on someone for being pregnant even if their circumstances aren’t ideal? Why did we forget to fight for them and the life they carry inside? When did it all go wrong and we made them feel so insecure or ashamed that we planted the idea in their heads that somehow discarding of this precious life was a better idea?  Are you and I actually part of the problem?

Well I would like all of you reading this, if you know someone that is with child to help them. Connect them with a support group; they are out there. Buy a package of diapers, wipes or babysit the baby while they go to the grocery store alone for a few minutes. I would also like to encourage anyone carrying a baby, there are women out there that can’t… CANNOT have what you have and they want it so desperately.  Women and men, sit in their beds at night praying for a child. They search the internet looking for a baby to love, to raise, cherish, photograph, feed, clothe and bathe. They have a home with all of the “securities” but can’t physically gain what you have and don’t know what to do with.  I would like to see more stories about that.  No judgement, it’s honestly too late at that point, right?  Pregnant when you don’t want to be? Go ahead and provide safety and shelter for the life you have been given and then if you still think it’s not right for you, selflessly give it away. Adoption is really a gift to everyone.

Birth mom, most likely in todays society, you can stay in touch if you want and have that child’s utmost respect. Adoptive mom, you get the most amazing gift – the life you have longed for and dreamed about. And precious baby, you are surrounded by those who love you and are your biggest cheerleaders.  Some have hoped and prayed for you before you existed.  Birth mom, you chose someone else’s life to be more important than yourself. You put their needs in front of yours, cause that’s what moms do.  You did it and they will respect you and appreciate you and even have love for you.

I don’t know personally what our future holds for our daughter’s birth mom and our interactions with her, but I can share a portion of the letter I wrote to her just a few weeks ago, about 2 weeks before our adoption was finalized in court.

Dear ___________,

The story of this baby has just begun and that story begins with you and your love for this life. I am so thankful for the love you had for her and I know it’s a love, you will carry with you all the days of your life. I promise I will be the best mom I can possibly be to this gift and I hope that you are proud of the child and the adult she becomes. She fits perfectly into our home in her pink bedroom – full of gifts and treasures – from the people that see God’s goodness in her. And she fits perfectly into our hearts, we can’t imagine life without her. I am honored and humbled to raise her and I thank you for the opportunity. I pray you are blessed in the days to come and that Jesus becomes your friend if He isn’t already. I pray you recognize no matter what comes into our lives – God will redeem it for good into His plan.

Thank You Birth Mom,

You have my respect and adoration –

Missy

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Is it the same?

My first entry isn’t probably the one it should be. I should probably start with a background story or some history or detail but that’s not what is on my mind. What’s on my mind is a question that must be running through many people’s heads but only a few are actually asking…

“Is it the same?”

I’m so happy to report it is. Those of you that know me, know what I’m talking about… those of you that stumble along this blog won’t. What some are asking, especially when maybe they’ve had too much to drink is, “Is it the same? Do you love or feel the same way about your adopted child as you do your biological children?” I know, you might think I’m lying for the sake of “whatever”, but I’m not. The answer is yes. Yes, I look at her round face and chubby cheeks and think; “those are just like mine when I was a baby”.  If that makes you sad, I’m sorry. I’m not saying that carrying a biological child, one that is made of up of our DNA isn’t something I would like everyone to experience; it certainly is. However, my love, attention, fears, desires and just day-to-day emotions are the exact same as they have been with each one of my children.

You might even find that odd, because we didn’t know for certain we were going to be adopting! That story is for another entry on another day, but we didn’t spend months picking out a name, or anticipating the arrival of our adopted daughter. She was basically brought into our lives overnight and we fell in love with her.

She arrived at our door on a Wednesday night weighing 7 pounds and was 19 inches long. She came with very little – and as soon as I scooped her up out of that carseat, I was hooked. The thought that this was going to be my child – ugh! Words couldn’t come close to describing that awesome feeling! It’s been that way the whole time. I’ve never minded getting up with her, soothing her, changing her, feeding her.  Whatever it was I did with my other 3, I’ve maybe even appreciated MORE with this one, because I feel like she’s an absolute gift. The present that nobody was expecting: that trip to Hawaii times 10, Disney World x 1000 – whatever it is for you that’s how the last 4 months have felt to me.

Early on, after Phoebe arrived, one of my fabulous friends said “okay, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to ask this or not but I’m dying to know… is it the same?” I have to say, I LOVED it when she asked because it was the first time I had answered that question! And I answered it with a resounding YES! She giggled and was so excited! Since that day, we’ve had others that haven’t quite come out and asked it but they word things like, “It’s nice that you were willing to take this on.” This floors me every time! I’m not sure why; I guess I see where they are coming from… we do have a kid that is in COLLEGE! Why would we WANT to do it again?? But in all honesty, my husband and I never even batted an eye.  We were full in, with NO hesitation. It’s like one of those things where God was moving and we were ready to just jump on his train. I like to refer to like this: “We have been discussed adopting for the last 21 years and God was finally exhausted by it, so He just said, ‘Here. Here’s the one I want you to have, now go… raise her, love her, enjoy her, discipline her and make sure she knows who I am.”

So that’s where we are. We are a bit older than we were when we had our first, we are perhaps a bit wiser… that seems like an improvement, and we are ready. Our hearts are full and we are ready to take on parenting an infant once again with excitement!  Phoebe, only 114 hours separated us, (and I had a picture of you… so in my mind only maybe 48 ;)) I hope you know, you are never something we felt like we needed to take on, you are an absolute gift and treasure. I hope you know I will love you, I will yell at you, I will discipline you, I will make mistakes and Lord willing, I will ask for forgiveness when I do. I will encourage you and look for the talents God gave you and try to nurture them, you are my child – the same as the older ones and I am forever grateful for that. And to my other 3: You are my gifts as well. You may not have come into our lives as miraculously as Phoebe did; you were all very planned and desired. I’m glad you get to see that each time one of you came home from the hospital, we showed you the same sort of love and affection you observe us giving Phoebe.  Every time one of you came into our lives we have been in awe. God has been so good to us, even through the losses and difficult events we have experienced with childbearing and pregnancy, He was right there growing us with each one, shaping us into the parents He needs us to be for each one of you. My hope is you will know… the amount of space you each take up in my heart is the same.

Yes, I’m thrilled to report it is the same.