She got the call at work. The call, not just any call. The call for which they had been waiting so long. “We have a baby for you”, they said. “You and your husband come quickly to pick her up.” So, she called her husband and gave him the exciting news. He would leave work, drive to her office and together they would hurry to the adoption agency to pick up this baby girl. Certainly the woman began to think about the wonder of holding a baby, her own child, in her arms. Wait. They weren’t ready. Quickly she shared the news with the girls at work and they were all over solving this problem. As the woman left work with her husband to go meet their new baby girl, her girlfriends got busy with a list and off to do some shopping. By the time the couple got home with their newly adopted, chubby, curly-headed four month old baby girl, the friends were already there with diapers, and formula, and sleepers, and blankets, and lots of hugs and kisses and well wishes. This is the true story of how Ann and Leonard began their journey into parenthood with their sweet little baby daughter. And this is how Ann got her start in motherhood. This is my story, how I got started as a daughter.
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about mothers, probably because my mother passed away just 4 months ago. My thoughts recently went from thinking about how blessed my mother was to have a husband who loved her dearly and two great kids, to the gift she was given by my birth mother. No one ever talks about the birth mother. Don’t misunderstand this. I have had the most wonderful life and experience as an adopted child. (That’s a story for another time.) The fact of the matter is that I am my parents’ daughter. I loved my mother dearly, am a daddy’s girl, and as much a part of them as anyone born into a family can be. But, it occurs to me that no one ever talks about the birth mother.
In my case, Barbara, a 35-year old single woman who never married. What audacity she must have had to face life as a pregnant single woman in the late 1950’s. She didn’t go home to visit her parents the entire time she was pregnant. That had to be a very lonely time. And, while it wasn’t legal, abortion was available. Barbara had to make a choice. She chose life. She demonstrated bravery as she chose to get up every day and go to work, getting bigger and bigger through her pregnancy. You just know people noticed, asked questions, whispered behind her back. What must it have been like to go home to an empty house every night, no husband, no baby showers in the works, knowing that this baby was soon going to live in another house? No pitty-pat of little feet for her. By choosing to give me life, no matter the inconvenience, and to give Leonard and Ann a bossy daughter to care for them in their old age, took tremendous sacrifice.
This is a picture of courageous leadership. To move yourself from first to last. From most important to least important. To put someone else’s forever needs in front of your temporary embarrassment. I wonder how many of us could make such a difficult decision. Jesus taught in Mark 9:35 “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.” (MSG). Certainly birth moms giving their babies to adoptive parents make the ultimate courageous decision, putting their own wants last and serving the needs of the baby first. This is what it means to live out Jesus’ teaching, to put your own needs behind that of others. What a gift to the child and to the adoptive parents. The ultimate in freedom of choice.
~ Watch for Unsung Heroes – Part 2 as we talk about another birth mom, trusting God to deliver results, decision making, and the all important section on life application in courageous leadership ~