#ManyMothers Tribute: When Barren Becomes Blessed: My Journey to Motherhood through Adoption
Note: this week, in honor of Mother's Day, we are commemorating the many different women in our lives who have shaped and molded us. We're calling them our "many mothers," and thanking them for their love. Read more about #ManyMothers, and how you can thank your many moms, here.
As a young Children's Pastor, she loved Mothers Day!
She loved planning crafts for kids to make for their mommies. She loved writing special songs for them to sing up front in "big church." And she loved watching "that one child" show their belly button and steal the show.... all the while dreaming that someday she would be one of the moms in the pew.
So she waited.
And she trusted God for His timing, as she went on loving the kids in the church. Finally the day came when it was her turn to get married! Let the fairytale begin!
Wedding, marriage, baby...as if it was some magical "abra-cadabra-poof!" guarantee.
Sadly, it wasn't.
Instead, her journey into infertility began--as well as an unexpected onslaught of baby shower invitations. Lovely. She smiled for her friends who were expecting, but to say she was jealous would not even begin to describe her emptiness.
Then one day, the doctor called and gave her the news: She would never get pregnant. She was young, healthy, and had a heart filled with love, but 1 in 200 women are born with very few eggs. She was that one.
She cried out to God. Truth? she actually screamed AT Him. She had dreamed of being a mom her entire life. How could He do this to her?
She is Barren.
On the other side of town sat a beautiful young girl. She was smart and fun and full of life. She had dreams and plans for her future. But her plans were interrupted as she held a positive pregnancy test in her hand and cried, "How could this be?"
This young girl began to really think about what she wanted not just for her own life, but for the life growing inside of her. Her journey begins here.
She is Brave.
With a loving counselor, Brave chose adoption. Going to work week after week, her belly began to grow and people in her office would ask if she was excited about the baby. She shared with coworkers that she planned to place the baby with a family. Some were understanding, others had judgmental comments either to her face or behind her back. Still...she was brave.
Going to doctors appointments she openly told the doctor and nurses her plan. They said very little....still she was brave.
And then God stepped in and Barren met Brave.
Brave shared her story and explained that she was three months along. Barren shared her story about how she had always wanted to be pregnant, have a baby belly and even have stretch marks. The two laughed. Their hearts instantly connected. Part of this is our private story of our unique path.
But this is the part of the story to be shared:
Brave wrote a letter to the hospital two months before her due date. She asked if there was any way that Barren could be put in a hospital gown when the baby was handed to her. Brave wrote, "The woman adopting my baby has longed for this day all of her life and she wanted that photo --the one that all mothers have right after giving birth. I want her to experience as much of this as she can because it's the closest she'll ever get to giving birth."
The hospital staff had never gotten a letter like this.
Five weeks before her due date, Brave had a well-check appointment. She and Barren met at the doctor’s office and had planned to see a movie afterward. Instead, the doctor couldn't find a heartbeat, and told Brave to head to the hospital immediately. Brave explained that her bag wasn't packed yet.
The doctor insisted that the baby was in danger and it was time for the baby to come now. Brave explained that her apartment was on the way and she would just grab a couple of things, and the doctor reluctantly agreed. Barren drove Brave home and everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.
Suddenly, Barren realized Brave just might be changing her mind. And somehow Barren felt the strangest compassion. It was okay. But they just needed to hurry and get Brave to the hospital and take care of the baby.
When they arrived, they went into a quiet birthing room. Brave was given a gown to wear and went to the bathroom to change. She was in there awhile and Barren went to the door to check on her. Brave was crying. Barren spoke quietly, "Brave, it's okay if you've changed your mind. But please come out so the baby can come."
Brave came out and the nurses prepped her for delivery. Another nurse took Barren aside and asked her to change into a gown as well. Barren was worried about Brave, but she was also confused. Why should she change? Then the nurses told her about the letter Brave had written to the hospital. Barren's eyes filled with tears as she changed, and she explained to the nurses that Brave may have changed her mind. And if she had, Barren understood.
Then, with the doctors help, Brave gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Brave kissed the baby and called Barren to her side. And in an act very few could possibly imagine, Brave handed the precious little one to her.
Such a selfless act. Barren held the baby and could not believe her eyes. God had blessed her with a child through a painful yet beautiful journey of another mother.
And because of it, Barren too was finally a mother.
She is nine years old now. She loves puppies and American Girl dolls and sings like nobody's business! We delight in who she is becoming every day. She does well in school and has a sweet best friend. She loves Jesus, going to camp and enjoys horseback riding. She likes to be sung to at tuck-in time and wants to stay up and just "hang out."
She has your eyes and your beautiful smile and I am in awe of how much I love her and love seeing you in her. There are no words that could ever thank you enough for choosing me to be her mom.
Happy Mother's Day!