Since we made this crazy decision to adopt through the foster system, I have been really struggling with what to tell my soon to be kiddies about their biological parents. I have friends who have adopted and they speak about the biological mom with gratefulness. She chose to give them life when she could have chosen otherwise – that shows strength, courage, and love. But what do you tell a sweet boy who has been severely abused by the one who gave him life? I’m not just talking about a severe whooping. I’m talking about beatings and abuse so severe that they probably wished their little life would just end and they could escape. Yes, your mom gave you life. But what comfort is that really to someone who has endured more in a few short years at the hands of those claiming to love him than you or I will probably ever have to endure? I’m going to be honest. I haven’t thought very kind or loving things about the biological parents of the boys we hope to make a part of our family. And that’s putting it mildly. But I have really been wrestling with what I will tell my kiddies. What follows is my very weak attempt to hammer out some sort of semi-coherent response to this very question that I’ve been plagued with the past few months.
Motherhood is probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. I love my Judder-budder. But I do not like being a mom all the time. I swear I can already see the daggers that some of you are hurling my way with your death stares after that little revelation. It’s ok to unfollow me. We probably wouldn’t be friends in real life anyway if you can’t handle my honesty. But seriously. Some days I just want to get in my car and drive far, far away. Being a parent can often be exhausting and frustrating. Let’s just be real. This excerpt from Love You Forever by Robert Munsch describes it perfectly:
The baby grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was two years old, and he ran all around the house. He pulled all the books off the shelves. He pulled all the food out of the refrigerator and he took his mother’s watch and flushed it down the toilet. Sometimes his mother would say, “This kid is driving me CRAZY!”
But just like in the book, at the end of the day, even on completely exhausting and frustrating days, I’m reminded of my deep, deep love for this tiny person that God has entrusted to us. I have an incredible support system that I can share my anger and frustration with. I was raised by parents who were loving and supportive. I have a personal relationship with the God of the universe who I can talk to about my deepest fears and frustrations. Because of these things, even on my worst mommy day, I am somehow still able to handle my son with love and care.
But I can see how the moms who drive their kids into a lake get to that point.
Our pastor made a statement on Sunday that struck my core and summed up perfectly all the inner turmoil I have been feeling regarding my soon-to-be kiddies birth mama. He said that judgment comes when we don’t know the whole story. I don’t know what my kids’ birth mama has been through. I don’t know what her parents are like. I know enough to know that abuse is cyclical and most likely my kids’ mama experienced abuse, as well. I don’t know her story. I don’t know the years of abuse she probably went through. I don’t know the desperate measures she may have taken just to pay for food and a place to sleep. I don’t know the years she spent trying to raise kids on her own. I don’t know the desperate cries for help that went unanswered. I do not know her story. So I how can I pass judgment on her?
The truth of the Gospel is that I would be walking a very similar path of destruction if it weren’t for my Savior’s sweet grace.
This is what I will teach my children: Their birth mama gave them the chance to live. She did the best she could with the resources she had. And she, like everyone, needs Jesus. I will teach my children that what happened to them was not okay and it is okay to be mad and confused by it. But Jesus is able to redeem the vilest offenders. And we will pray for their birth mama’s salvation daily.
Will you join us in prayer for our kiddies, for their birth mama, and for Christ’s name to be known?
I’m leaving you with one of my favorite verses, 1 Corinthians 6:11,
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”