It's easy to point out how the above are evident in the choice of adoption that they made for Georgia--and how those things reflect who they are as individuals.
But they live that way every day. They give of their time constantly; to neighbors, to their church, to their family, to their friends.....to everyone. They breathe sacrifice and loyalty and a love for people that is so contagious you can't help but feel like all is well with the world when you are around them.
I am humbled on a daily basis that they chose Chris and I to raise Georgia.
And I wouldn't be celebrating the amazing day that is Mother's Day without them. Without their sacrifice, selflessness, unconditional love, and wisdom.
I shared this with them a few years ago. It's a sentiment worth repeating. Over and over.
On February 11th, 2009 we met our daughter’s birth parents. It was terrifying. There is no other word to describe how the anticipation leading up to a meeting like that is; walking down the aisle, job interviews, my first day of teaching ever--all delightful in comparison….but this was just un-real.
As the hour that we’d meet approached everything just clicked for me….it felt like this was what I was supposed to be doing, one of the things I was made for, and the minute we walked through that door and saw them all of our nerves just dissolved. We knew it was “them.”
There were six weeks between our initial meeting and our soon-to-be daughter’s due date. We spent quite a bit of time getting to know each other, talking about what would happen at the hospital, discussing names; Georgia was our choice, and talking about our relationship once she was born. I felt an incredible weight in this assignment to raise her because I wasn’t just doing it for us, but for the four of us. They’d given us the ultimate sacrifice and we were compelled to do a good job for them.
There is so much to say about the interim of bringing Georgia home from the hospital and the relationship that has been built with our birth parents; Georgia’s birth mom and family especially, since, but there was a day when Georgia was about eight months old that really confirmed for me how incredibly noble and heroic a birth mother is.
I was at a doctor’s appointment and inevitably I got to have the conversation I always got to have with anyone who was providing some kind of service for Georgia before her adoption was finalized….the one about her last name and why it was still different and what do you mean she doesn’t have a social security number yet?, etc. etc. So, I explained to this particular lady the whole adoption “thing” and she smiled and looked at Georgia who was smiling at her and said, “What? She’s adopted? What kind of mom would want to give her away?”
I just stared at the woman who in that moment didn’t seem as nice and cheerful as she had two minutes before. I said, “Wow. I don’t really know how to answer that.” She instantly realized she’d said the wrong thing and proceeded to back pedal with many weak attempts to say something nice; all the while just making it worse.
But that question really made me think. The answer to her question was ‘no one.’ No one WANTED to give her away, nor did they GIVE HER AWAY. They labored over this decision, they thought about it, deliberated over it, discussed it, weighed it........they did what parents do.......when they are choosing the best thing for a child. They knew making an adoption plan was the right thing to do for Georgia, and yes, for themselves too, since they were young and had a lot of growing up left to do. But the right thing doesn’t always equate to WANTED. The right thing is frequently hard, and painful, and devastating, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less right. Struggles make us better. The right thing often means struggles.
So, in an answer to the lady at the doctor’s office who asked, “What kind of mom would give her up?” My response to her should have been, “A noble one. One that made the harder decision; the best decision for Georgia. One that knew she was not ready to provide a stable family for the little girl she was carrying. One that knew she had a lot more to learn before she was ready to be a full-time mom. One that will one day be a great mom to her own kids. One that knows that being a mom means selfless decisions and heart-ache.”
So if you know a birth-mother. If you're lucky enough. Celebrate her today.