Wednesday, June 27, 2012
One evening a few weeks ago I was folding laundry in the laundry room and our seven year old bounded in. I picked him up and set him on the table and we talked for a few minutes and were just being silly. He looked at me with his big eyes and said, "I love you Mama." before I could respond he asked me a question that made my heart skip a beat. He said, "Mama, why when I was in Ethiopia did nobody want me?" Oh, what a heart breaking thing for anyone to think no less this precious son of mine. We have talked to him about his story over the years but he is at an age where he is trying to process it and really make sense of it all in his mind and in his way. In the mind of a 7 year old if you love someone you never leave them. Never, ever. It's simple in their mind as they can not possibly understand the concept of poverty and disease and corruption. Unfortunately, there are a lot of adults who have that same mindset and judge birth parents harshly for the decision to put a child up for adoption. My eldest son recently took a "Human Growth and Development" class at the local college and he was stunned when the class discussed adoption the disdain people expressed towards birth mothers. So, what do I tell my children when they ask how could anyone love someone and give them up? How could someone truly love someone and abandon them? I share with them the story of Jochabed and Moses. I tell them that Miriam loved her sweet son so much and did all she could to raise him and keep him with her while the Pharaoh sought to kill him.. Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket[a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Exodus 2:1-3 Can you even imagine a situation where the safest choice for your child is to put him into a basket and float him into a crocodile infested river??? Neither can I. While there may not be literal pharaohs seeking to kill young children in this world there are diseases and inescapable poverty and situations that are just as relentless and dangerous. There are parents who have to make decisions which seem unbelievable and inconceivable to us, yet they are made with a love that is deep and abiding and selfless. I thank God for and pray for each of our sons' birth families. I will never know this side of heaven what they went through but I do know that I am in awe of the love it took to place them in their own papyrus baskets so that they may live.