It hit me while I was at the Orange County Fair several years ago: I have never seen a baby being born. As I watched the sow drop her piglets, I realized that was the first time I had seen a mammal give birth. Sadness and regret welled up within me. Unlike this mama pig, I have not experienced the miracle of birth. I was not present when my two daughters were born. Another typical “joy of motherhood” experience that was lost to me.
I am an adoptive mother. Adoption was never a “We Can’t Conceive” Plan B. In both cases, the Lord called my husband and me to abandon our Biological Children Plan and choose his Adoption Plan, aka Plan A.
Oh sure, I have two biological children, but they live in heaven. God is raising my children while I’m raising His. At first, I didn’t have such a lofty perspective of this calling. I’m ashamed to admit how recently this season ended.
Our society tends to think of adoption as the “next best thing” to having biological children. If you’re having fertility issues, well, you can always adopt. People assume that’s why my husband and I adopted. For years, I wanted to announce, “I sacrificed having biological children to adopt these girls!”
For me, this was the ultimate sacrifice.
I love my girls as if I birthed them. Unfortunately, that love is not always reciprocated. Many adoptees suffer an incredible wound because they were abandoned by their birth moms. That abandonment leaves a permanent hole in their hearts – and, no matter how much I love my two daughters, it’s like pouring water into a bucket with a puncture in the bottom. I feel as if there will always be a wall obstructing our mother-daughter bond.
I asked God why He placed me in a mothering role that was “less than” the role of a biological mom.
And in all of His love and patience with me, He responded to my question with one of His own.
“Why would you think this is a ‘less than’ role? I have placed you in a ‘more than’ position.”
And then He reminded me of all the miracles.
I get to see God work miracles in both me and my daughters on a regular – sometimes daily – basis.
God has developed patience, self-control, peace, joy, discernment and understanding within me – in spite of tough, unwanted circumstances. Miracle. I could do none of this without God’s direct involvement, so we’re tight. We talk often. In the “pray without ceasing” fashion.
I appreciate the smallest, everyday occurrence that most “normal” moms would take for granted.
- By the time my oldest daughter Kaitlyn, was 5½ weeks old, I was her third “mom.” I was preceded by her birth mom and her foster mom. At such a young age, she’d already learned mothers abandon their babies. She didn’t want anything to do with me. At age 10, after about a year of counseling, she demonstrated in play therapy that she finally identified me as her protector. I felt as if I just finished a marathon. Miracle.
- We got our youngest daughter, Meghan, when she was 9 months old. She had not been held when fed. As a result, she would jerk all about whenever I tried to hold her and give her a bottle. It took three months, but she finally drank the entire bottle, without protest, while I held her. Miracle.
- Meghan first fell asleep on my lap when she was 1½ years old, nine months after she joined our family. Miracle.
- Kaitlyn walked through the front door a few nights ago and gave me a big, long hug. Miracle. Said, “I love you.” Miracle. Then kissed me on the cheek. Enormous miracle that took my breath away!
I’ve seen a lot of miracles in my 12 ½ years as an adoptive mom and I’ve come to treasure all the “more than” moments. I also realized that I’m not the one to fill the holes in my daughters’ hearts. As their mom, I’m called to help them rely on God to be the Healer of their hearts.
What “Joy of Motherhood” experiences do you feel you’ve missed? What mom miracles do you take for granted?
Sonia Meeter has been an adoptive mom for 12½ years. She and her husband, Kevin, live in Colorado with their two daughters, an international student they’re hosting for the second school year, and their ginormous Great Dane, Jake. Sonia is also a Business & Life Coaching Consultant for financial advisors.