I’m a new mom for the seventh time.
Last month we brought home our 3 year old son, Friday, from Uganda. He has brought much joy, delight, and craziness to our already crazy home and we couldn’t be more thankful to God.
Earlier today, my daughter Layla said, “Why does Raegan look so much like you and I don’t?”
“That’s because Raegan was born from my belly and you were born from my heart.” I told her.
“Oh!” she responded and smiled.
“You are so very special to me.” I whispered in her ear and she whispered back, “but so is Raegan too, right?”
As I reflect on Mother’s Day, I am amazed at the gifts God has given me and I am super pumped about the traditional back rub and foot rub I get from my man Clint but I am also sobered as I think of the many mothers that are a part of our family.
5 of our children were adopted. There are 3 birth moms, 3 foster mamas and others who have been a part of our little ones’ stories.
I had the incredible privilege of meeting the woman who found Friday and brought him to safety. I got to see the exact location where he had been left and hear every detail of the story that brought him to the children’s home where he remained until we came.
I think about the day we received Dayd and Bobby into our home. You see, it had been a 2 year journey of broken dreams that led our family to foster care and so we were so excited to begin the journey with them.
But on the other side of our joy was a mom whose arms were now empty. On the other side of our joy was a family who had been broken.
Hudson came to us as a 10 month old baby boy but we first ‘met’ him through pictures when he was only 5 days old. The day we saw him, we were overjoyed but that same day, his birth mom was recovering without him after giving birth just 5 days before.
There is beauty and brokenness in foster care and adoption, great heartbreak and great joy.
It is foster care worker week here in Illinois and yesterday we celebrated our local workers with lunch and gifts. I spoke with one DCFS investigator who told me she had to go get a baby from the hospital whose mom was in prison.
“I always try to go as late in the day as possible in situations like this so the mom has as much time with her baby as possible.”
What grace. This mother’s day, that new mama will be alone. Recovering from giving birth while her child is moved into a foster home.
Everyone has a story. There is beauty and there is brokenness. This Mother’s Day, let us enjoy our babies but let us not forget those whose arms are empty. Let us never forget.