Six strangers gathered around a conference table – eyes on me.
This is what redemption looks like.
For months after my girls were born and placed with their adoptive families I couldn’t walk down an aisle with baby anything on the shelf.
I remember birthmother’s days, mother’s days, and babies’ birthdays spent hidden under a sea of blankets. Crying. Empty. Miserable. Waiting.
In the days, months and years after placement I existed but barely lived.
Heartache rang through my life like a noisy gong.
Even as my relationship with Christ grew and I built a life founded on something other than heartache or numbing it…
…my pain felt like pain.
…my loss felt like loss.
…my babies weren’t mine.
Being a birthmother meant emptiness, pain and a sad reality.
And then, this year something began to change.
I began to change.
A letter arrived.
Emails arrive signed with nicknames and filled with blooming connections rooted in whispered love.
My girls, my babies, have reached out to know me. To allow me to love them and know them.
And as I’ve started to grow into this title I’ve worn loosely, always fidgeting and adjusting things, God nudged me to a place I’ve never known.
On the heels of telling our children (the ones we are blessed to parent) about their half sisters and their adoptive families. God gave me a birthmother’s day gift that likely will change my life.
Empty sleepless nights filled with grief, redeemed in their teary, empathetic eyes.
Tears and loss redeemed in their smiles and laughter at my jokes (even the lame ones!).
And as I watched hands scrawl notes of my words, I felt it. As I thanked them for helping women, I felt it.
I drove home praying. Crying. Thanking Jesus.
Tonight, my pain is a memory. My loss is not an empty hole but one being filled in by a new, blooming phase – a relationship with young women.
Tonight, loving Jesus means following in His footsteps. “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side….” (John 20:27) Christ knew the offering His scars to Thomas (and the others) would change their faith. Grow their faith. Changes lives. Tonight, being a birthmother meant being vulnerable in Christ’s name. It means showing my scars. It means pouring out (the abridged version) of my pain, loss and sin on the table in front of six strangers.
Tonight as I left the pregnancy center volunteer training I offered my life and words to God…my offering on the altar of the life He’s given me. On the way home I prayed over the volunteers and the women they willsomeday help. I know that girl.
I was that girl.
I am that girl, who tonight tasted redemption.