Orphan Awareness Month: Deborah

On November 30, 2013 by Deborah West

Image Courtesy of Maury Draper

With a grin as wide as his arms were spread, Isaiah bellowed, “Hallelujah!” when the judge completed our adoption. And I felt schizophrenic. My emotions waffled all day. One minute the kids’ contagious joy consumed me only to collapse under the weight of loss and heartbreak.

For me, our family may be physically made up of eight people, but there is an ever-present invisible ninth. The littles’ birth mom. And on this day of press conferences, TV cameras, balloon releases, this celebration of National Adoption Awareness month, I couldn’t help but wonder – Does she know?

Her rights were terminated long ago, but today on this our adoption day, our family’s birthday, does she know her kids now bear a new name, that they have been claimed as our own?

My mother’s heart mourns for her. With her. I cannot fathom being stripped of my children. Yes, she made a series of awful choices culminating in the loss of her children, but I know enough of her story to believe she was reliving a legacy she didn’t ask for. A cycle her children were destined to repeat.

See, adoption is beautiful, but it is always, always birthed out of the severing of a mother’s relationship with her child. Maybe death, maybe trafficking, maybe relinquishment, maybe abandonment, maybe . . . The circumstances may look different, but the tragedy is the same.

If we only see the sunny side of adoption, the part where an older child finds a forever family or an infertile couple is blessed with a newborn or any other favorite happy ending, we have missed the whole story. And it matters too much to ignore.

Especially when we market adoption as a tangible manifestation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

From horrific tragedy, redemption is born, but without the tragedy, redemption falls flat.

Without remembering the perfection of God’s original plan, His Son’s death becomes meaningless.

Without acknowledging the fall of man from Grace, humanity’s need for a Savior disappears.

Without the whole story of Christ’s sacrifice, the Gospel loses its power.

The whole story changes everything.

Both have an Enemy,
and a Savior,
and hearts
in need of restoration.

But the littles’ birth mom is not the Enemy,
and we are not anyone’s Savior,
for we all have hearts in need of restoration.

Therein lies the hope.

If God made a Way for all of mankind to return to a right relationship with Him,
If God made a Way for the littles to return to a family,
Then who am I to say that God will not make a Way for her to do the same?

Where the invisible ninth becomes visible.
Where we love six children, and they love three parents.
Where redemption surpasses human capacity.
Where God is our only explanation.

All hearts reconciled to their Creator and each other.
That would be complete restoration of our littles’ story.

And therein lies the hope.

Deborah West

Deborah is a mom of 6 but I like to say 7, with myself as an honorary child. 😉 And why wouldn’t I? Deb, you are a natural mother, a woman full of wisdom, grace and the love of Christ, thank you for opening up you heart and showing yet another side of the adoption life, one that is often kept tucked away. I am so thankful for you and William and your support of us. We love you.

Check out Deb’s blog at http://plowingthehardground.blogspot.com

-Bethany

Get Involved

  • In Haiti – please give to Life is Hope orphanage through our website at prayingpelicanmissions.org for uniforms. The children are in need of uniforms to go to school. Without these uniforms, the school cannot proceed as planned and be seen as legitimate by the Haitian government.
  • In America – would you consider donating to Jacob and Anna? They are two of our newest PPM co-workers, and are in the final stages of bringing home their son from Belize. Not only are they adopting, they have just stepped out in faith and taken positions as Missions Coordinators, meaning they must fundraise the majority of their salary as a family. You can visit their support page to make a donation toward their adoption.
  • In Arkansas – we want to support a local Christian foster care organization: The CALL. As a response to the lack of foster and respite care homes for the over 7000 foster children in Arkansas,  The CALL exists to educate, equip, and encourage Christian families to meet the needs of these foster children. to help fund this awesome ministry you can send a check to us, or donate online on The CALL’s website.

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