An Act of Unselfish Love

04/15/2007

You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

I had the awesome privilege of meeting someone very special recently…my sister’s mom. Yes, you heard that right. And I have to tell you, it is a very strange experience in this life to meet the woman who gave birth to your sister when all your life you have had the same mom…but now there’s this new woman who has entered the picture, who you have always known was there…but never knew. If that makes sense?

Some months back, my sister called me. She said, “I’ve decided it’s time to find my birth mother.” I was excited and yet scared for her. What if it didn’t turn out good? It didn’t take very long at all for her to find her birth mom. When I rang the doorbell at my sister’s house, I knew that when the door opened and my sister greeted me, I would walk through that door and come face to face with the woman who gave her birth. It was a very strange feeling. It was exciting and yet a bit nerve-wracking also. Who would this woman be? What would she look like? Where had she been, and what had she been thinking and doing all these years while we enjoyed having her daughter as part of our family?

The first thing I noticed were her mother’s eyes, and also her coloring…it was the same as my sister’s. Although it was clear when they were together that they were mother and daughter, without knowing that, they could have passed one another on the street and never have known. Although they both have the same brown eyes, the same skin tone, the same likes and dislikes in many ways, they were strangers connected only in the depths of their heart in ways that God would reveal in His own perfect way.

I marvel at the maturity of this young woman, barely 17 years old at the time, making a decision for her child that was truly an act of the purist kind of unselfish love. She took stock of what surrounded her and made the very difficult decision to give her child away, hoping and praying that her daughter would have a life that she could not give her at that time. That takes courage beyond what most of us possess.

As the years passed by, mother searched for daughter, but she always came up empty. All the official adoption papers were sealed, and all her searches led to dead ends. Her mother told us of the huge hole she had in her heart as each June approached--she would begin to sink…June was the month of her daughter’s birth. Where is she? What is she doing? Is she okay? Had the right decision been made, or had it been a huge mistake?

In a world when many homes have great difficulties, our home was truly blessed with loving parents, fun times, healthy relationships and large family gatherings. Our lives were not perfect, but we thought they were. It was all that we knew, and probably from my sister’s point of view, it was a very fast 40 years until she found her birth mom. In that time, she had grown up, graduated from college, gotten married and was raising her own children. When my sister’s birth mom stepped into the life of her daughter, I believe she found some peace. In all the scenarios that she had imagined for her daughter, she never dared hope that it would be everything and more than what she wanted for her daughter, but it was. She had given her daughter a wonderful life when she gave her up, and any mother would be proud of the woman that she had become.

Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to. Many are not given such a wonderful reunion as this. Who can know the ways of our God? Through the years this mother struggled to live without her daughter, but in that she learned to live each day with the Lord as her strength. Just as giving a child up for adoption is a choice, choosing to live each day with God as our strength is also a choice we must make.

What a privilege it has been to have my sister in our family all these years, and to now see her connected to her birth family--while knowing that as believers, we all belong to God’s family, and that we will meet our Father face to face one day too. What a grand reunion that will be!