This Mother's Day will be my first with our sweet Evangeline. As I celebrate the blessing of my three children, I cannot help but think of Evangeline's first mother. I don't know how she is feeling but I've read that birth mothers grieve the same as woman who lose a child - an average of 5 years. I would assume the grief does not abruptly stop there. No mother sets out to get pregnant and have their child raised by another family. I don't think we have to try to wrap up adoption into a neat little package with a pretty bow on top. It's messy. It's complicated. There is loss.
I have heard people quote James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." I hear this used as the reason for their adoptions. But in this, we can be overlooking the important other half of that quotation - looking after widows. If we are looking after widows, there should be significantly fewer orphans.
Having spent the last two years on this adoption journey, Dan and I feel more strongly than ever that we need to do everything we can to keep birth families together when possible and if that is their wish. One way that we can honor Evie's birth mother is to give back to Ethiopia in sustainable ways that will help keep families together. We can contribute to organizations like this one, called A Glimmer of Hope, which is working toward eliminating poverty in Ethiopia. We sponsor children through Compassion International, where a small monthly donation changes the lives of entire families. Through Compassion you can, and are encouraged to, correspond with your child through letters, letters that these children treasure. You can develop a relationship with them.
Someone from our local adoption group linked to this post, which was written by an adoptive mother, called Love and Adoption. It's written from a Christian perspective, but I think it is a worthwhile read for all adoptive parents, as the topics she presents are applicable to us all.
I wish all of you mothers a most blessed Mother's Day, with an extra special shout out to my own mother and my two grandmothers. Thank you for all you have taught me about being a mother.
photos by Jude