Sunday, August 19, 2012

to be a mother

As we celebrated James' birthday this week, I found myself thinking less about James and more about his birth mom.  My thoughts just kept circling back to her.

If you're a mom, you know how it goes: your child's birthday arrives and while you're definitely celebrating that special child's presence in your life, you're also reliving the day she was born.  Every detail of the events that led to her birth.  There's so much more to a birth story for the mother than there is for the child.  After all, the child doesn't remember it.  But the mom gushes every year.  Every contraction, every step walking off the pain, every bleep on the baby's heart monitor, every compression of the blood pressure cuff, every squeeze of the handrail on the hospital bed, to the very instant that your eyes lock with your precious child's for the very first time.

Three years ago, this was probably the most difficult week of her life.

Does she relive the events every year at this time?

Was she overjoyed to know she had a son?  A cherished son in China?

Did she have a normal pregnancy and know nothing of James' condition until she laid her eyes upon him at the time of his birth?

Did her heart instantly sink when she saw him?

Missing arms.

Missing hands.

Missing fingers.

For those of us who have had the privilege of carrying children in our wombs, we know how all-consuming the fear of birth defects and birth-trauma can be for a pregnant woman.  Few really talk about it, but I don't think there's a single mom on the planet who didn't worry about the well-being of her unborn child while she was pregnant.

So was the case with me, too.  All I wanted was for our biological children to be born healthy.  The ten-fingers-and-toes thing.  Let's be honest here.  Didn't we all covertly scan our beautiful newborn children's bodies for all the appropriate body parts?  

I have to believe the same was true for her.  And I wonder if she was overcome with grief.  Did she know immediately what she had to do.  Why did she wait four days?  Was she overwhelmed at the decision she had to make?  Was she perhaps forced by others to do what she did?  I don't think any mom wants to abandon her innocent, newborn baby.  The one she nursed, changed, bathed, cuddled, dreamed of.  The one she carried in her womb for so many months and had so many hopes for.  Gone.  Dreams and hopes abandoned.  Left on a street corner tucked inside a sweet little bundle.    

So to know that it was during this week three years ago that she likely made the most difficult decision of her life makes me sad and heavy-hearted for her.  I would love to hug her and tell her he's okay.  He's better than okay!  He's fantastic.  Her sweet boy is loved, cherished and adored -- by oh-so-many.  My prayer is that she has a peace that surpasses understanding -- a peace that she just can't explain or put her finger on.  I pray that in her heart she just has a knowing that James is well.

No, he's more than well.

He's awesome.


And look at the gift James decided to give us!  He decided to start walking on his birthday!  Who needs prosthetics and orthotics?!

I have so much more to share from his birthday -- lots of photos too.  He is such a blessing to us!  

In fact, a month ago, I learned about something special happening in our town that I knew James must a part of!  I'll post all about it tomorrow.  We need all the help we can get to pull this off, so please check back tomorrow and get ready to spread the word.  So fun!  Just wait 'til you see this little honey...

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