Saturday, November 13, 2010

Knowing

She held the elevator door open for me: another mama pushing a stroller, our eyes met in mutual agreement: these strollers take up a lot of room.
She had three beautiful boys, two who looked liked twins.
"Are they twins?" I asked.
"No," she replied. "They are 15 months apart. One's off the charts, the other made up his own chart."
We laughed together at this. Doctors and their "charts" and what "percentile" their babies are in is something mama's laugh at together. We instinctively know all our babies are different.
She was tiny. I remarked that her husband must be a big man for her to have such big boys, since she was so tiny.
She looked uncomfortable. I sensed it, being the sensitive person I am.
The elevator door opened and she quickly pushed her double stroller out, talking as she moved.
"Yes, their father is big, and I am tiny, but they were born in my heart, and their birth mother is very big." She said, very quickly, and (I don't know?) hesitantly?
"Have a good day," she said and smiled as she strolled away.

And I wanted to yell, "Wait!"
"Wait! I know what that feels like!"
I know what that feels like to have a child birthed in your heart....to wonder if you have to explain their story or not?
I wanted to say, "Yes, yes, I know! You see, my husband was married very young and they had a child, and then they got divorced and then the mother died tragically, and I met them when she (my daughter) was three and we married when she was five....."
"....and I became her mother, and I'm the only mother she's ever known, and she was born in my heart, and she calls me mom..."
"...and I adopted her, so it's real, it's really real...."
"...and that's why I look so young to have a 17 year old...that explains some things, no?"
I know those feelings of insecurity when it comes to adoption. How to explain, what to say, what not to say.
I wanted her to know I understood.
But she didn't know my story. And I didn't know hers. 
And that is all the more reason to extend love, understanding and grace and mercy to others.
It says in Psalm 139: 
"You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain."

He knows us. We matter. Above all, above anything else the thoughts He has for us are great.
How much easier it is for Him to extend love, mercy and grace on us because He knows us.
And how much easier it is for us to extend love, mercy and grace to others when We know Him.

Related:
My girl
Stacy's adoption/foster care series It's so good! (This is the introduction post.)

19 comments:

Family of Movers said...

Wow~ that is touching! I am thankful for this post! Thank you for sharing!

Christine said...

This is such a special post. :)

tonia said...

you. are. amazing.

this is it, right here, you writing your story and sharing the Jesus-story in you. i feel like i learned so much about you in just these few lines. absolutely beautiful.

and yes, yes, yes!! this is why we extend love and grace, because we don't know much of anything, and even if we think we do, only God really knows what is deep in the heart. our job is just to love.

well done, andrea. a hug to you and your special girl today.

contented sparrow said...

sigh, i absolutely ditto what tonia so eloquently said. what a meaningful, beautiful post, andrea.
by His grace, we extend grace.
and, ohhh, isn't it wonderful to be truly known?
blessings to you this day!
megan

Linda said...

This touches my heart in a special way Andrea.
Our daughter is adopted. She was three months old when she came into our hearts. She is bi-racial, so it was very obvious that she was adopted. I know....
She has grown into a beautiful young woman and will be married this May.
This was such a touching, beautiful, grace-filled post dear heart.

Anonymous said...

I bet she felt that grace that you extended to her ;) even if it was once she was out of your sight.
courtney

ROBBIN (with 2 b's) said...

Sigh, My heart swells with emotion. This is beautiful, and I had no idea! Thoughts race through my mind.....of others I know with amazing stories of love between children and those who choose to love them completely through adoption... of those who have untold stories about how their families have come to be. I am reminded of how easily we fill in the blanks in each others stories before we really know each others story at all. I am reminded of God's love and grace and how we must be willing to extend such love and grace to each other. Thank you for sharing a part of your story.

Aimee said...

you are really "upside down bloggin" ;) love your authenticity here...this will be probably be one of my favorite posts of yours ever. thanks for sharing your Jesus-story and for your pearls of wisdom. I echo Tonia's thoughts...

Betsy said...

Tears. Sweet, salty, tears gather in my eyes. For our Lord created you with such sweetness and so much saltiness for his glory. Such a beauty of a post. Loved it. Love you. Love K. Thank you for aiming the 'everyday' toward Jesus.
Xo. Betsy

Kathi @ A Mother's Prayers said...

I share your thoughts in this post. Our oldest daughter, although not adopted, is not my husband's own. But he is the only Father she has known.

I often feel like I should 'explain' our story to new folks we meet (which is often, we are military)...but I just let things be known, as they come out. More often than not, it shocks people. My husband has loved her that well.

You are right...He knows our story, and loves us...and His plan for our daughter (and many, many others like her) was, indeed, great!

I agree with Aimee. You are blogging Upside Down, and I'm loving it!

~Kathi

Stacy said...

I loved this post, too, Andrea! From that first phrase about the elevator door...all the way to "how much easier it is for us to extend love, mercy and grace to others when we know Him." :)

Beautiful.

(And I'd forgotten that, Andrea- that your oldest was adopted by you! I realized when I read that that you'd shared that before, but I'd forgotten. LOVE that. Love your heart, expressed so well, here!)

Ann Kroeker said...

Beautiful.

LeAnn said...

Thank you for sharing this! It is so very hard to know how much to say and share in response to questions. Sometimes living adoption makes you feel a bit like you are living in a glass house. You reminded me again to relax, to embrace whole heartedly this life given to me and these little ones born in my heart and to always, always remember to extend grace and mercy and not take life or other people's comments to seriously. Thank you for this! Blessings!

Carrie said...

beautiful. simply beautiful.

angela said...

Thank you. What a blessing your words were to me today.

melodygreen said...

Love this post. Thank you. (Why do we as moms always feel we have to explain anyway... not an adoptive mom here, but thinking of other issues as well...)

Toodlebugz said...

I found you through Ann's blog. That beautiful mama on a pig farm. I am that mom. My oldest girl, the one after years of sadness and loss, is born in my heart. She has beautifuul red hair,the red hair my Father knew we always wanted but neither had in our genes. We get asked so often where did she get that hair? My response is always it was special ordered. Only my Father gives us our hearts desire.We have more sweet ones that we have been blessed with but some do not understand how children are born in our heart first. Answers to salty puddles dripped over an empty crib.Joy set before us.

Chuck said...

a very wise person once said, "There is always one thing about a person that you can not know, so stop eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and start eating from the tree of life."

Patricia said...

Hi, Andrea. This was so beautifully written. I, too, birthed a child in my heart with a story that remains awkward to tell to this day. Much wisdom in this post...this, particular, resonated: "But she didn't know my story. And I didn't know hers.
And that is all the more reason to extend love, understanding and grace and mercy to others."
Amen, amen, amen!!!!!