Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Other Mothers

Hello everyone! Today's Coffee post is late and long....I hope you can stay around for it!

I love being a Mom. It is one of the hardest jobs (if not THE hardest) around but I love it. Even on the ugly days when I don't know what I'm doing, I love it! Then there is Mother's Day. I hae a different approach to Mother's Day than some. Instead of having the "day off", I like to spend the day with my kids. We go to church, go out for a picnic, and if the weather is pretty, we take them to the pool for swimming. I love to just "watch" them and I love to "be" with them. I am so thankful to God for my children and for the opportunity to be a "Mom".

For many of you, you know our story but not all of you know "the rest of the story". Before Sal and I got married, I knew that I would not be able to have a child (and he married me anyway...what a guy!). On Father's Day 1996, I prayed desperately to God to allow us to have a child. I knew that Sal would make an awesome Dad and I remember the words I spoke to God on that morning just as if I had spoken them five minutes ago..."Dear God, loving Father of all, you know the desires of my heart, and I beg of you to allow us somehow to have a child. I don't want Sal to go through another Father's Day fatherless. Through some miraculous healing of my body, adoption, or whatever path you choose, Lord I beg of you....please hear my prayers."

What a path we went on beginning that very day! We started an adoption process and were matched with a birth mom and in October of that very year, received the call that the baby had been born and we were quickly on our way to San Antonio. After 4 long days there, we learned that the birth mom had changed her mind and we were devastated. I can't tell you, unless you've ever walked in those shoes, how painful and how deep that hurt was. My sister flew to San Antonio to drive us home and Sal's brothers and sisters came to our home and took down the nursery. Today, I still get teary eyed thinking about how hurt, how sad, and how empty we were. We returned home on a Wednesday night and a very dear friend of ours came to take us to church. I also remember the pastor's prayer over us that evening..."God heal the pain, fill the void, and Lord we believe that you will fulfill the desires of their hearts according to your will".

We set out to heal, each in our own way, and in March of that year were approached by a 16 year old girl who we knew (I'll leave out the details of that for now). After much consideration, we committed to her to adopt her baby. I took her to every doctor's appointment and was in the delivery room with her when Jonathon was born. To add to this blessing, we took him home the Saturday of Father's Day weekend, 1997. God is good.

In May 1999, Jonathon asked us for a baby sister. We told him that we had to pray and if it was God's will, then we would have one. After two years of him praying daily for a sister, even for her birth mom, Clarissa Faith was born into our lives. Our experience with her was much different. We went through a wonderful agency in Abilene, we only knew about her for a week prior to her birth, and wasn't there when she was born (we were driving very fast to get there though!) I did have a very different experience though with her birth mom. She was 17, had had a very difficult life, and had no relationship with her Mom. She asked if I would stay with her in the hospital the night that Clarissa was born. So, over the next two days and nights, I took care of Clarissa's birth mom. The morning that she discharged, she asked the nursery to bring Clarissa to the room. She held her, she loved her, she kissed her, we took pictures, she kissed her some more, and then she walked over to me, placed Clarissa in my arms, hugged me and whispered in my ear "thank you for loving my baby and thank you for taking care of me". She then sobbed the deepest sob I have ever heard and walked out the door.

The journey to have our children was difficult. I've been told before that I got the easy way out because I didn't have to go through childbirth. Well, not quite. I had emotional childbirth three times, one that ended in death for us but two that are alive and well in our lives today. I could not be celebrating Mother's Day this weekend without some very special young ladies who gave me the greatest gift of all, my children. I have not seen or heard from either birth mom since the kids were born. That doesn't mean I don't think of them often. I get so many questions about adoption and I know that some people don't understand it, but for me, I'm so thankful that I couldn't have biological children because then I wouldn't have MY children. These are the children God ordained for Sal and I and they are 110% mine. However, that doesn't make me any less aware that I could not be celebrating this weekend, had it not been for "the OTHER Mother's" that loved them so much to give them the life they could not.

God is good. I will be forever grateful for my children but also for the journey He took me on to get them. I mentioned the adoption that fell through because I believe God allowed us to go through that situation so that we could see the power of His almighty hand. God is faithful, in HIS time.

This weekend as you celebrate Mother's Day, please say a prayer for all of those ladies (young and old) who have loved their babies enough, to give them them life and to allow other Moms to teach them to live that life.

"Faithful Father in heaven, I pray today for birth moms everywhere. I am thankful for the two ladies that allowed me to be a Mom to my beautiful children. As I rejoice and am filled with love beyond measure this Mother's Day, I would pray that they too be filled with YOUR love and YOUR peace. Bless them dear Lord and protect them from those that judge."

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story. That is very touching, and I know that your children are so blessed to have you as their mom. Happy mother's day to you!

Jo said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing that with us. I hope you had a lovely weekend.

Best wishes,

Penny Chapa said...

You got me all teary eyed!! I feel lucky to have been a part of that experience with you guys and to be a part of your 'family'. Sometimes I forget that they are adopted because they are such your children- look and act just like you and Sal! I remember being there at the hospital when J was born and holding him for 3 while seconds before someone scooped him out of my arms! And I remember J's prayers for a sister that he already named and looking online for girl bedding for Missy. Of course I remember you guys going through her adoption because who had to watch Jonathon?? That was fun... Hard to believe they aren't babies anymore. Your kids aren't just a blessing in your life but also in ours. Love you guys!!

Mommahen said...

I remember the night you sat in our living room and told us about Jonathon. I remember getting butterflies. I remember his coming home and how the weather that day was AWFUL, but there was peace in your house. I remember that first Father's Day, and how Sal was the first dad up to the altar. I remember how he glowed with joy that morning. Like Penny said, your children aren't just a blessing in your lives. Watching you go through the adoption process has made me realize how special I am that God would choose to adopt me--for it really is that true of a picture. I pray God would bless you with many more joyous mother's days!

Dean & Melisse said...

Gosh Gayla! You are an amazing Momma! And an amazing child of God. I absolutely LOVED reading that story...I had no idea. What a testimony of God's amazing grace that you have to share! I am so glad to know you. Hope the last few weeks of school go well for you! Keep in touch!

Trish said...

The story about your daughter's birth mom made me cry. Thanks for sharing.

Jolanthe said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us. :)