Do you remember this book from long ago? I never thought it would actually have meaning to me beyond a fun story with cute pictures….
You see….1 year ago on Thursday (January 31st, 2012) my husband and I welcomed our third child into our arms, home and hearts. While not carrying him in my womb, my heart had been longing for him since before he was even conceived. God clearly calls His people to take care of children without homes, and we felt compelled to respond to that gospel-paralleling truth. Camden Anthony was the beautiful fulfillment of responding to God’s redemptive call.
Having two older kids already, Camden’s homecoming was not filled with the anxiety of infants’ noises while they sleep, or the worry of am I doing all of this okay….we were weathered parents, having collected our fair share of our honorable parenting metals….
But loving this sweet little 2 week old brought about so many unsuspected thoughts whirling around my head at completely unpredictable times.
Do they think we love him as much as we love our other kids?
Do they WONDER how we love him as much as our ‘real kids’?
Do they think he really belongs here, or does he look out of place? As if we were babysitting…for.a.long.time.
Then the ones that sprung up, even deeper down in the recesses of my person, my motherhood……
Does HE think I love him as much as the other kids?
Does he feel as secure, safe, nurtured and adored as if he has just passed through my womb and into my arms?
And most the most profound question I ever hear whispered in my heart of hearts….
Does he KNOW that I am his mother?
The insecurity of a new mother is re-birthed all over again when a woman brings a baby into her arms and home through adoption. The continual subconscious searching for ‘clues’ that this child is responding to her, that he sees her, hears her, needs her and wants her as his mama.
Does this silent wondering, these secret whisperings….ever let up?
I don’t know….but as I embrace the beautiful gift of MORE love to give and MORE love to get from another child that God has entrusted to my husband and I….I rest in the truth, unforgiving and unashamedly, that
I am his mother.
Regardless of our DNA, of his juicy lips and my unimpressionable lips, his birth story and my empty womb, his stocky body and our small frames, of ancestry from Africa and mine from Italy….
Regardless of the radically different worlds we come from, we are now fused together in this beautiful institution called FAMILY.
There have been such sweet, sometimes tear-laden times, when my adoptive Father has given me clear glimpses of my sons’ undeniable connection to me as his mama. Just the other day he woke up from his nap so upset about something, when he is usually as peachy as can be after a long rest. He cried every time I set him down, and even after a bottle he was disgruntled and crying. Instead of getting annoyed as I started to, I picked up this falling-out-of-my-arms-width 1 year old, cradled him in my arms and rocked him on the couch. He didn’t flinch. He looked pensively into my eyes for what seemed like forever….and invited me as I gently stroked every little part of his beautiful face….reminding him what part I was touching, and of his mamas unchangeable love for him. As I was rocking and stroking, he wanted nothing more than my presence, he didn’t need me for a toy, or a laugh, or a bottle….for whatever reason, that day, he wanted to rest in the security and care of his mama. Without a sound or movement from him, staring into my eyes, we rocked there for over 10 minutes….suddenly he popped up on my lap- made a fantastic little toddler noise….and off he went to his little world of great adventure.
Apart from things I may think, or things I wonder if other think….I am his mama….and I sure am glad he lets that be known.
**Ironically enough, at this point Camden closely resembles Luke and I. His complexion leans more to the olive side like myself, and his lips, ears and hair are almost identical to Luke. Our biological kids are both still blonde. By the way, for those who are wondering, this doesn’t make us feel anymore like his parents…but it is a fun treat to enjoy ;o) From everything that has been imprinted on our hearts through adoption, we would have the same exact feelings for him if he was from any country in this great big diverse world.
As our adoption judge said after noticing his resemblance with Luke,
“it appears to be God’s providential hand”. If he only knew the depth of truth to that very statement.