Friday, March 25, 2011

A very special one

I'm sending off this quilt tomorrow.  It will ultimately belong to a baby I will never know, whose parents I will never meet.  Nevertheless I feel deeply connected to this unborn baby boy and his family.  You see, he will be a much adored, long-waited adopted son.  And I know well what it is to welcome a much adored, long-awaited adopted child into a family.  There are few blessings like it in the world.  In fact, I can think of almost no other human gift that costs so much for one person (or two) and gives so much to others.  Having been on the receiving end of the life-long gift of adoption, I am well-acquainted with the depth of the blessing.  I cannot begin to imagine my life without it.  That is, my life without the gift of my brother (s).  BB not in my life?  No.  He was meant to be my baby brother.  He was always meant for that.

But I have to admit, apart from a few speculative thoughts now and then, I haven't spent much time thinking about the woman/people who gave him up so that he could become my brother.  I am thankful to them, thankful for their willingness to give him the life he's had, to allow him our family, our dad!!! But...what did it cost them?  Has she paid again and again for that sacrifice?  Every year on his birthday, noticing by his absence?  I'd like to tell her, if I could, that her sacrifice was not in vain, and that I pray she hasn't suffered for it.  I pray God has given back to her for what she willingly gave up to us.

I'm thinking about this, because this quilt was made for the unborn baby of a college friend of my younger daughter.  A young Christian woman who made a mistake, as one might call it, has found herself living with the rather obvious and life-changing consequence of that mistake.  She is not the first, nor will she be the last, Christian to make such a mistake.  We like to think that Christians do not sin.  And we also like to think that if we do sin, God will protect us from the consequences of such things.  However, neither of these assumptions are true.  We sin.  Christians are capable--and have committed over the centuries--every sin known to humans and then some.  And sometimes there are natural consequences of that sin that we cannot simply will away by asking forgiveness.  Sperm meets egg, and begins to divide, and so life begins, exactly how God intends life to be made, of course.

This is the situation SK's college friend found herself in.  After the tears had dried, and the recriminations had faded away, she felt strongly that she couldn't keep the baby. To keep it would be to offer a compromised life--for him and for herself.  And this, she knew, would not be good for anyone, would certainly not be the act of a loving mother. On the heels of that, she also realized that her strong pro-life beliefs weren't merely theoretical but about to be put to the test. She would be pregnant on a Christian university campus, then give up the baby.  However, this is what she had no doubt that God meant for her to do.

It has not been easy.  Of course.  I don't know her, but SK, who gave her a huge pile of all her loosest clothing, has shared some of the struggles.  So a month ago, as I was praying for this young woman, I had the strong desire to make a quilt for the baby.  I asked SK if it would be weird, and she asked her friend.  Her friend said she'd LOVE to have a quilt to send with the baby when he goes to his family.  She carefully picked out a Christian home for him.  And as I made the quilt, I was swamped with the sense of blessing that he will be for them. He is, after all, the beauty, the unbelievable beauty from the ashes of this mistake, if not for SK's friend, certainly for his family.  They have no idea yet--how could they?  But it's breath-taking to imagine that this baby, so completely NOT purposed by SK's friend, is so completely part of God's purpose for his family's life.  Exactly how our God works, I think, that He can take something that begins in 'wrong', is marinated in struggle, and create from it, hope and joy, and ultimately, new life.  In one way or another, it's what He's always doing in the middle of our darkest, most troubling times.  Isn't He?

As a side note, as I bought a few pieces of the fabric at a local quilting store, the woman who cut the fabric for me asked what I was making.  When I explained, she told me she'd been a birth mom herself, and that she thought it was a spectacular thing I was doing for this young woman.  "You should write a book," she told me.  I don't know about that, but what I do know is that all the days God has for this baby have already been written, while he's still in his birth-mother's womb...and when he's in His adopted mother's arms as well.

Have a wonderful life, little one.  A blessed and joyful life.  You have been prayed for, protected and loved...and the sacrifice she's making she's making out of love.  The truest act of a mother's love--to consider what is best for her son.

No comments: