Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Do you see a resemblance here? You should, because this is Justus and his birthmom, Kathleen. I do think he looks like her, and she is beautiful, so that's great!
We spent this past weekend with Kathleen, and I treasured every moment! We flew Kathleen here, since she lives so far away, and we haven't seen her since Justus was 7 months old. She came for Justus' 2nd birthday, and it happenned to be her birthday, just 2 days before his. It was an amazing weekend!
At least once a week, someone says to me "I want to talk to you about adoption." I always say "I love to talk about adoption!" Because it has been a beautiful, growing experience, as having children always seems to be. I am in awe of our God, who uses everything to draw us closer to Him. So much of what I have to say about adoption centers around this lovely woman pictured above. We are a perfect picture of open adoption, if you ask me, and how good it can be when you allow God to remove fear and pride. (Only He can do that!) I cannot separate Justus from Kathleen. I cannot say to a woman, who loved this little boy so much, she put aside her own feelings and chose something better for him, "thanks for your baby, now go away. We don't want to see or hear from you again." She gave me my baby!!!! There is no selfishness is that decision! I always tell her, it's a pure picture of a mother's love. As mothers, we put them first, and us last. Kathleen has no other children, and I know still longs for a child. But she knew, for reasons that I won't get into out of respect for her and for Justus, that she couldn't give him everything he deserved. Mainly, a Dad. (I think he hit the jackpot on that one, by the way! Kathleen agrees, Justus couldn't have a better Daddy!) Kathleen will always have a place in our lives. She will definitely always be important to Justus. He will grow up knowing, 'that's Kathleen. She's my birthmom. She loves me.' Doesn't that take the mystery and agony out of it for the adopted child?
For those of you who feel totally freaked out by this- and there's people in our own family who still are- let me just assure you of some things. With semi-open adoption, like New Life does, we don't exchange last names or addresses. She still doesn't know what town we live in. Communication and visits go through the agency, and they are there to assure that a proper boundary is set in place. They are amazing at their jobs! But I do not fear her. And she does not fear me. We are two moms who are constantly reassuring one another. I tell her over and over that we always want contact with her, and Justus will always know her and know that she loves him. That's all she wants!!! For me, she constantly tells me how happy she is with her decision, and the immense peace it gives her to receive our pictures in the mail of him playing with his siblings, Daddy, or his dog Disney. She told me several times this weekend, being with us and seeing him brings her no sorrow or regret! Only joy and peace. She is so happy for him! This is a self-less woman, who doesn't even know the Lord.
That's another aspect of this relationship that I want to share. Kathleen is Muslim, and we had the opportunity to take her to my parents' church with us. I knew that I needed to seize the opportunity in the car on the way to the airport to talk about our Lord Jesus with her. It was just me, her, and a sleeping Justus. It was an easy, open, honest conversation, and I told her what Jesus means to us (which she has heard many times before in letters and cards), and asked her if she would just pray and ask God if Jesus is the Way? Please, if you know what it means to have Jesus in your life, pray for her to come to know Him too. I know, beyond any doubt, that bringing me my sweet little brown bear was not God's only purpose in this adoption. I believe that God is drawing Kathleen to Himself, and I don't want her to miss Him!
Make no mistake about it, I am Justus' Mom. If you ask me about Justus' "real Mom" I will tell you "you're lookin' at her." (That's me!) There is no confusion for any of us in that. But there is still a lot of room in his life for her, and for her family, who love him. I wouldn't dream of shutting them out. Why? To nurse my Super-Mom ego? Or out of fear? My faith in Christ dispells that fear. He holds our family in His hands. If you have any questions at all about open adoption, or about New Life, a pregnancy crisis center and adoption agency in Houston, please let me know. Like I said, I love to talk about adoption! Look at the end result.