March 11th, 2007
Posted By:
Categories: Religion

Mother & Child

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you.”
-Isaiah 49:15

It’s times like these, when I come across verses like this, I cringe. Considering many people, not just Christians, view birth mothers as “abandoners” who didn’t love their children enough to parent them, at first read I feel personally stigmatized by this verse. Is there room for mothers who have placed children for adoption within the Christian faith? Am I always to be ostracized by brothers and sisters in Christ?

It feels that way sometimes. I’ll admit it. Other than our pastor, I haven’t shared my birth motherhood with any other members of our church (shy of Josh’s best friend on the fire department). I’m going to have to do so in a few short weeks. Two-fold. D, Munchkin and JD are flying in on a Saturday and we’ll be going to church the following morning. Two days later, we’ll go to our Tuesday library storytime which is attended by a few other church mommies. As I refuse to deny my daughter, I will be introducing them as such. (Currently, I’m mentally debating appropriate wording for various scenarios.)

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The library issue pales in comparison to the fear still lodged deep within my soul when it comes to introducing my family (because they are my family) to members of the church. (Not to my Pastor, though. I’m STOKED about that one!) I haven’t even begun to mentally prepare for the various introductions that could occur (or not) during that Sunday morning worship service and fellowship time. Why?

I can’t get past the heavily-held stereotype that pegs me as an abandoner. So far, these people view me as a young mother and wife trying to find her way with God, stumbling at times (understatement!) for sure but generally doing a decent job. (And so, I wanted to combat that thought, somehow biblically, if necessary. Which brought me to the above mentioned verse. Which I plan to use to my aid, even though you’re probably thinking one of two things, if not both: 1) Uh, how would you use THAT verse to your aid?, or 2) Uh, you know you shouldn’t take the Bible out context, right? Yeah, but hold with me. I’ve got something good brewing.

The verse tells us that God will not forget us, right? Even if a mother forgets her newborn, right? The thing is, which makes me smile, even those mothers who felt no connection to their children (for reasons of their own doing or others undoing), they did not forget them in their mind. There may be some mothers who were callous and abused their children, but I’d be willing to place money on the fact that they were simply unable to remove the simple existence of that child from their memory.

There is no mind erasing tool. This is not the movie Men in Black. Birth mothers do not forget. And so, that should make the fact that God will not forget us even stronger: God’s memory of us is stronger than that of a Mother’s. He knows us more deeply than we know the smell of our child (which, sadly, does fade over time) or the curl of their eyelashes or the feel of their hand around our finger. I find that comforting. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of the Munchkin. How much more does my Savior think of me?

Just as I will never be able to forget my daughter, even more so my Lord will be steadfast in remembering me.

Now, if I can only find some coherent and concise (as in shorter) way of conveying that to any not-so-nice members of our church in three weeks time, I’ll be good to go. Hopefully I’m freaking out for nothing and my church family will accept my family as is: beautifully unique and held in the hand of God.

And if all else fails, I’ll rat on any meanies to our Pastor. He’s gone to bat for me before. ;)

4 Responses to “Faith and Adoption: Forget?”

  1. Erin212 says:

    Christians, boy howdy, you just don’t know what you are going to get from that pack. Perhaps if you get negativity from them you can come back with some scripture. That often shuts up ignorant Christians.

    I’m going to look up some stuff and email it to you.

  2. Theresa says:

    Interesting scripture — I’m going to do some studying on that. If I happen to glean any more insights than those that you’ve brought here, I’ll pass them on, for whatever they’re worth….

    Good luck with your introductions and meetings! I have one daughter who refused to deny her mothers. There were several occasions where both of us mothers were with her – she would proudly introduce us both – “This is my birth mother and this is my adoptive mother!” Sometimes we can see confusion in the faces of the other person – more often, acceptance.

    I know it’s not the same situation for you, but may you find those same faces of acceptance when you introduce that lovely little girl and her other mother. Let us know how it goes?

  3. Faith Allen says:

    Jenna,

    I don’t think you are taking that scripture out of context at all. In fact, I think you completely nailed its meaning. God was looking for a human bond to help explain the depth of His love for His people. The closest He could find was the love between a mother and her child. I think the question about whether a mother can “forget” her child is a rhetorical one because the answer is OF COURSE NOT!! God is pointing out that His love for His people runs even deeper than that love, which has to be very, very deep.

    If your church is like mine, then your family will be welcomed with open arms. Many people might be surprised to see all of you together because society as a whole does not know much about open adoption. I have a feeling that seeing the love and respect that all three of you have for one another is going to spark all sorts of positive discussion about the beauty of love.

    Also, remember that most Christians are pro-adoption (Jesus was “adopted” by Joseph, after all). An argument could be made that God “abandoned” Jesus by “placing” Him for “adoption” into Joseph’s family, but nobody buys that because they see how God looked after Jesus throughout his life. I think that your situation will show a divine relationship in human terms as you continue to stay a presence in your child’s life.

    Good luck with the visit!!

    - Faith

  4. JudyK says:

    I don’t know scripture well enough to help you out with that, and I don’t know your church family well enough to help you out with that, but if they’re anything like my church family — well, what I’ve seen from my church family so far — they’ll welcome the rest of your family, D., JD, and the Munchkin — with open arms. I hope and pray they do so.

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