A Mommy’s Heart

Today my heart is full of mommy joy….these are words I wrote sometime back to try to explain the wonder of her arrival in our lives, to somehow quantify how beautifully God had fulfilled every desire of my heart….playing with her today only further reminds me how He longs to do the same for each of us.

You are right, there are things that I traded in adoption. But nothing that I was cheated on.

No, I never felt the excitement of telling Jon I was pregnant. Instead I felt the delight of telling him about the baby that we could love.

No, I did not know the exact due date to have my child's nursery ready by. But I did get to decorate and prepare her room with all the joy and enthusiasm of any expectant mother.

No, I did not have a baby shower before my baby was born. I had it when she was two months old and it was all the sweeter.

No, I never felt her stir in my womb. Instead I felt the flutter of my heart when I first laid eyes on her in that hospital crib.

No, I did not go to the hospital with a specially packed bag to check in to Labor & delivery. I went to the hospital with a special bag packed to bring home my baby.

No, I did not stare at her through a nursery window; instead I stared at her in a rocking chair the first time I held her.

No, I did not feel the anxiety and pain of labor. I felt the anxiety and pain of biological visits and a six-hour mediation as I pushed to make her mine.

No, we did not have visitors in the hospital to smile and dote over her the day she was born, but we had a courtroom full of friends to smile and dote over her the day we adopted her.

No, I did not get to send out birth announcements; I got to send out adoption announcements.

No, I never conceived my daughter in my womb, I conceived her in my heart.

Interchangeable Parts

Sitting in the UT Southwestern surgery waiting room I am once again find myself in awe of God. I am honored to be sitting with my family of choice as two friends simultaneously undergo surgery in order for one friend to give the other a kidney.

As we all sit together making small talk the conversation keeps gravitating back to how amazing it is that this type of transaction is even possible. A few hours in the operating room and part of one man becomes part of another forever. There is much to marvel at in this story. Watching both their wives in the waiting room I realize why this swap is even happening. Because these two men, these two wives, these two families walk the talk. They talk big about being family of choice, about being the arms and hands of God extended, about living a life of excellence and honor. And they are doing it, big. They both speak of serving a limitless God and with their heroic actions they are proving His faithfulness. We all clapped when the first surgeon came out to tell us the donor's surgery was complete and successful. The nurse seated down the hall said she knew without seeing that it was our group that had applauded. I smiled knowing we had left a stamp of Jesus…..not just because we were excited that the surgeries were going well but we were all so genuinely joyous about what was taking place.

Beyond the love within this exchange is the sheer logistics of it. I mean really? One doctor cuts a hole big enough for his hand to reach through and plucks out a kidney…then in a nearby O.R. the recipient is waiting and bada bing bada boom in pops his new kidney! Of course there is more to it than that, months of testing and preparation, mountains of medicine, hours of prayer. But I find it fascinating that God made us for this sort of thing. That when He created us it was with this ability to bada boom bada bing various body parts to one another. The bible says we are to be like Christ. In Christ we have life, both physically and spiritually and here are these two men who are truly giving life to another, both physically and spiritually.

How miraculous is it that we have the gift of interchangeable parts? That at a set time and place, under the necessary circumstances one person can save another. That two men can give each other hope on a whole new level. That lives can be transformed. Makes one want to ask is anything truly "ours"? Are we too possessive? Do we think we own/change/have anything? Or are we simply here to share our interchangeable parts? So of course that begs the question—what do you have to share? Maybe your faith has not demanded that you give up a kidney….but perhaps you can share your story? A phone call, a word of encouragement, a meal….it is easy for us to look at the kidney as such a BIG gift but I think in God's eyes there is no big or small no fast or slow….a gift is a gift.

So walk your talk. Find what you have to give that was never truly yours but was all the while intended to be for someone else anyway…..just like Jesus came and gave His life, which was never His own, for you. It was always for you. Go be who you are to be for someone else. Give what is the only thing we truly have of our own to give: love.