Monday, March 17, 2008
A trail of tears
Last night at the Stirring, Dan spoke of the journey through infertility that he and his lovely wife shared.
It stirred me up.
Once I had a dream. And I had to quietly close the door on that dream and take up another. Some day I'll write of our journey to Jake, and to Emme, and to the little one we lost. But for now, I am reminded that during that journey, I vowed to help others making their way.
I served as a mentor for fost-adopt families. The day John left me, I stopped. I wasn't able to help anyone else when I couldn't even help myself. But, of course, God led me through those trying times. I've come out the other side, and I have a pretty terrific life for a divorced mom.
And I want people to know that there are orphans out there. Sometimes they are truly orphaned, through death or desertion, but they are always orphaned nonetheless. Their birthparents are not able to parent them in any way that is safe or comforting or loving or good.
Me, an orphan (yes, truly Orphan Annie) adopted two sweet children. One had birthparents unable to care for a baby - even though they wanted to - because of their mental illness, addiction, homelessness, hopelessness. Although one of the parents tried as hard as possible, he couldn't break the chains of his addiction, and asked us to adopt his child. I have some touching stories about this family, as I was able to get to know them a bit. Instead of being adversarial, as some would imagine, we worked together as brothers and sisters in Christ to parent this innocent child.
The other had birthparents who struggled with drugs, and crimes, and horrible broken hearts. They chose to walk away when told their child could be placed in a loving, Christian home. I am truly saddened not to have stories to tell my child about these parents.
Ultimately, our loving Christian home was torn in two. Nothing in my life breaks my heart more. But we are still active, loving parents to our children. As far as divorced families go, I think we've got one of the best. I, of course, am broken-hearted that my husband fell out of love with me. But I know a love even greater. God loves me and helps me walk through each day.
And I'm calling the county today, so that I can start mentoring again. If I can help even one family bring a child into their home, to fill it with love and wonder and awe, then I want to do it!