Twice now I have written posts about things relating to this downward spiral we call an economy. Twice I have deleted them. Most posts I now write I schedule so I’ll have time to reread them to be certain I want to live with the consequences of posting them. Usually they just end up being edited a couple times. Rarely do I scrap them altogether. However, I thought I lacked compassion and understanding in the economical hard times people are experiencing so in order to keep from sounding like a jack ass I decided not to post those “articles”.
Today brought it full circle and just about brought me to my knees as well. I’m so thankful I did not post them. Sometimes listening to that still, small voice is beyond important. Sometimes it saves me from eating a lot of crow along with swallowing both feet. Whew. Dodged the missile bullet on that one.
There is a woman who was pregnant and hugely enormous whose daughter is in the same preschool class as mine. I noticed about a week or so ago that her enormous belly had disappeared. I had been meaning to congratulate her and ask about the baby. Every time I saw her the stars were not aligned in such a way that I could start up a friendly Mommy conversation. Today I determined I would force the alignment and merge into her path so I could ask how everything was going. Since I hadn’t seen the baby yet I was secretly worried it was in the NICU or something. I am so very dramatic (as if you haven’t figured that out yet).
My drama could never have touched the reality though. Ever.
First let me stand on a fine line of judgmentalism. You’ll understand as you read what I mean by that. I had noticed as she got bigger and bigger she wasn’t wearing maternity clothes. She always had on large t-shirts and sweatpants or stretchy cotton shorts without the drawstring. Remember I am a very observant person by nature so cut me slack because I don’t purposely notice these things. Anyway, her shoes were worn out, her children seemed to always wear the same few outfits week after week, and their shoes were worn out too. I assumed that she didn’t have a lot of money. I didn’t think less of her. My heart went out to her. I’m being sincere.
So as I was approaching Brianna’s classroom I was preparing to say something to her in passing because she was signing her little girl in before me. I waited patiently in the hall holding the door open. There was another mother in there before us and thank you God for that woman. Thank you God you put that woman in that room before me. Here’s why I say that.
That woman asked the no longer pregnant Mom about her baby. I was right behind them in line so I heard the whole conversation. I’ll admit my ears perked up because I was going to do that exact thing if it hadn’t already been unfolding before my very ears. The no longer pregnant Mom said “the baby I was carrying wasn’t mine”. The woman said cheerfully “oh you were a surrogate Mom, that’s wonderful”. The no longer pregnant Mom said “yeah, something like that I guess. Actually he was my 6th baby, and we, well…” She tapered off and the woman who asked her immediately turned five shades of pale and I think her heart may have stopped beating for half a minute. She didn’t know what to say. I was inwardly thanking God that He kept me from being the “one to ask”. I pretended I hadn’t heard a thing and started messing with Brianna’s hair to look busy and distracted.
Hard times. Economic struggles.
How about having to give up your child because you cannot afford another one?
I held the tears till I got to the van. Then I sprung a leak. Ok, I sprung a waterfall. That unselfish full of love Mom did the most unbearable thing in the universe. She loved that baby so much she gave him life and then gave him a better life. The only time she had with that little baby boy was the 9 months he spent in her womb and the few minutes (hours?) they may have given her with him after delivery.
That little baby boy has just been the best Christmas gift his new Mom could ever have dreamed of. That little baby boy has just been the biggest sacrifice his other Mom has ever had to make.
And he has no idea that he has 5 older siblings. I wonder if he’ll ever know. I wonder if his adoptive family has more children. I wonder if they live in Florida. I wonder so many things.
So much love in that little one’s life. So much sacrifice. So much.
Happy birthday baby boy. Your little life has touched me and changed me and given me compassion for the people who have real struggles and real pain and real sacrifices. Because of you my eyes have been opened to the smack dab reality our society faces these days.
Happy birthday sweetheart and I am praying for you. I hope your new family will teach you the love of Christ and that your birth Mom will get to see you once again in heaven. God bless you and your precious life.
Thank you God for showing me how selfish and inconsiderate I was being and for saving me from utter embarrassment. You are so gentle and loving and protective. Amen.
Photo by Anne Geddes