So Elise got to go over to aunt KK and uncle Josh’s house, and she got a football lesson from the coach, uncle Josh. She had a blast; the pictures say it all.
Sometimes I’m a little slow on processing, but when I have had the time, I have had a lot on my mind…
February 27, 2010, was my sister’s baby shower. Five of us worked together to throw a shower and honor this special addition to the family. There was a smorgasbord of food, drinks, hand made decorations, piles of gifts, and supportive friends and family. In the middle of it all was Elise hamming it up. As I looked at her, I couldn’t help but wonder what Elise’s birth mother experienced. Where was her party? Where was her support? And then, I helped the moment pass.
As the party wound down, Elise and I ventured outside. She tottered around pushing her uncles’ childhood car, and I just got to watch and enjoy. I watched her climb over the side instead of using the door, and again I wondered where was her birthmother? Where was her support? Where was her party?
I love Elise. I can’t imagine my life without her. She’s been in our home for only seventeen months, but it seems like she’s always been here. Yet in the midst of my joy and reveling in the life unfolding before me, there’s always a twinge of sadness.
I can’t imagine the personal circumstances that Elise’s birth mother faced. I can’t imagine what went through her mind as she placed her baby girl for adoption. I wish I knew. I wish I could tell her, “She’s safe and loved,” but I can’t. I can only rest in the information we have that shows a loving birth mother, and I’m sorry she didn’t get to keep sharing her love. I’m sorry she and Elise suffered the loss of each other. I’m sorry that we won’t have all the answers for Elise, and that she will have to learn how to accept her story.
But even in the midst of this sadness and grief, I’m so thankful to have my baby girl, Elise. I’m excited to discover her life with her and hope that we can teach her about God’s faithfulness, providence, and compassion. I pray that Elise’s story is one of redemption. And I pray that Elise’s birth mother knows she’s safe and loved because as her mother that’s what I want to know, that she’s safe and loved.
…So in fashion with the way my befuddled mind has kept up with events in the month of May, Happy Belated Mother’s Day Elise An’s birth mom! Thank you for giving me a Mother’s Day.
A week and a half ago, Annie and I were invited to tell our story — Elise’s story — onstage at our church. Basically, our pastor asked us a few questions toward the end of his sermon. I thought it was quick — four or five minutes — but then I listened to the sermon podcast. It was nine minutes long! I guess time flies when you’re talking about your crazy adoption journey. At the end of the day, after speaking in all three Sunday services at IBC, we were exhausted but grateful for the opportunity.
If you’re interested, you can listen to our nine-minute interview below.