Today's reading is 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11
Today Nick and Carrie turn fourteen. For the next two weeks all of my children will be fourteen-years-old until Simon turns fifteen on January 3rd. When I tell people this they usually say something like, "Wow! You must have been busy!"
My typical response is, "Well, somebody was, but it wasn't me. I'm an adoptive mom."
After two years of marriage Larry and I were unsuccessful at conceiving our own child and sought the help of an infertility specialist. He ran the typical tests and informed me that he could not help us. The news was devastating to me. That day was the darkest day of my life. The pain reached deep into my soul.
I know how Hannah felt as she stood before the Lord that day. 1 Samuel 1:10 says, "In bitterness of soul Hannah wept before the Lord." For me, the pain of infertility is worse than death. It is a hopeless grief. As I wept before the Lord that day, I wept out of hopelessness. I grieved that I would never see my babies. They were not born on earth and they did not exist in heaven. They did not exist anywhere. The babies who lived in my imagination did not live in the imagination of an all powerful God. He created the universe, but chose not to create within me. I could not function without crying. I could not celebrate the birth of my friend's babies without reopening that wound. Even though I wanted to turn away from God I turned toward him, buried my face in his chest and prayed that he would make me a mother. Psalm 147:3 says, "He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds."
Even in my grief, God was already at work. Larry and I began to pursue adoption. After seeking advice from other adoptive families we knew, we learned that adopting through foster care was the least expensive(free!) and easiest way to adopt. Not long after receiving our certification as foster parents we learned about a family of three children who might become available for adoption. We contacted their social worker and inquired about them. We discovered they were four-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, who had a five-year-old brother.
We set up a meeting with their foster parents to meet at a local restaurant. We would sit at the next booth so we could observe them without the kids knowing what was going on. We spotted them as soon as we entered the restaurant. After we sat down, Larry leaned over and said, "Those are our children." Nick hugged his foster father tightly and covered his face with kisses. Simon wolfed down pancakes. But it was Carrie that stole my heart. She kept turning around in her seat, looking over the booth at me. I think she knew I was her mommy.
Not long after that we became a family. I have been a mother over nine years now. As I consider Hannah I think of the commitment she made to the Lord that day as she cried out in her grief. She promised to give God her son all the days of his life. It implies that she had to choose daily to release her precious boy to God. Our children do not belong to us. They are God's. It takes a lot of trust to approach God daily, with open hands, releasing our children to Him. He created them(Jeremiah 1:5). He knows best how to mold and make them into what He wants them to be (Isaiah 14:24), not what I want them to be.(Ouch! That one hurt!)
Praise the Lord with me as Hannah praised. "There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God."(1 Samuel 2:2)
Let's tighten our aprons and approach God today with open hands.