A close friend e-mailed me yesterday morning – she and her husband were on their way to a hospital where a birth mother was delivering a child they have planned to adopt. They are doing something very difficult: welcoming a child from another person, a child who has an unknown family medical history, a personality they might struggle to understand, and they’re doing a lot of paperwork. I admire and respect them.
But I am also thinking of the birth mother. Until I read this article on Carolyn McCully’s blog, I didn’t think much of birth mothers. Both of my grandmothers adopted half of their children, and the only thoughts I gave to my five uncles’ birth mothers were that they slept around, committed jail-worthy crimes, and did drugs while carrying a baby. I knew it was good that they didn’t abort, but didn’t think much about their struggles and feelings.
Now I am praying for my friend and her husband, and the baby, of course, but also for this young woman. She is doing what is best for the baby, and she is not (as far as my friend can tell) a believer. That kind of selflessness is humbling. It also urges me to pray for her salvation, because she cannot rest even on this sacrificial work to save her soul. She has given her body and her heart for this child, but the ransom for a soul is costly – it takes the blood of God’s only Son to bring us into the only family that will last eternally (Ps. 49:7).