Over the next few posts, I intend to share some specific points that the Lord laid on my heart at the “Called to Love” retreat that I attended.
I had the amazing privilege to go to a conference tailored to bless and love on adoptive and foster mamas of faith. It was an incredible weekend.
My mentor and friend, E’rma, had met me for breakfast several weeks back and told me about this retreat called “Called to Love” and told me she really wanted me to go. I vaguely recalled hearing about it the previous year. (Little did I know that last year was the flagship year. I would have never guessed this was a “new” ministry based on how well thought-out and executed every aspect of this conference was.)
And so, since it came so highly recommended, especially by E’rma, I decided to go. My best friend, also an adoptive/foster mama said she would come up from southern Oregon to go with me.
I don’t know what I was expecting. I guess I was looking at it as a business convention. Being a mom is my job, I thought, So maybe I can learn some tricks of this trade since I feel like I’m failing at this role so miserably.
Friday afternoon, we drove onto the grounds and up to the lodge for registration. As I was getting my welcome packet, and coffee mug (Cool! I heart freebies! I thought), the funniest thing started happening. I wanted to get OUTTA there. I had opened the folder with the itinerary and handouts and inside was a handwritten (and in my case, an artfully handmade) card from a lady who said that she had been praying for me and my family by name since I had registered. As Heidi was reading her card from another lady and crying, the appropriate reaction in my opinion, I felt this emotional wall shoot up. As we drove down the drive to the lower parking lot, I shared with Heidi how I was feeling and the tears started flowing.
This thing hasn’t even started and I’m already falling apart. Right there, I resorted to the fact that I would be feeling a lot of pain this weekend. I might have to bare my soul and be vulnerable, something I was not looking forward to. But I had to admit that carrying my heavy burden of grief and loss was wearying me. It has been over four months since we had to say goodbye to our 14 mo. old foster daughter. The depression has been tangible and downright scary for me.
And so, I asked the Lord to truly help me to process my grief. In addition to that, I asked Him to remove my nagging unforgiveness and jealousy of my children’s birth mother. So far, it’s been a daily practice, some days more successful than others, and although I guess that’s not a bad thing, I’d rather move past that so I can have energy for my kids instead. I had no idea how He would work that miracle, but I decided not to even venture a guess, but to just trust that He would.
Then we went to our very first session . Although it was called, “Navigating Birth Family Relationships and the Heartbreak of Foster Care and Adoption” it could have just as easily been called “Loving your Children’s Birth Parents the Way Christ Does.” I was sitting on the end seat of an aisle, but that didn’t matter to the Lord. He was sitting right next to me in that aisle and just told me to do three simple (not easy, but simple) things.
1) Read every page of our children’s adoption documents and learn about her.
2) After I have a good picture of her past, pray for and intercede for her.
3) Write her a letter. (He impressed upon me that He will tell me then whether I am even supposed to send it to her or not.)
Dear Mama, I don’t know where you are. I don’t know if you are a biological mom, foster mom, adoptive mom, or all three. But I do know that no matter who you are, you’ve been called to love.
If you are a foster/adoptive mama, I challenge you to walk this journey with me to love the woman who bore your child. Ask the Lord to give you manageable steps to learn to love her as Christ does. Feel free to use the steps above if they work for your situation. If you are already experiencing success in this area, feel free to share what has worked for you and what the Lord has laid on your heart.
And dear bio mama, could you please pray for me and others who are doing this? It’s hard to explain how hard this is until you are in these shoes. And the supportive prayers of Sisters in Christ is valuable beyond measure.
Blessings and much love,
Please note that this blog is intended to be a completely safe place for mamas (and dads) to share. It will be heavily monitored and comments that are unkind or damaging will not be allowed. Grace abounds. Thank you.