It was there in the midst of the mess she found beauty. Not because she knew the future or the past but because she knew the One who held it. In that one moment she realized the beauty was in the moments of total loss of control. Those moments were the ones that showed the beauty of God’s grace and redemption. – Alycia Marie
Have you ever been in the midst of complete chaos but felt total serenity? What about a situation where you have no control yet there is peace? A little over a year ago I experienced these sensations. It was in a hospital room with bright lights, people scurrying, and a woman grimacing in pain. This – this is the world of adoption.
Not every day is spent in the hospital. There are the days of nervousness when complete strangers meet for the first time. You sit next to a woman and can secretly tell how nervous she is, even though she maintains total control. She calmly shares her story as if she tells it every day. By the end of the hour, you watch total strangers hugging and crying together. You see a couple who could never have a child on their own try to hide their joy of raising a child themselves. Then there’s the days after the hospital – you sit and watch a woman experiencing all of the changes of hormones without a baby in her arms. You sit on the couch in silence processing where life suddenly hurts.
Those are the moments of beautiful, painstaking heartbreak. Every reason is different. Sometimes it’s understanding that where she was in life was not one a child could be in. Other times it’s recognizing that the needs of older children create a hard situation. Whatever it may be – it is accepting a woman’s right to choose. The right to make the ultimate sacrifice of carrying a baby for 9 months, withstanding the pains of labor, and leaving the hospital with empty arms. That is motherhood.
Motherhood is not just the ability to raise a child. It is the ability to recognize when you can’t. The ability to say to a stranger “I am trusting you with the life of my child – care for him/her like I wish I could”. Every circumstance is different. Standing in that hospital room on that day I experienced so many emotions. The joy of handing a baby to new parents who only dreamed of this moment every single day. The sorrow of sitting with my arms wrapped around a woman who loved a baby so much she knew it needed to be with them. A desire to “fix” her but recognizing the only thing you can do is be present.
That is the world of working with birth mothers who place for adoption. It is a world of beauty. A world of chaos. Heartbreak. Pain. Joy. Love. A time when every emotion a person can experience collides. Those are the moments you understand love in a whole new dimension.
Like floating confetti
The beautiful gets messy
When the fall out finds the floor
But in the depths of the trenches
Is the richest of riches
Love is calling us to more
The beautiful gets messy but it’s in those depths you find beauty. A connection to a woman you would never have met otherwise. The little piece of your heart that will always be left with that person. That – that is the life of an adoption social work.