Eto Maiya Mama

Today we said good-bye to Juri for the next week or two as we prepare to travel back to the capital to get Janna’s referral.  Our train leaves tonight, hopefully I will sleep this time.  Today has just been difficult for me.  Two words: attachment and bonding.  Last week when we got here it was so wonderful just to see this child we have been dreaming of for the last year, to hear his voice, his laugh, to be the reason for his smile.  I have been using pregnancy metaphors so, I suppose, to continue that I will liken it to those initial few contractions that you are so giddy about.

On the very first visit he started calling us “mama” and “papa”.  “Eto maiya Mama” (This is my Mama), is a phrase I have gotten used to hearing these last few days.  Even his group appears to understand, as when I walk up they all run back to him excitedly exclaiming in Russian “Juri, your Mama is here!”  And I’ll be honest, I have enjoyed it, but today it seems at best bittersweet.

You see, no one ever told Juri that we are his Mama and Papa.  His nannies said that he had visitors, but that is all.  We gave him presents and treats and lots of attention.  And for him, that is what a “mama” is, it’s a lady who sits on a bench with you for an hour every day and gives you snacks and toys.  He is always overjoyed to see me, but what child wouldn’t be overjoyed to see the nice lady who always says nice things, gives him extra snacks and plays with only him every day?

Juri has had some serious amounts of fun this week that he usually is never privileged to have.  But he hasn’t had a family experience.  He hasn’t really been a part of our family or been introduced to what it means to live in a family environment.  He’s had extra food and extra toys and extra love, but to him that is all that we are.

I am his Mama, in my heart, and hopefully soon legally, practically, and forever in every way.  But my son has many “mamas” in his life, and he has no real idea what that word is supposed to mean.  His first mama left him, the woman he calls “mama” now is a paid nanny who works at the orphanage and “his mama” is the nice lady who plays with just him and no one else.

It’s so difficult to explain all the emotions, and part of it is that I know we are leaving him for a while.  I wrote a sweet paragraph that I asked the nanny to read to him before I left.  In it I told him we would be gone for one or two weeks.  I am not sure what I was expecting, but there was no reaction at all.  It was as if it didn’t even bother him that we weren’t coming again tomorrow.

I don’t know if he was just not listening or if it honestly didn’t matter to him.  But the truth is, even with all the wonderful days we’ve had, there’s no way to know if he’s bonding yet.  Attachment is much more difficult than that for a child who has seen every adult in his life as totally interchangeable.

IMG_0353Reality is beginning to set in after the very joyous rush of meeting our son for the first time, and it’s a hard reality for me to face.  It was almost easier to love this boy that I had never met than it is to now love a boy who I have met and who does not know to love me back.  I’m sure it will come with time, but there are no expectations of him, and even if he never really loves me I will always be his Mama.

Adoption is a beautifully redemptive work.  But that word “redemptive” is key, it means that something first had to be lost.  Adoption is a joy that always comes from loss.  Today I am feeling a very tiny part of the loss that Juri has carried his whole life, and it is painful, but a burden I pray that I can learn to rejoice in helping him carry in the days and weeks and years to come.

Mother’s Day: Aborting an American Dream

Yesterday, purely by coincidence, I got to transferring my blog post series: Did God Order an Abortion?

On this Mother’s Day morning, I woke up to an unexpected response from an old friend from high school.  This is what she said:

“Hey Dalas, whats up. I just wanted to let you know that I have had two abortions and one miscarriage in my life. I am a Christian and only God and I know what I have been through. But I can’t be friends with you, if you are going to judge others. Only God has that right. Let me know.”

Now, if you have read my series or if you came from that post to this one, what you will note is that I am not writing against women who have undergone abortions.  I am writing against the bloggers of the “Christian Left” (men ironically) who break the 2nd commandment in a horrifyingly blatant way, by taking God’s name and using it to live however they please, whether it is actually pleasing to God or not.  In the process they confuse well-meaning Christians and lead God’s sheep far astray.  This is who I judge.  I judge those who would claim to teach truth whilst spreading evil in the public square.

You may have come here from another post on my blog about abortion (as I will be linking to this post regularly from here on out), and I might have spoken quite openly and forcefully against  this particular sin.  I will not shy away from the truth; abortion is the taking of a human life.  It is wrong, and it is never something God would command or commend.  Abortion is murder  but (and this is important) not every mother who has had an abortion is a murderer.  This is something that I want everyone to understand, but especially you, the dear mother who has suffered through abortions and has found your way to my humble blog.  Yes, in the sense that all of us are guilty of breaking the 5th commandment, we are all murderers.  But I do not go around calling everyone a murderer and neither will I lightly apply that label in this instance.

I realize, though I have never been in your shoes, that there are subtleties and nuances to this massacre of innocents.  There are complexities that most of us will never understand.  All of us have been lied to by the sweet whisperings of feminism, and we have all been affected in our own ways.  We all have mistakes to repent of and sins to confess.  Our society has legalized and normalized killing our children, and that is wrong.  Many women have been convinced that the child they agreed to dispose of was no child at all.  Others have been told that this was in the best interests of their baby.  Some have been abused, threatened and tortured into the decision by the very people who should have been encouraging and supporting them in their vocation of mother.  Abortion is a tragedy for everyone involved, and especially for the mothers whose bodies, hearts and souls bear those scars.

I do not judge you dear mother.  For you are a mother.  The abortion crazed culture would tell you that you are not.  In their eyes you go into the abortion clinic pregnant and come out unpregnant.  But your conscious cries out otherwise; this is not the pain or loss felt by someone who is simply not pregnant.  This pain is the pain of a mother who has suffered the death of her child.  The pro-abortion movement would seek to steal this from you.  Disguised as compassion, the abortion industry is anything but.  For in their very definition of life they must disregard the grief of every mother who has lost an unborn child.  After all, it isn’t really a baby, so you shouldn’t really grieve.  Motherhood is a blessed and esteemed vocation.  But daily… by the thousands… Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics around the country steal that once classic American dream from women and girls.

I write this post not for those women who are righteously convinced of their “rights” and stand firmly rooted in their “choice” to do as they wish with their unborn children.  I write this post for you who have been hurt by my words or by the words of the pro-life movement.  I write for you who have been crushed and convicted of participating in the killing of a precious life that God gave to you to carry, and who feel that burden every time your pro-life friends speak out.  I write this for the hurting, for those whose dream was stolen.  I write this to say… God can restore to you the dream, He can return to you all the years that the locust has eaten.  Take heart.  God is mercy.  You are forgiven.

Please know, from the bottom of my heart, that on this day I see you not as a murderer, but just as much a mother as myself.  I hope that God would pour His rich blessing out on you this Mother’s Day and continue that healing work, reconciling not only you with Christ, but also you with your dear children.

This was my response to the friend who wrote me earlier today; she thanked me for it and gave me permission to share it with all of you.  I pray that on this Mother’s Day Christ brings to her and to all of my dear sisters comfort and healing…

First of all I’m so incredibly sorry for your losses. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of losing a child. If I gave you the impression that I’m judging you (or anyone) who’s had an abortion I apologize for that, because that was never my intention. I hope we can remain friends. Let me explain my position a little more clearly.

I am wholeheartedly against abortion. I will be upfront about that. But honestly? I do not judge, hate or even blame the women who have them. Sure, sometimes there are women who deserve such criticisms, but I don’t know any personally and it will be for God to judge their hearts.

I wonder if it was the blog post that I posted yesterday that upset you? Did you read through the posts? I was speaking against another blogger who would perpetuate the lie that abortion does not hurt women, who would rather than offer the forgiving love of Christ to a woman who is suffering from abortion, would cover up their wounds with “its ok”.

Deep down we know it’s not ok, and masking the hurt and the guilt and the pain that is left after an abortion helps no one. That is who I am against, that part of our society who would take your pain and say there is no good reason for it. The people who would dismiss your guilt rather than allow you to be forgiven of it.

I am not judging you, but I am judging the ideology that would lie to you, take advantage of you and refuse to offer you true healing. I am a Christian, and my aim is not to judge you but to point you to Christ. To point you to Christ who says that what you did by allowing someone to take the life of your two unborn children was wrong. But that is not all. He also says this:

“I forgive you. And I am holding your sweet babies in my arms and caring for them until we can all be together again. I forgive you, because my blood on the cross covers this too and it has made you as white as snow. Your children forgive you, they love you, they pray for you. My child, you are forgiven. Go in peace and sin no more.”

This is real comfort, not that people will look the other way and not condemn you for bad choices and wrongdoing, but that Christ has already been condemned on your behalf for anything and everything you have ever done wrong. I do not judge you because there is nothing left for me to judge. Your sins have been washed away and you are as white as snow.

I pray that you can hold on to this real comfort. Have a blessed Mother’s Day.

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