Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Caleb's Adoption Story Part 2: The Redemption of His birth Mom

I read somewhere about a foster child who said that he knew that his foster parents loved him because they loved his birth mom.  It challenged me to think of what it would be like for me to love Caleb's birth mom. How could I hold a place for her in my heart?  I knew very little about her this time last year. All I really knew was that Caleb was taken into custody because he was exposed to drugs in utero. She wasn't allowed to be alone with him in the hospital. She wasn't the one to carry him home. She carried this baby in her womb for close to 40 weeks and when he came out crying and healthy, he was taken from her.  I can't imagine the heartbreak to have a son taken from your arms. This baby who grew in your womb and kicked and prodded and made you tinkle your pants a little bit when you laughed, this baby made from the stuff you were made of, and now he was no longer your son. He was taken away, because of choices you made, but still, he was removed from you. 

Honestly, it still gets me.  When Caleb was born, his birth mom, Elizabeth,  was in a really bad place. She was on drugs and was chasing after death with all her heart.  She was not in a place where she could see her son because she had to be clean for 3 weeks in order to earn her right for visitation.  She did come to a hearing in September in which she stated she wanted to present evidence that she was getting her life together.  Then when the evidence hearing occurred a month later she was a no show.  Her life led her on the run and to more drugs and more heart ache. 

I had read some statistics of people who get involved in crystal meth. They are not good stats... they are the ones that say if you start this drug the only way to get off of it is to die.  Only 4 % of meth addicts come clean.  Despite the stats, or maybe because of them I started to pray for Elizabeth. I started to ask God to bring her to himself, to redeem her, to give her a new life. I had heard rumors that she was in foster care as a child, that her parents were drug addicts, that her life had been marked by every hard thing that you could imagine.  My heart started breaking for this one whom God loved and I interceded for her. Lord,  would you save Elizabeth, would you bring her to your redemption.  Redemption was the word I kept praying for her. It was my heart that she be redeemed. I wasn't sure God could do it, to be honest, remember the stats?  But God...

In the winter at some point Elizabeth signed over her rights to him. She was in essence giving him up for adoption.  I can only praise God for working in her life to give her the grace to see that loving Caleb meant letting him go.  It meant giving him over to the family that loves him, to the mom who has been snuggling him in the middle of the night when he cries, who has been teaching him to walk, to the dad who wrestles him to the ground and tickles his belly til laughter explodes.  She was letting him go to the family that she had longed for as a child. 

In March we had a meeting called an ISP in which the permanency goals for the child are discussed and changed if needed.  Elizabeth showed up to the ISP, and she was accompanied by the director of the Dream Center!  She was in rehab!  She wasn't just in any rehab, she was in a place where she was being discipled in God's words, she was loved, she was celebrated. She was in a place of life. After so many years with death as her constant companion, she was in a place of life.  I was amazed. I didn't know what to do. I knelt in front of her and just wanted to serve her, to show her that she is loved.  It was totally awkward :)  I asked her if she wanted to see pictures of Caleb. She cried and grinned as she saw this baby who has her dimples and perfect eye brows. 

In the meeting I saw how God had preserved Caleb in his mother's womb.  She talked about how when she conceived him she didn't really want to have  a baby but she didn't believe in abortion and she knew there were women who couldn't have children.  Even in the midst of drugs and hard living she had a word from God. It was God who spoke life over her and said carry this child. It was God who gave her a heart for me, even when she was in darkness, light filtered into her heart.

She has been clean now for 7 months!  She is doing so well and has even been placed in a position of leadership among the other women in the center.  Her face is radiant as she is looking to Jesus.  Jesus has removed her shame and given her a new life in Himself.  He is even restoring her to relationships she once knew as a child that were a blessing to her.  God is making all things new.   I am so honored to have been able to play some role in her redemption, even if it is just prayer for her.  Elizabeth is a beautiful woman who God dearly loves and I rejoice that she has given her heart to Jesus. 

It is a great miracle that Caleb has become our son.  It is just as great a miracle that Elizabeth
has become a child of God.  We are all adopted in some way.  I am filled with joy.

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