With defiance in his beautiful brown eyes, he said boldly, "You cannot tell me what to do. You are not my REAL mom." As he finished speaking his little decree, he watched to see how I would respond. You see, while we were living in The Philippines, we adopted Mark when he was just 5 months old.
I took a breath and from the deep Momma place inside me, I spoke. "Mark, I held you, I fed you your bottles, I helped you learn to walk, I changed your diapers, I protected you, I loved you and I still do. That is a real as it gets!
Momma and Mark
That feisty little boy is now a grown man of 40 who is a director in a Christian recovery ministry, helping addicts and alcoholics transition back into the world. We have watched over the years how God has walked with Mark through the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am his proud and loving Momma. Grateful, so grateful to God that he is our son.
When we started to adopt children of other races in the mid 70's , it was still unusual and controversial. We knew with all our hearts and without doubt that adopting was part of God's plan for our lives, but others were not sure. They did not understand that God had planted this strong desire in us to adopt.
I can still see myself at age 11, in the small storage area off the bedroom where I kept my doll bed and seven dolls. Periodically I would take them out and play with them. They kept me company and were like friends for me. I always loved babies, and I ended up being a mom to seven children. One day when I was thirteen an African missionary came to our home in SE Minnesota for a visit. I can remember thinking, as his momma held her beautiful black son, "I will have a son like this little one some day". Sometimes God instills His plans in our desires even at a young age.
Sometimes doing what God calls us to is controversial or radical. Sometimes God instills an "inner knowing" inside us to bring forth His plan, even if it seems unusual or beyond our understanding. And sometimes when these desires come we just know that we know that we know that no matter what, God is in the midst of it. And from His goodness comes amazing gifts, like our son Mark.
For Mark's milestone birthday, I have been putting together a photo book of his life so far, with a small journal filled with memories to go along with it. Looking at all those pictures from the past. has brought a smile to my face, joy to my heart, and so many memories back to the surface. So many stories that make up our history and God's story, too.
The story of how God brought Mark into our lives is amazing and totally orchestrated by God starting back within myself as a child. It reaffirms to me how important it is to listen and surrender to God's plans for us. Yes, I am his Momma....and I am as real as it gets!