Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Child of God

Eighteen years ago my husband and I drove our dusty, old car to pick up my mother-in-law from the airport. Her visit was not unusual, though they lived 1500 miles away, as my father-in-law is a pilot and they enjoy flying privileges.

This trip, however, was special indeed. This time she carried a most precious bundle: a beautiful baby boy. She was bringing him to be placed with his new adoptive family. The LDS family services building was on the way home. We soon stopped and entered the building. There we came to the room where an anxious family waited. Our eyes met theirs and we all began to weep. It was one of those sacred moments where words fail.

The father, a musician, gently accepted the boy into his arms. He gazed deeply into the child's eyes, then began to sing a song he had written for the occasion. This wonderful family had girls of their own, but now added their first boy. His was a tender lullaby expressing heartfelt joy.

What made it all the more meaningful for me was the fact that a few months earlier I had been visiting my parents-in-law and had met the sweet birth mother of this child. She was staying there in their home where many others had likewise been sheltered and loved. This young mother and I shared conversations about the gospel, our lives, how we were different, how we were the same. She was a very deep thinker with the most brilliant smile. I instantly loved her. Some unhappy experiences had led to her situation, but she had made brave, wise and loving decisions, including a plan for adoption. It was a privilege to meet her and I knew I'd never forget her grace and deep soul.

Over the years, I was able to keep in touch with her since she had formed such a close relationship with my husband's parents. They considered her a daughter, so we often saw pictures and letters from her.

In time she married a wonderful man in the temple and had a beautiful family.

Years went by. My husband and I lived away for a long time. When we finally moved back west, we ironically ended up in the neighborhood where this young man and his wonderful family now live. Hence, I have been able to see him grow up and become a most amazing individual.

Not only does he act and sing and dance (and has been featured in a church wide video production), but he was also elected Student Body President of his high school, and was voted Homecoming King by his peers. He is humble, loving, and inclusive; an extraordinary person.

Each time I see him, on stage or in the community, I see his unconquerable smile. That same brilliant smile. I think of his birth mom and wonder if she knows, somewhere in her heart, how amazing he has become. She had faithfully placed him with another family in a happy, supportive community where he grew and achieved and shared the great love he was given.

Why do I tell this story? Because this week, he is graduating from high school. He is officially "welcoming" the audience to the graduation. And so, through third parties and letters, he has invited his birth mother to come meet him, and to attend. His unbelievably fantastic family encourages his decision.

I have a son just about his age and have been at the high school often for many occasions. Also, since we live near his family we see them many times a week around town. It has been interesting over the years to visit the birth mom, or to see pictures of her and her family, and then, sometimes even the next day, to see this young man (though they live states apart). I have had a unique perspective, following both of their lives and knowing the connection, but not being able to share information or feelings.

I have thought how he must often have wondered who she is, what she looks like, what her life is like and so on. He has maybe wondered, "Who am I? Where did I come from?" I live so close to him and I know the answers to many of these questions, yet have not be able to tell him. He has had to live by faith, seeking his Heavenly Father's comfort and guidance.

Now the time has come for them to meet. It will take place in the home of my husband's parents this week. Now his faith will be realized. He will be able to see, embrace and talk to her himself!

As I thought about this happy meeting, I imagined my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I can't see Him or receive any tangible communication at this time, yet, I know He is real. I know that ever since I left His presence, He has had my best interests at heart. I'm sure He has worried about me far away on Earth. I'm sure He has wanted to swoop down and intervene and show Himself to me, especially in my darkest times. I'm sure He has wished to show me exactly who I really am. Yet, this is not been allowed now. Instead, I have had to walk by faith.
Luckily I was placed in a wonderful "adoptive" family who loves me and reared me in righteousness.

I wonder, however, how it will feel to someday look my Heavenly Parents in the eye, to embrace them and know without a doubt who I am and from whence I came. It will be such a stirring moment to finally realize my faith that truly "I am A child of God."

I Am A Child of God,
And He has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home,
with parents kind and dear,

Lead Me, Guide Me,
Walk beside me,
Help me find the way,
Teach me all that I must do,
to live with Him someday

P.S. I got to escort this young man to my in-laws house for his special reunion with his birth mom. That too was a treat for all of us. It was natural and beautiful. We all felt the full circle of life. They spent hours catching up while I spent time with my parent's-in-law, but I could hear lots of joy and laughter from the other room! Truly God is good, and Faith proceeds the miracle.


Diana said...

What an amazing story. He is such an amazing young man & I love his family so much!!! Thanks for sharing this great story of such LOVE.

Ivy said...

That is such a wonderful story. It brought tears to my eyes. I think that all of us who know this family, are touched by this story. We all know what an amazing man this boy has become! Thank you for sharing this story.

sara jensen said...

I love it. What a powerful comparison; helpful to remember as a parent too that our little ones are only given to us on-lend.

Betsy said...

Remarkable story, Stacey. Thanks.