Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother

Happy Mother's Day!



This is a bit long, but if you have the time, please read it. Regardless of which stage we find ourself in this journey as a mother, we must remember why our children were given to us. As a mother, our love is to be an earthly reminder of God's unconditional love.

From the website: A Mother's Devotions

One Mother's Love

One of my good friends when I was in my twenties, was an older Christian lady named Doynell. She had been discriminated against all of her life, because of being extremely overweight. She had grown up being stared at in the rudest ways. She had married a kind man with a disability, and they could not have children, so they wanted to adopt. Doynell and Melvin had a home study done, decorated a nursery, and were waiting when I met them. The deepest desire of their hearts was to have a child of their own.

One day I got a phone call from one of my children's surgeons, who knew me well. He said there was a seven month old baby boy up at the hospital, who had lived there all his life. This baby had been given up at birth, but no one wanted to adopt him, or even take him in as a foster child. This baby had normal intelligence, but had disabilities. The doctor was looking for a home for this baby, because he was becoming autistic, and afraid of everyone. Any time a person came near him, they were going to hurt him, and he knew it. This little baby had a terribly deformed face, and a trach. He needed constant, careful suctioning and oxygen, 24 hours a day. He had been born with no connection between his mouth and his lungs or stomach. He was fed by a stomach tube. He also had severe arthritis, and it hurt him to move. He had spent his whole life lying on his back. He was also deaf.

I suggested my friend, and he called the baby's social worker. Before I knew it, Doynell and I were going up to meet this abandoned little one. I remember it well. My friend walked in, took one look at the baby, and her instant, proud, excited response was "that's my boy!" I looked, and my instant response was a silent horror. This poor baby had deformed, close-set eyes, and a nose and mouth deformed and pinched together so he looked more like a bird than a baby. His facial muscles did not work, and he could not change his expression. Frightening gurgling, gasping sounds came from his trach, as he struggled to breathe. When we came near him, he turned his head away from us, his eyes squinted, and he cried in fear, without expression or sound. I couldn't see past the baby's deformities. But all my friend saw was a helpless little baby who needed a mother. A baby boy with curly blonde hair, eyes the most beautiful deep blue, and incredibly long lashes. My instinct was a horrified pity. Hers was overwhelming love.

Doynell spent every day at the hospital with her baby from that day forth until she could bring him home. She learned all his care at the hospital, got licensed, and brought him home. They adopted him, and named him Michael Patrick. She and her husband were both exuberantly grateful to God.

Doynell was completely devoted to her little son. I was amazed and humbled by her absolute acceptance of his disabilities. I was ashamed that I had problems coping with the way he looked, and the way his loud, choking breathing sounded. I couldn't seem to get past that sound, and the look of terror in his eyes while being suctioned. He had to be deep suctioned. Sterile saline solution (if I remember correctly) had to be squirted down his trachea, to loosen the phlegm. Then she would suction. But while the liquid was in, he could not take a breath, and he struggled. His face clearly showed that he was screaming in terror, though he could not make a cry. He would gaze up into my friend's eyes as she suctioned him, with a silent, wild, terrified look, jerking his head back and forth, and flailing his stiff, painful little arms and legs. You could see the intelligence in his eyes. He must have felt like he was drowning each time. No wonder he had grown frightened of life. I don't think I would have been able to do that kind of suctioning. It broke my heart to see his eyes, his terror each time, so many times a day. I deeply admired that way my friend did, without batting an eyelash. She was utterly matter of fact about it. "It has to be done, to keep him alive. There's no sense fussing over something that can't be avoided." She cared for him twenty-four hours a day. She kept his crib beside her bed.

Little Michael lived to be eighteen months old. He never rolled over, or walked, because of his arthritis, but he moved around in the walker. He was a beloved member of his very own family He was receiving infant stimulation, and was quickly learning sign language. I have a picture of him in a walker in their living room, his oxygen tube connected to his neck. He could not smile, for his little face was frozen in this bird-like grimace. But his eyes followed his mother wherever she went. His life depended on her, and he knew it. Doynell loved her baby boy with all the fervent love of any new mother, and more.

What a gift that little Michael had ten months of a life at home with a mommy and daddy, both of whom loved him with all their hearts.

Doynell and Melvin continued adopting children with severe facial deformities, and other problems. Doynell said she was well able to teach her children that people were always going to stare, and not to let it bother them. Many of them died, as their disabilities were incompatible with a long life. She had clear visions of her children in Heaven. I wish her story had ever been told. She died fourteen years ago, but I'll never forget.

She loved those babies with a whole, pure, unconditional love, like God loves us. God doesn't look at us, and say to himself, "this one is too rebellious, too stubborn, too wicked, I can't love this one." He loves each one of us with a holy love. A love so great that we cannot even imagine it.

I'm so glad that God doesn't judge us, like I judged that poor little baby. If only our love could be better. But I have always thought about my friend, when thinking of how unconditionally God loves us.


4 comments:

Pat said...

What a wonderful story. If the world could have more people like your friend, what a different place we would live in. Thanks for sharing your story. I wish that I could have met her.

Lindah said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. A good reminder of "what it's all about."

MaryAnn said...

Thank you for sharing the Love of the Lord. Could we all but let our love show as this wonderful servant has done through these children.I too know this has been a blessing to have read her story.

anne bebbington said...

Thank you so much for sharing this - mind you here in the UK the ridiculous situation with political correctness and nanny-state-ism would probably have procluded her from adopting the baby because she was overweight - thank goodness the authorities didn't think that way in her case. Some people are just goodness all the way through regardless of their appearance