For Today, He just gets to Play: Saying Goodbye to Birthparents

The knot in our stomachs wound tighter and tighter as the elevator climbed to the eighth floor. The doors slowly squeaked open and we made our way down the long, stuffy hallway into a room filled with toys. It was a dreary November morning. The rain had stopped but the gray from outside seemed to be spilling in through the window panes and casting a sad fog over our hearts. We were surrounded by toys of all kinds—stuffed puppies, plastic dinosaurs and baby dolls with cheerful but worn faces, all telling the tales of children, birth parents and foster families who sat in this room before us for their final “good-bye” visit.

We smiled the best we could and made small talk, occasionally laughing at something the kids did while the social worker silently observed and made notes. Little buddy was as happy as could be. Oblivious to the occasion at hand, he bounced around excitedly from one toy to the next. Though strangers to him, he didn’t seem to mind the two new friends, his birth-parents, that were eagerly following him around and interested in every move he made. Occasionally they tried to pick him up or hug him and he kindly obliged for a moment before wiggling down to explore the next toy that caught his eye. I sat there watching, trying to take it all in. I felt relieved that I wasn’t the one saying good-bye today and grateful that my son was only 20 months old and unaware of the sadness that loomed in the hearts around him. Soon enough he will have to face the harsh realities of this world, process the brokenness of his birth family, and grapple with the pain of drug addiction that had brought this visit about. But for today, he just gets to play.

That day’s visit brought us one step closer to making this boy our son and we couldn’t be more grateful. This is what we, and so many of our friends and family, have earnestly asked the Lord for and he has heard our prayers and worked on Little Buddy’s behalf. We praise God for this and are filled with such joy and relief that he will soon be ours, adopted as a Lind forever! Yet, what we were completely unprepared for is the profound sadness that would also linger in our hearts over the brokenness, pain and sadness that often precedes the glorious reality of adoption. For us to receive a son, someone else is losing a son. For us to welcome him in as a part of our family, they must say good-bye. Though I didn’t give birth to him, he turns to me and says “mommy”. This is such sweetness to my ears but as I look into the eyes of his birth-mother, grief seeps in and paints a vivid picture of the consequences of sin and the destructiveness of addiction. The sin that promised happiness and the drugs that offered comfort now only deliver a broken heart and a sad good bye to a son she doesn’t know. Perhaps what pains my heart the most is that they don’t fully realize what they have missed the last (almost) two years of his life or the precious years ahead that they are saying good-bye to.

It isn’t right. Parents shouldn’t have to say good-bye to their children, babies shouldn’t have to experience drug withdrawal and adoptive parents shouldn’t have to grieve with their child over the brokenness of their birth family. In a post-Genesis 3 world however, these things are a reality. Adam and Eve disobeyed, chose their way over God’s way and sin entered the world, leaving nothing untouched. Praise our good and gracious God though that this was not the end of the story. Brokenness does not get the last word—not in the story of this sin cursed world and not in our son’s story. Jesus came, entered our broken world, lived a perfect life and died a sinner’s death. He rose from the dead, conquering sin, selfishness, bad decisions, drug addiction and even death itself! He did this for all who would trust in him—whether young or old, religious or non-religious, birth parent or adoptive parent. All who were once far off can be adopted into the family of God and given a new start and new life in Christ.

In the same way, despite the sorrow and pain that mark the beginning of Little Buddy’s life, the Lord has brought him safely into our home. He is now healthy, cared for, loved as our own son, and soon to be adopted—ours for the rest of his life. He has been given a new family, a new beginning, a new start and the hope of a different path. Having just received the news that an adoption worker has been appointed to his case, the only steps that remain are paperwork and one final court date. At this final court date, a new birth certificate will be issued and this precious boy will be declared a Lind, forever!

As we anticipate this joyful day, we ask for you to join us in prayer. Please pray that paperwork would be completed quickly and that a date would be available in the family court soon. (Our hope is by spring?)  Please pray too for Little Buddy in the days and years ahead as he grows and comes to understand more of his story. Pray for wisdom for us as we talk with him and walk through the complicated emotions it will stir. Lastly, but most importantly, please pray that God would save Little Buddy and Finley. More than being adopted into our family, we desire for our children to know the joy of being adopted into the family of God through Jesus. For this is where true joy and life, everlasting life, is found. Those who trust in Jesus become a part of God’s family and will one day dwell with him forever in a new world—a world where there will be no more mourning, crying or pain. A world where there will be no more broken families, drug withdrawal or “good-bye” visits. What a glorious day that will be!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be hold and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has blessed us in the beloved.”

–Ephesians 1:3-6

 

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