Most people grow up with the people who created them. They grow up with those people’s DNA in their makeup and do not question anything about who they are where they came from.
I have always questioned where I came from.
I was adopted at the age of 2 months old, by a couple who were imperfect but loved me perfectly.
I do not remember a time that I didn’t know I was adopted; I thought it made me super cool and special, that I was chosen, not just “born into” my family. This was thanks to my adoptive mother, Virginia, who instilled in me a gratitude beyond measure for my birth mom’s sacrifice. Because giving me up for adoption was a HUGE sacrifice.
Think about today. Young girls get pregnant all the time, and most choose to raise their children, whether they are ready to or not. Or the grandparents are raising their children, after they are finished with raising their own. Nowadays, it’s cool to keep your baby, whether it’s a good decision or not. I am not judging…I cannot imagine how hard it is to be a single mom and try to raise your baby with everything you want them to have and to meet their needs.
But I am telling my story. My birth Mom, Christina Hunter Sachs Bewley, made that sacrifice. After she found out she was pregnant, she told her parents while they were in Japan (where abortion was legal in 1970), and her mother immediately suggested terminating her pregnancy (me). Her father, George, disagreed, and when they came back to the States, he paid for Chris to spend her last few gravid months at the Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers, where I was born.
I spent a few weeks with her there, then was put into foster care. From there, I was adopted by the Boshells through the Department of Human Resources and became a Boshell, through and through. I am my parents’ daughter, and I am grateful for that.
I am also grateful for that woman who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving me a life that she could never have.
Chris did the right thing. She did the HUGE RIGHT THING! And when I was 19, I met this woman, who I look like and who I sound like and who I act like, a little. I always wanted to know who I looked like, but that always meant my birth mom, not birth dad (and we don’t know who that is so we are going to ignore him.)
I have been friends with my birth mom since 1990. She adores me. She adores my children. She loves my family because they are mine.
Her life has been hard. Mental illness, addiction, job issues, home issues. But she is a fighter, an optimist, a perserverer. She loves hard. She gives much, more than she can afford usually. She is quirky. She says “Bow wow” at weird times, which my kids think is hilarious.
She is the one part of me that is my DNA.
And that matters.
I am not sure why. But it does.
My dad passed away in February of 2017, and my Father in Law in July of 2017. My health has betrayed me for the first time in my 47 years.
And now I am losing the one part of me that is ME.
My poor birth mom has a horrible cancer that is going to take her life. In November, we knew it was coming. Now the wolf is at the door.
My devotion a few days ago said, “Sorrow, under the power of divine grace, performs various ministries in our lives. Sorrow reveals unknown depths of the soul, and unknown capacities for suffering and service. Lighthearted, frivolous people are always shallow and are never aware of their own meagerness or lack of depth. Sorrow is God’s tool to plow the depths of the soul, that it may yield richer harvest….
Sorrow makes us move more slowly and considerately and examine our motives and attitudes. It opens within us the capacities of the heavenly life, and it makes us willing to set our capacities afloat on a limitless sea of service for God and for others.” (Streams In the Desert).
I am not a sorrowful person, per se. I laugh every day, and laugh inappropriately a lot, and I talk a lot about unimportant things.
But I am constantly aware of my….holes? loss? sorrow? hurt?
And now I face another, while living life day to day, laundry and carpool and sports and work, and I am so sad.
But I have to keep my face toward the sun. As a dear friend said today, “Get up and make your bed and just go live.” I might not make my bed, but I am going to go live. Because not everyone will get that choice.