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Every mother’s wish…

I remember before I was a mom hearing Richard’s Aunt Bec talk about how amazing she thought connecting with other moms when her children started school. She said CHILDREN were the ONE thing these different MOMS had in common…dispite their social or economic status–all of the reasons you used to be drawn to different people “like you” seemed to fade away when children started connecting and all of the sudden you loved one another because your children loved one another.

THAT is what I really love about Mother’s day.

It’s not about the THINGS you have…but the sweet, precious, gifts the Lord has blessed you with in your children. Our dreams for our children may differ from mom to mom–BUT deep, deep down–we all share the same wish for our little ones.

The day before Mother’s day (Saturday afternoon)–I came home from running errands to my children in distress. Our dog had attacked a bird, and they had “saved” this bird and put her in a cage. [Some of you who are friends, family or past blog readers might remember us finding a bird outside Office Max…buying a bird cage, nursing him back to health and then letting him go when he was healed. IT was AMAZING. You can read about it and see the pictures here. Thanks to Princess Tiger (our last rescue bird) we had everything we needed. But…unfortunately for our new feathered friend–this wasn’t going to be enough.

I sat with all of the children and Laney asked me if she could pray for the bird. Laney prayed over the bird the sweetest prayer…for God’s healing to take place, for his broken leg to heal–and then she said, “But Lord God–if this bird isn’t going to heal here–take him quickly to heaven so he can fly forever.” Frank asked to pray after Laney which was a lot of “Dear Lord. Oh Lord. Dear Lord. Bird. Bird. Bird. Bird. Amen.” BUT it was so heartfelt. P-man just sat there…desperately wanting this sweet little bird to be okay. Then I listened to them DREAM…they dreamed about what we could name him…what it would be like when his leg and wings healed…and how we’d let fly away when he was all better.

Now, if you are a mom…your heart is reading…and you are exactly in that place where we ALL as moms connect.

We all wish our children’s dreams would come true.

We all wish their prayers would be answered.

While we all know disappointment is healthy to experience because it will come in life–however, deep down–we all wish our children would never experience disappointment.

We all wish life could be “as it should be”…how it was really created in the Garden of Eden to be…without tears, without death, without sorrow.

I went out on the front steps and sat next to that bird and watched him breath forever as the children played in the backyard with their grandparents. I got down close…watching his little eyes open and close…and while my voice is no birdsong–I thought it might comfort him…and I caught myself singing Amazing Grace as I often sing to my babies when they are having a hard time. For my heart, it is the most healing song. And YES…I WAS singing this to the bird–because I was desperate. I wanted to have this great miracle for my children. I wanted it to be another amazing story. I wanted things to be “right” in the world…and for my sweet ones to see it all unfold through this tiny, perfect little sparrow. She looked to be doing well, and she even lifted her head while I sang.

I got online and did research on broken wings and legs–and decided first thing I’d take her in on Monday to our local wildlife center when they reopened. I went back to check on her later tonight…and she was gone. No little breaths…no movement…she was just laying on her side with her eyes closed. Laney’s last prayer had been answered. And a lump feeled my throat–and I know when they wake they’ll have questions…(And on a side note–can I just say that I’m so thankful to have MY MOMMA here who graciously laid baby bird to rest for me!)

And the questions—they have such simple answers—but the simple answers…lead to bigger questions…and things aren’t so simple any more.

I was feeling so sad as thought of this bird. And I came in the living room…and I sat here and cried. Over a bird. Then I realized the hole in my heart is really–because of Mother’s Day…and the different and deep meaning it now takes on for my mommy heart. That there is a mom on the other side of the world that had a little bird…and she knew that he would never fly if she didn’t find help for him…and while she longed to just sit right there and be the one to sing to him–she called out to God–and He answered her–in the form of another mom. In order for this little bird to live–she let him go. And one day–there will be questions. With such simple answers…but these will lead to bigger questions…and things aren’t so simple any more. EXCEPT–our love. I know we BOTH simply love the same son. I believe God loved my little one so much that He wanted to perserve his life and do a miraculous work with it. And while my love is great for my little ones–it is not perfect–but HIS IS.

As moms–we have all experienced hard things with our children…seeing them experience hard things–watching them struggle with disappointment–discovering a child has a learning disability…or illness…or some type of setback–wanting to see them flourish and thrive and experience JOY…and THIS is where our hearts connect. When we strip off the layers of flesh–pride, comparison, competitive natures–and just see the hearts of the moms that surround us. And this is where the REAL questions come…the good, sweet and deep questions that show each other that we not only get it–but that we really care. And what a beautiful thing to just love one another and support one another and encourage one another.

I’ll spare the details–but the last couple of weeks have been REALLY hard for our family. My closest friends who have been here supporting us I think are surprised how many things can happen back to back to back. It has just been hard, some times comical and other times unbelievable. In those times, I have scratched my head wondering, “Lord–are you SURE this is your timing for us to bring another sweet one home? Can you really do more through our hearts and hands? Will we be able to love all of our children WELL??? Can I really mommy 5 children to the utmost?” One of my little ones had been hit especially hard with some of our 2 weeks of trials and–for those of you who followed our journey to Isaac-then you KNOW how BIRDS seemed to always be a way to speak to me. (I know…it’s crazy–but it’s true!!!)

Last week–my sweet one who I had been praying especially hard for hopped in the car from carpool on Friday and insisted I open my Mother’s Day gift RIGHT THEN…insisting that I could not and should not wait until Sunday! Honestly, I wanted to wait. I didn’t want to pull over and open anything. I wanted to rush home. Put the kids down for nap. Pull the covers over my head–and just be still–because there…not one more thing could happen to discourage. I pulled over anyway and I unwrapped this…

A momma bird with lots and lots of little eggs. How precious.

I’m not sure if any one is still reading or even still following me here–but I guess what I get out of ALL of this…is this: God cares even for the sparrow. He provides a nest even for him. Disappointment WILL come–things won’t always turn out perfectly or like we wish they could…but we can trust our God through disappointment and hardship to carry us through. Watching my sweet ones pray today–was a reminder of their tender hearts–and they reminded me today what REALLY matters in this life. Let us be so cautious to NOT get caught up in comparing ourselves to one another, how we do this or that–but instead…to be quick to ASK about one another and each other’s families, to REACH OUT and slow down enough to do life together and serve one another, and to LOVE one another dispite how we live differently.

And on that note…this Mother’s Day I would love to hear from YOU. Ok…so if you read this far–I’d love to hear one of the following from YOU…

What YOU love most about your children…

What YOU love most about being a MOM…

If your heart is heavy—What prayer request you have this week that this mom and other moms could pray for YOU!

May you each have a wonderful Mother’s Day…among the hard, easy, ugly (tantrums are never pretty;), and beautiful…and fun!

From one mom to another…love,


P.S. If you are on the AGCI newsletter list then you already saw this–but if NOT–check out the cutie-patootie in the letter header! That was back when I was attempting to grow out his hair. It did NOT work for us;). But still…those cheeks! SCRUMPTIOUS!

Makenzie - May 8, 2011 - 7:56 am

What a beautiful post Andrea! Since I’m not I mom yet, my prayer is that I can make it through THIS mother’s day without crying and have the patience to wait for the mother’s days I will celebrate with my children.

Sandi - May 8, 2011 - 8:55 am

Just wanted to take a moment to wish you a VERY HAPPY Mother’s Day! Motherhood is the most rewarding job on the planet. However, it involves long hours, sleepless nights, sometimes heartache, no promotions and few thank you’s. BUT, my oh my ,being given the gift of watching your children grow and thrive under your care with a love for God is the ultimate reward! Yesterday my 5 yr old put in a bible song CD and began an impromptu show for us. My 7 yr old was in the process of getting dressed and heard the song. He joined his brother in his underwear. They were rocking out to a lively bible song & it was absolutely hilarious. Those are the moments I cherish-the spontaneous joy and laughter. God bless!

Lara - May 8, 2011 - 9:27 am

Love this, Andrea! This week has been especially discouraging for us as well. Yesterday it was another Momma (of course, an Atlantan) who spoke encouraging words to my heart again. What I love about being a Momma is that automatic bond I have with other women. And I love getting my toddler out of her crib in the morning. Peeking in on them when they’re asleep. Reading books with them. Snuggling and watching a movie (we did this last night.) Kissing boo boos. I could keep going……

Amanda - May 8, 2011 - 12:43 pm

I love my children’s sense of humor. The things they say that catch me off guard and bring about laughter are beyond anything I could ever think of and at the same time is just their innocense showing through.

I love the growth I’ve experienced as a mom. The medical challenges of my children have given me the drive to not only care for them, but to use what I’ve learned out of these difficult times to help others. They have grown my heart and taught me so much.

I loved this post so much. Recently I’ve had times of misunderstanding and confusion with where the Lord is taking me, but I didn’t ignore the strong desire to be alone with him. I rode my bike out to a long stretch of closed off road and told him I was all ears for him. I throughally expected to hear rebuking and/or direction, but instead he lavished me with adoration and love. He showed me the wonders of his creations and let me know I’m loved more than even them. How awesome is our God, in times of confusion and understanding. He IS. Happy Mothers Day Andrea. 🙂

Elle J - May 8, 2011 - 12:46 pm

I am just speechless – your words are so heart-filled and you know exactly how to express them to make your audience tear-up when appropriate, laugh where appropriate, and smile, love, and encourage you all the way. LOVE YOUR HEART – Happy Mother’s Day!

Chelsey - May 8, 2011 - 12:58 pm

Andrea, I’ve been reading for what feels like forever (I think you are friends or a friend of a friend of mutual photog-friends of ours), back when we just started our own adoption journey. And I just have to share, even though you don’t know me 😉 it feels like I know so much of your story that I have to share the recent turn of events over here where just this week we were matched and are now expecting twins due in a matter of weeks. We couldn’t be more happy 🙂 There is always so much to be thankful for. So much to be grateful for. SO much happiness; even when things feel difficult or tough or one-sided, know that good things are in store. I LOVE your Mother’s Day gift. It is beautiful 🙂 Happy Mama’s Day to you!

Kristin - May 8, 2011 - 2:05 pm

Happy Mother’s Day Andrea. I follow your blog daily and have for about a year now. Your post today was incredible! Today, I’m thankful for my four amazing kids. I love how they are all so different! They all have done something different to make me feel special today. I also am feeling a sadness that I didn’t expect to feel. We’ve been home 5 weeks with our little guy from Ethiopia and his birth mother died during childbirth. I’m sad for him, I’m sad that I never got to meet this amazing women that birthed my son, I’m sad I don’t know much about her. I do have a picture of her and we will celebrate her for many years to come. Feeling incredibly blessed that God chose us to parent this little guy. I have to send you a picture of him…he reminds me so much of your Isaac. Happy Mother’s Day!

Laura - May 8, 2011 - 2:36 pm

I started reading your blog because a good friend of mine was adopting from Africa and I started blog reading to find ways to help their family through the process. I love how you have said that maybe we are not all called to adopt, but maybe called to help families that can adopt. I have three daughters from 17yr old to 7 yr old. One of the greatest gifts of being a mom is watching them become exactly who they are meant to be. I love watching them be sisters! I love when my middle and little walk home from school talking to eachother like best friends (they start bickering the second they are in the door, but…) I love how my oldest offers advice because she is an expert on just about everything! LOL I love when the advice she gives is the same advice I gave her years before. You said it perfectly about how wonderful it is to see each little piece of their dreams come true. BTW, my oldest is starting college in the fall. She picked the University she did because they have internships that travel to Africa. I have shared with her Issac’s referral picture and pictures of him now, home, with HIS family, and she knows that it is possible to make a difference. Thank You for helping me teach my girls’ that the world is so much bigger than we are! Happy Mother’s Day!

shanna - May 8, 2011 - 4:36 pm

Hi Andrea,
Happy Mother’s Day! Your post was AMAZING! I am a Mommy to 5 boys. In my heart I have always wanted to adopt a little girl. Ahhh so not what God wants for me. He has place 2 boys on my heart who came “home” to their forever family and 3 months later the family “gave” them up!! Can you PLEASE pray that God will move in my husbands heart. I know that they are suppose to come into our family. I know that they are to be ours…Please pray that God will protect those two boys and keep their hearts open to Love!

Christy - May 8, 2011 - 4:58 pm

Oh Andrea, I never get tired of looking to see if your blog has any new posts on it. In fact, I think it’s first in my Google Reader updates for that very reason. 🙂 Thank you thank you thank you for always speaking these true and wise words to my heart. Sometimes I don’t even know what to say but a repeated thank you because your words have touched me and are such a blessing to me. I hope you are having a WONDERFUL Mother’s Day.

As for me, I love being a mom and seeing my kids grow and develop their little personalities and talents for things. They surprise me sometimes w/ what they are seeming to take interests in and it’s fun keeping up and encouraging them through it. And as for a prayer request, as you know, I’m going to Summit this week and my mom heart is aching to do more for children who do not have parents. I’m praying that my heart will be open to hear God speak to me this week and that He will give me some clarity in how He can use me and our family for His Kingdom purposes.

Debb - May 8, 2011 - 9:19 pm

HAPPY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, ANDREA! YOU are one extra-special momma! I believe THAT is why God has lead you to bring yet another sweet babe home! You CAN handle this and love each one of your precious gifts from God! And we will all be praying you through the adoption process and beyond! 😉 THAT is one thing I LOVE ~ how God connects women with similar hearts, no matter where they are on the road to motherhood! 🙂 Although my heart was heavy with the days leading up to this Mother’s Day (not yet knowing who our babe(s) are), God has blessed me with His peace today. If you would be willing to pray that God blesses us with our little one(s) soon, that would so bless me! *HUGS* p.s….praying you have a lighter week than the last few weeks!

Sarah - May 8, 2011 - 10:19 pm

Hi Andrea. I have been reading your blog for quite awhile now though I’ve never commented. You are always such an encouragement to me as you share what the Lord is teaching you and how He is leading your family. I’m thrilled about your news for the new little one coming! Sparrows hold a special place in my heart, too. I have three boys. Our youngest son was born with a rare liver disease and had to have a liver transplant at 6 months old. For the first several years, he was in the hospital more than out of it. During this challenging time, a dear friend of mine gave me two beautiful sparrows with a card and the verses from Matt. 6:25-34. Such a comfort to my heart. My boys are now 4, 5, and 6 and it is a JOY to see them ALL running, playing, and enjoying life together.

Bonnie Nieuwstraten - May 8, 2011 - 11:51 pm

I love my children’s faith. It is so simple, so pure, so full of trust. They minister to me daily!! Thanks for continuing to share your journey.