A Baby Was Born

Today as I pen this column, it is a Monday in every sense of the word.

Nothing says “Monday” like a return to work after a holiday.

They could have named it Mundane, but that would have been too nice of a word.

If any ordinary Monday could be aptly defined as mundane, then surely the Monday following a holiday must certainly be melancholy. Thus is the ebb and flow of life. No man can stay on the mountaintop forever. Reality seems to come around, you guessed it, on Monday.

Today as I pen this column, a mundane Monday would be bearable.

Today as I pen this column, a Monday that is melancholy would be tolerable, too. I’ve survived forty-three previous years of melancholy Mondays in my life and lived to tell about them–what little I remember as I emerged from a tryptophan stupor. Surely one more wouldn’t kill me, right?

But, this day, this mundane, melancholy Monday, is not satisfied with inflicting the general pain of running out of peanut butter balls and returning to work. Oh no. There is only one adjective that can describe today’s Monday for what it truly is. Mournful. Today is a mournful Monday.

I really cannot recall what I was doing on this date in years past, but somewhere in the world an event took place that has changed my life forever. A baby was born.

This little love came into the world and lived here on earth for exactly eighteen days before a social worker placed the six-pound bundle into my arms. He needed my love while Mama was away.

I can honestly say that I poured my heart into this child, making the good deposit daily. And nightly.

This went on in our household for some ninety days.

When I say that now, it sounds like so little time. I can assure you that ninety days of no sleep is an eternity.

Ninety days of falling in love, day and night, is an eternity.

Ninety days of taking a willing wound for Christ by making this kind of investment despite the knowledge of an impending reunification with his birth Mom is an eternity.

Ninety days with maximum effort and little earthly reward is an eternity.

I said yes anyway.

I said yes when forever “March The 7th” from here unto eternity should be memorialized as the day I died when the social worker pulled him from my arms for his reunification.

Unlike so many of the other foster Moms in my support system, I was blessed enough to see Baby Hopper again in one month’s time. The grief cut deeper still as I held him and realized he was no longer the same child.

I’ll say it. He had detached from my love and attached to his birth Mom. This was the goal all along, wasn’t it? I hated the goal. The goal wasn’t fair to my heart. I wanted my baby back.

Besides having made the good deposit in Hopper, I was also certain that I had given the birth Mom her dignity during the fight of her life. I vowed to God and myself that I would be a minister to not only Hopper, but to her as well. So for this reason, I had to white-knuckle it and tell my heart that though I may love this baby as my own…he is going home to the most important woman in his life. Because of this mindset, the birth Mom vowed that she would keep in touch. And she has.

The contact has not been ideal according to my standards. Originally, I had the skewed vision of becoming a surrogate Grandmother who would assist the birth Mom on a daily basis by picking him up at daycare and buying him new shoes when he needed them—or even when he didn’t. But that was not to be.

Today, I am very thankful of the way things worked out for all of us. I am back working full-time in my business as well as doing a lot more writing than ever before. My heart had a lot to say due to the lessons that could only be absorbed in the wake of an all-consuming agape love that may or may not have been returned.

Nowadays, I might see Hopper when he comes for a visit to my office. His wandering toddler hands grab a hold of my shiny gold loop earring and I cry to his Mama for help.  This time, it is she who rescues me.

Sometimes, I go for weeks and I never hear anything. Sometimes, a video shows up on my iPhone with no words, just moments. From this corner of the world, I witness his first steps. He has overcome his rocky entrance into the world and is now as well adjusted as any other child.  I feel rich, knowing I had a part in his journey to Christ yet to come.

In spite of all the sleepless nights would I do it all again? Yes.

Would I endure the hardship of grief no matter the cost? Yes I would.

When my friends and family ask me why, I know the answer has to be that I took a chance on Hopper’s eternity, the dividends of an investment which only time will tell.

Today as I pen this column, I know that tomorrow will be Tuesday. I reassure my heart that joy comes in the morning; instead, I hear the quiet whisper that says, “Child, remember, joy comes IN the mourning.”

Despite the difficulty of the call, I can trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal. Because of this, I can learn to be content, no matter the circumstances, turning even the most mournful Mondays into something magnificent both now and evermore.

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