The other night I rented a movie, October Baby, and have had this running through my mind for the last 2 days. The movie is about a girl, who at 21 comes face to face with the reality of her medical condition. After fainting on stage, Hannah learns she was adopted and all her health issues are related to a failed abortion, which she survived. She begins her journey to find answers, her birth mom and her place in the world.
Now, I have to premise this by saying this is not a post about abortion but about an adopted child coming to terms with her abandonment.
The movie made me cry. Hot, emotion filled tears ran down my face while watching this movie. I did warn my husband I had rented this and he was fine not watching with me. He walked in the door from work that night at the very end of the movie. Good timing on his part.
The pain that wracked this girl was heart-wrenching. She was on a desperate quest to find the mother who never wanted her. She finds her and it’s not a magical moment. It’s a woman denying the facts and once again pushing this child out of her life. The heartache for me comes from having an adopted daughter who has begun asking questions about her birth mom.
Here is where it gets tricky for me. My daughter knows she is adopted and is only 8-years old. I have told her that her birth mom was unable to take care of her or herself and this causes a lot of heartache for my daughter. But she’s yet to ask if her birth mom wanted her. How do I answer this when the time comes?
I know her birth mom was in a group home and unable to care for herself independently or for anyone else. I know she recognized the fact that she was pregnant, but not sure it’s something that has remained with her or not. I know the parents of my daughter’s birth mom did not want to take on raising another child. But I can’t bring myself to tell her she wasn’t wanted. She was wanted. I wanted her.
When people tell me what a good person I am for adopting my daughter, I tell them no. I adopted her for very selfish reasons. I wanted to be a mom…and not just any mom, I wanted to be her mom. I tell her when she wants to talk about her birth mom and has questions how much I love her and how I got to choose her. I wanted this baby, not another baby, but her.
For whatever reasons a child is given up and/or unable to be parented by the one who gave birth to them, I pray they can find forgiveness as Hannah did in this movie. Hannah meets a priest who tells her, “Because we have been forgiven by God, we should forgive each other. In Jesus, you are forgiven, and, because you are forgiven, you have the power to forgive, to choose to forgive. Let it go. Hatred is a burden you no longer need to carry. Only in forgiveness can you be free, Hannah—forgiveness that is well beyond your grasp, or mine, a forgiveness that you can’t find on a trip or even in this cathedral.”
When we forgive we offer the same grace that God has offered us. For grace is getting what we don’t deserve.