Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day

Our first Mother's Day as a family of 5!

Well, to say that this Mother's Day is a little different than all those that have come before would be such an understatement.

(Tom always says that I have the gift of understatement!)

This year, I am celebrating with not one, but THREE very special boys!

Saturday night, my boys all took me out to dinner to celebrate Mother's Day.  We enjoyed our meal and the boys were perfect gentlemen.  Doors were opened for me by my sweet boys. I even overheard Colin telling Tommy to "be good"..."today is Mom's Day".

At dinner, I received this beautiful necklace from my guys. It is a "bird's nest" with little egglets.
Our friend, Jessica Carpenter makes these beauties to raise money for her adoption fund. I LOVE being able to support orphan care when we shop. 

I also received these two very sweet Mother's Day cards- one from my dear husband and one from my boys. 
 The cards were great, but what I will treasure forever was the note inside the boys' card.
In case you can't read this well...

Tom wrote at the top,
"I Love My Mom Because..."

And each boy took turns writing their conclusion to that sentence.

Tommy: "...she loves me."
Cameron: "she chose me."
Colin: "gave me a family."

I almost stopped breathing. How can a simple little piece of handwriting paper mean so much?

It was not lost on me that for my older two boys, this is the first time they have ever celebrated having a mama of their own.

Of course, each of them has a Mother. And while the boys are celebrating me this year, I am forever grateful for their birth moms. These two women, regardless of the details of their lives- chose life for my two boys.

They chose to put them into a position where they could be loved and cared for by our family-and for that, I am forever grateful. 

Because of their sacrifice, my Tommy has two of the best big brothers I could have asked for. Because of their decisions, we have the opportunity to share the love of Christ with these two children.

So, today, on Mother's Day, I say a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings God has given me. 

I also find myself looking back over the past year....

A year ago, we were starting our home study to bring Colin home from China. 
We were excited, but mostly, just exhausted. The pace of completing everything in time was oppressive.  

With Colin's adoption, we received so much support from our family (well, most of them) and friends. Our community of believers rallied to support us with their prayers and their finances, their time and their talents.  It was amazing to see God open doors so that we could bring this amazing boy home.

With Cameron's adoption, mere weeks after our homecoming with Colin, we began to receive questions about our sanity and our judgement. And this was tough, but not for the reasons you might think. 

It was tough, because we couldn't understand how anyone would ever begrudge a child the chance to have a Mom and Dad to love.  
It was beyond our comprehension how people who have so much could think it somehow wrong to open your home to a child in need. We seriously had people tell us they would not, could not, support this again. I mean, once was ok, but twice?  Who did we think we were?

We heard things like, "What are you trying to do, save the world?" and "How in the world can you afford this?"and my personal favorite, "What's wrong with the kids in our country?"

Now, as I said, as aggravating as it was to hear these criticisms from family and "friends", what was most upsetting was that all of these individuals claimed the name of Christ. These were Christians that were sitting in judgement of our obedience.

That is what hurts. That anyone would claim the name of Christ and then openly judge someone who chooses to obey God's commandment to care for orphans in their distress...James 1:27.

It hurt my heart that someone would be so removed from the very heart of God that they could see, even for a minute, adoption as wrong.  There is no Biblical standard of wealth, or intellect, or age whereby God calls us to care for the least of these.  We are ALL called to orphan and widow care. All of us.  

So as we are celebrating Mother's Day, and as I look into the eyes of my three sons, I am so grateful to God for softening my heart to the needs of these orphans and for handpicking these two incredible boys for our family!

I am grateful that He has given me a deeper understanding of His heart and of my own "adoption in Christ".  

I am grateful. I am just so grateful.


Donna said...

Hi Angie, Love your posts and love your obedience to God.
Also where can I find a link to Jessica's jewelry. Love to support adoption also. Thanks

Donna said...

Would love to have a link to Jessicas jewelry. Love the necklace and also the beautiful comments from your sons!

The Rylands Family said...

Donna--you can click on Jessica's name in the post and it will take you to her blog. Just leave her a comment and tell her you saw the necklace on my post. She also has a facebook page for "Bambooandfluffmud" where you can see all kinds of samples. Thanks for asking! Angie

Annie said...

I am grateful for you, my friend!

Rebecca said...

It is an amazing journey and no one who hasn't walked in your shoes can truly appreciate the awesomeness of it. You have some handsom boys there! Looking forward to hearing more about your new child! Congratulations!