Mother's Day was extra sweet this year. How could it not be? Not because it was celebrated with breakfast in bed, jewellery, perfume, flowers or any of the more traditional ways to celebrate Mother's Day, but because it was Mother's Day with these 3 all home together. I am still in awe of my beautiful family and just how naturally Rosie has become part of our lives.
I don't think that Mother's Day will ever be quite the same for me. Because as I reflected on the privilege and responsibility of being a mother, my mind went repeatedly to two people half a world away, one a mother and one a child.
I am so proud to be Rosie's Mother, but even if I wanted to, there is no denying that I am not her first mother. Half a world away, there is another Mother, a first mother, who gave birth to her, loved her, was there for her first cries, first smiles, first steps, and then as she became so ill that she could no longer see her daughter, feed her or care for her, made the choice that no Mother should ever have to make, to give her daughter up so that her daughter would have a chance at life. I used to wonder how any woman could give up a child if she truly loved them, but now I no longer wonder. Instead, I am in awe of the love of a parent who would choose life for their child, knowing that doing so would mean losing them forever.
I am grateful for Rosie's first Mother. Grateful for the sacrifice she made for Rosie, grateful for the chance to be Rosie's second Mother, and grateful to be a part of a little life for which God chose two Mothers.
Then, my thoughts began to stray to a child in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Her name is Meron. She has just turned 6. She is my child, too. Not biologically, not legally, but a part of our family none the less. Meron is our child through Compassion International. Meron has only been a part of our family since the beginning of this year, but already it is amazing to see that relationship begin to grow. Sponsoring Meron is about far more than just helping to provide food, medical care and an education for her and job training and support for her Mother. It's about being involved with an Agency that works through local churches to help them meet the needs of those they are surrounded by, providing much needed physical support, which gives them an opportunity to share the love of God in word and in deed. And, it's about an opportunity for our family to be a part of sharing God's love with her. Sponsoring a child through Compassion International is an investment not just of your money, but also your prayers and your time. I love to hear my boys begin to pray for Meron. We used this last week at school to study more about Ethiopia, and as they begin to understand more about where Meron comes from, it is obvious from their prayers that they are listening and beginning to understand. And then, when we sat down to write to her together, it was so much fun to hear what the boys wanted to tell her and what questions they wanted to ask her. I can't wait to see the relationship grow. What a privilege to be a part of this precious child's life from half a world away, to play a small part in what God is going to do in her life, and to be able to be part of a relationship that will help her to see just how special she is to us and to God, even when the difficult circumstances around her might tempt her to believe otherwise.
So, for today, my number one recommendation for those seeking to live out the caring for widows and orphans part of James 1:27: consider sponsoring a child through Compassion International (http://www.compassion.com or just click the button at the top of my blog). It will change their life, and it just might change yours, too.