This weekend I stopped by a friends yard sale on the way home from testifying at an adoption finalization. Two reasons: I love good deals and I love her. They were having a sale to raise funds for their second adoption; this time, a little girl from China. What I didn't know was that I'd be driving away weeping.
This family holds a special place in my heart. They were the first couple that adopted through Hannah's Dream Adoptions. And I was honored to walk with their birth mama through her pregnancy, labor and delivery, and life until she returned home halfway across the world to a third world country. She has an amazing story of risking her own life to choose life for her daughter that's so worth the read (click here for more).
Lydia has become a sweet friend. We catch up over play dates and coffee. We swap stories of motherhood, how Jesus is moving in our lives, and talk adoption since they're in the throes of it again.
So as we were chatting by the money box among piles of clothes and kitchen supplies and people shopping, I watched as her sweet girl was playing with her big brothers. At one point she ran up to her mama and flashed me a smile and I caught my breath at how much she looked like her beautiful birth mother. She has her wide smile that runs all the way up to her eyes.
I also ran into another sweet adoptive mama there; this one happened to be the last adoption completed by Hannah's Dream. Her son was turning one in a few days and she asked my advice on navigating a birthday party with the birth family. We caught up on her little guy and the sweet birth mama that still has relationship with their family.
Before I left, Lydia reminded me that her daughter would be turning three the next day. "Sis," she said, "Miss Susan knew your birth mama. She was there in the hospital when you were born!" Those smiling eyes got as big as saucers as she made the connection in her little soon to be three year old heart. Although we've talked before about that fact, I think this was the first time she connected the dots.
"You know my birth mama?!" I spent the next few minutes pulling up pictures on my phone of her birthday: pictures of her being cleaned up by the nurses, being held by Hannah's Dream staff, and meeting her family for the first time. She squeezed my neck, asked how big she was when she was in her birth mama's tummy, and told me she was planning on having blue cupcakes the next day. I told her again how brave her birth mama was. I told her how loved and wanted she was from the beginning of time. I told her how proud I am of her.
One garage sale I stopped at randomly in the middle of my day over the weekend. Two families who book-ended my time at Hannah's Dream. Two families who love their kiddos and the birth families well; families who talk often of their children's adoption stories and revel in the mess and beauty of adoption. One little girl with big eyes who heard her birth story again. And one sobbing adoption worker on the way home who couldn't think of a better way to spend her time, or a better yard sale.