21At this time of the year, we all have many things to accomplish: gifts to buy, a house to clean, sweets to bake, and schmaltzy Christmas movies to watch.
The best way to start this busy season is to sit down and write a Christmas List.
Christmas Lists are interesting things. They are tiny inventories of those that you love, and those that have touched your life. Your family, your friends, those people that have helped your life in small and large ways.
Because of my job, as I wrote my list, I started thinking about Christmas lists in the light of the adoption triad.
I thought about the waiting adoptive mom. Making her list and running her finger over that blank spot on the paper. Happily preparing to buy gifts for nieces and nephews, and wondering if, maybe next year, she will buy a “doll that will talk and go for a walk” for her own little one. She lets out a sigh for one more year without a kiddo to surprise on Christmas morning, and gives a hopeful gaze towards the new year.
I think of the birth mom. Making out her list and having that one name that is always there, but often not written down. This time of year her mind wanders to the little one she planned a different life for. Maybe she is still able to send a gift. Maybe she receives pictures of a smiling kid in cartoon pjs, surrounded by shards of wrapping paper, and she’s comforted by his joy. This time must be bittersweet. Not filled with regret, just the memory that someone lived under her heart for a time, and wanting to wish them a Merry Christmas.
The last Christmas list is my favorite. It’s the list that gets a new name this year. It’s the list that is the culmination of the other two lists. It’s the list that comes when a new family is made!
It’s the year when that blank space on the adoptive family’s list is filled. The adoptive parents, the aunts and uncles, and especially the grandparents, all with joy, write down the name of the new sweet addition. The name is underlined! It’s the child they prayed for, hoped for, waited for, coming to the family through time, tears, and sacrifice.
The kids section of department stores is no longer filled with pangs of discouragement, and it has now come alive with possibilities. That first Christmas is filled with all sorts of joys and visions of Christmases to come!
It’s fitting at this time of year that we think of a child that was prayed for, hoped for, waited for. It’s fitting that we remember the selfless sacrifice of the birth mom, and the making of a new family.
All of these concepts come together in the reason why we celebrate Christmas. The birth of Jesus: a baby prayed for, who would selflessly sacrifice His own life, and make a way for us all to be a part of His family. There are always echoes of the salvation story in adoption, but this time of year, I hear those echoes more loud and sweet.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all members of the adoption triad. Gift of Life wishes you tidings of comfort and joy. And we say earnestly, God bless us. Everyone.