I'd like to tell you a true story. I'll change the names a little, but I'll keep the details intact.
Once there was a mother, we'll call her Joan. She already had two beautiful children and was about to have a third. The trouble was, she could not care for the third. Circumstances made her realize he was probably in danger if she kept him.
As a mother, she grieved for her tiny son. She even tried to keep him for a while. Maybe, just maybe it would work. But all along she knew she could not keep him. It simply would not work, due to things beyond her control.
It was with a heavy heart one day that she handed him over. It was with prayers and weeping that she gave him up. If only she could have him in her arms again. She ached for the baby.
Her other two children missed their little brother too. Still, they knew it was for the best. The baby's future hung uncertainly in the balance while the little family watched and prayed.
Then the match happened, an adoptive mother was chosen. She was a woman of means who would be able to care for the baby. Joan, his birth mom, breathed a sigh of relief. He would grow up healthy and safe. If only she could see him, hold him and care for him and tell him how much she loved him.
Then the final miracle happened. The agency recommended visits. The adoptive mother would allow Joan to care for her son. The empty arms would hold her baby again, the gentle voice would whisper to him.
Nice story, right? This could be the story of any number of adoptions across our country today, even ours.
But it's not.
Joan's name was really Jochebed. The little baby's name was Moses. Big sister's name was Miriam. The agency, loosely interpreted, was God whose hand guided all the circumstances. Recognize it now? Surprised?
The theme of adoption runs throughout the Bible. We who believe in Christ are called adopted sons and daughters of God. Samuel was adopted by Eli the priest. The picture of a child being grafted into a new family paints a beautiful picture of God's love for us. But God never forgets the birth moms, the ones whose mother-love never ceases for those babies they don't get to daily hold. After all, God too gave up His only son. Sometimes the grief is worth the courage to do what's best.
This struck me today as I listened to a children's story tape telling the story of Jochebed.