Taking Her Place

I’m sitting where another woman should.  And her absence makes me ache.

I see her shadow in the curve of his nose.  I hear her voice in the melody of his laughter.  Sweet Judah.

I wonder where she is right now, and if the emptiness in her arms is heavier than any other burden she might carry. My lap and my arms are full — of wriggling baby, fresh life.  But for her, the stillness and silence must be unbearable.

It is a Father’s redemption that brought him here, in response to the world’s dark brokenness that tore him away.

There are 140 million orphans in the world today.  And behind that number are 140 million mothers.  140 women just like me.  I do not judge her.

I mourn for her; weep for her.  A mother’s heart does not recover when she leaves part of it at an orphanage’s gate, tightly bundled with a birthday note pinned to the front.

She is not the villain in this tragedy, but a victim in need of healing and hope.

My heart aches and words don’t describe the sadness I feel.  I shouldn’t be the one feeding him.  I shouldn’t be the one learning how to make him smile.  I shouldn’t be taking her place.  I can only cry out to Jesus, trusting that He can heal all of this brokenness.   

Father, be near to her I pray.

13 thoughts on “Taking Her Place

  1. Oh Carrie ~ This was so well written. You took the thoughts right out from my heart, and put them into words on this post.

    I often have those reflections of Khloe's birth mother, and wonder where she is today, does she grieve for Khloe, does she know Jesus, does she have other children??? …these thoughts and so many more flood my mind. I will always think of her and the selfless sacrifice she had to make. I will always pray for her, and the millions of other mothers who find themselves in the same situation. My heart breaks for each of them.

    But for now, I am glad that you are there to love on Judah. Oh how that little guy has tugged at my heartstrings. I continue to pray he has a miracle. And I'm betting that somewhere out there, his birth mama is praying that, too!

    Blessings and Hugs,
    ~ Tanya


  2. Oh how my heart aches for the birth mothers who leave their little ones…whatever the circumstances may be. No, they are not villians. They are the VERY sacrificial givers of gifts that we receive with such joy and gladness–a stark difference between the hurt and sadness they feel. I've never met even one of them, but I love them ALL so much!


  3. It's funny how often I've had to defend the birth mothers of my two girls, explaining that both of the girls had special medical needs that the mothers knew would not be taken care of in China, and that leaving them in a place where they would be found was an act of love that most of us could never even begin to understand. God bless those mothers who cared so much for their babies.


  4. I so agree – It's sad that in this broken world the other mommy couldn't hear our new daughter's giggles and get to know her fun personality. I pray that the other parents would know Jesus because then they can get to know each other in heaven. I will never speak badly of the mom who gave her birth and know that every birthday our daughter has, she will wonder if there are people who love her and take care of her. I so wish she could know her daughter is safe and loved.


  5. This was amazing. Of course brought tears to my eyes. It was so pure, honest and true. Thank you for the work that you do in filling the shoes of those that aren't able. Bless you dear friend.
    sent via John's blog name


  6. Carrie,

    I can't tell you how many times I've cried for Mya's birthmother. I wish so much that I could just give her a hug and tell her that Mya is safe and loved. I can't imagine not knowing. I too have had to defend her birthparents to people who 'think' they know the story. I hope you all know how much you are appreciated by so many people. Thank you for all you do to help the helpless.

    Dawn in WI


  7. Carrie,

    Very well said. This is my first post on your blog. We have adopted 3 from China. Our first is from Ankang City, Shaanxi. We pray for our children's birth parents all the time. And now Kanaan at the age 6 and Chloe at age 5 are begining to pray for their birth parents also. I pray they will come to know HIM as savior and that we will meet them one day if not here on earth then in heaven. Keep up HIS work.

    Machell Rogers
    Milan GA


  8. Carrie,

    This was so beautifully written, and so true. I wish everyone who judges these birthparents, or makes my least favorite statement ever (people in C*hin*a don't want their girls) could read this… and have their eyes opened.


  9. Uggh. I knew from the picture and from the title, I was going to cry ugly tears!!

    I was just pondering Mya's birth family today as I read a post about the 10 days before a Mom's daughter was found. She wrote about what may have happened in those 10 days and the emptiness her birth mother must have felt after her baby was gone.

    You are right when you say Judah's mother should be there. She should be rocking her son to sleep tonight.

    And I cast no judgement either. Only grief. And prayers.


  10. We pray everyday for the birth mothers AND foster mothers as I know it is so hard for them as well to say goodbye to a child they've raised. Our daughter was in the same foster home for eight years…My heart grieves and yet rejoices at the same time that the birth mothers chose LIFE for our children…
    We pray everyday for them….EVERYDAY!


  11. Carrie-I've read this post at least 4 times and only now do I know what to say….and the only thing I can say is: I am printing this post out for my collection of things I need to be able to read again, and again, and again. I always wonder about the mother who will be my child's birthparent, but I never really thought that the 140 Million orphans also represents 140 birth mothers. And, in China especially, these women really ARE victims.


  12. You are a beautiful writer. My heart cries out to God on behalf of those mothers and those babies.
    I'll be holding my little guy a little tighter tonight, thanking God that he's in my arms.


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