Yes, I’m adopted.
My folks were not blessed
With me in the usual way.
But they picked me,
they chose me,
From all the rest,
Which is lots more than most kids can say.
“Jake Says” by Shel Silverstein
Adopted. Picked. Chosen.
What wonderful words to be described by! Furthermore, what a blessing for any woman to receive the gift of a child for her own loving son or daughter.
Adoption…it’s been going on for thousands of years, but is still misunderstood by so many. Truth be told, it is only through my own experience as an adoptive mother that I have come to understand (and so adore) this wonderful journey of becoming a mother to the motherless.
I remember that when I was a little girl, I was always thoroughly confused by the story in 1 Kings 3:16-28. You know it…the one about the two women who came to King Solomon fighting over a baby. I will include a portion of it below:
- 23: Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.
- 24: And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.
- 25: And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.
- 26: Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.
- 27: Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.
- 28: And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.
1 Kings 3:23-28
I remember wondering in my youth how accurate King Solomon’s “DNA test” was – I mean sure, it was nice and all that the one lady didn’t want the baby to die, but how did that really prove the baby’s biological relation to her? It wasn’t until years later when I became a mother, that this stark reality hit me right in the face…
It didn’t prove it. Furthermore, it didn’t matter! King Solomon’s wisdom was not in finding out who gave birth to the child. No, the test was so much more than that. A mother is not measured by whether or not she gives birth to her child…but by whether or not she gives worth to her child. This woman’s motherhood was proven not by a DNA Test, but by a simple Mother’s Love Test. The true mother was blatantly obvious to the king – she was the one who had the best interest of her child at the forefront of her mind. I still don’t know to this day if the baby went home with his biological mother – but I know with complete certainty that he went home with his real mother.
- If you are biologically related to your children, don’t go anywhere! This message is not only for adoptive mothers, but to all mothers of every shape and form. I hope that your relationship will be strengthened with your child as you ponder how to attain motherhood at it’s finest.
- If you are contemplating adoption, I hope my words will encourage you to be all you can be for the child in your future. I hope that you will be prepared to build a bond with your new son or daughter that will tie you together through eternity.
- If you are an adoptive mother, I hope that you will find positive affirmation in my message. I hope that you will see the authenticity of who you are…and never, ever feel as if you’re not the real deal.
- If you are a naysayer, I hope that you will consider the reasoning behind your opposition. I hope that you will come to see that being a mother is so, so much more than matching DNA.
– Today we are going to ask ourselves this important question:
“Am I a real mother, or am I a fraud?”
Let us find out by three simple tests…
1. A real mother provides needs.
Take a moment to think about your child in regard to his/her physical needs.
Are you the primary caretaker of your child’s body?
- Prepares their meals?
- Buys their clothes?
- Supplies them with a warm bed?
Some would claim to be mothers solely on the basis of having given birth to a child, but how legitimate is their so-called motherhood if they do not oversee the care of the child’s physical needs once he/she is on the other side of the womb? One woman might oversee a child’s physical needs for a mere nine months, while another oversees that same child’s needs for some eighteen years. It seems to me rather obvious which one is the real mother of the child, but here is a hint on her identity:
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. – Proverbs 31:27
A real mother is physically present to her child. She can not mother from a distance! To call a woman who does not dwell with her offspring “the child’s real mother” is a misnomer.
Now I want to be very clear that I am not belittling or bashing women who choose to give a child up for adoption. This choice is often made through careful deliberation and perhaps much pain. Many times it is in the best interest of the child. Giving a child up for adoption does not necessarily make a biological mother a bad person (though there are exceptions, i.e.: her rights were relinquished involuntarily for abandonment and neglect). HOWEVER, once the decision has been made to sever the former parent/child relationship, the biological mother is no longer the mother to the child. Is she contemptible for this? Absolutely not…but the fact still remains that the child’s adoptive mother is now Mom in every sense from there on out.
Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial.
Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else’s child.
Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.
– Rita Laws PHD, OURS: The Magazine of Adoptive Families
2. A real mother promotes deeds.
Take a moment to think about your child in regard to his/her emotional needs.
Are you the primary caretaker of your child’s soul?
- Spends time training them?
- Points out their talents?
- Sets them up for success?
A real mother promotes deeds by fashioning her child’s day…by setting his/her hands towards productivity and growth. She sees the good in her child and encourages it. She sees the bad and nips it in the bud! She is the guiding light that molds her children into the very best version of themselves.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. – Psalms 127:4
It baffles me that there are women out there who call a child theirs whom they have not shaped in any way, and know virtually nothing about. A real mother knows her child because she spends her life with her child. She makes it her priority to learn his/her individual personality so that she can train accordingly. The mother/child relationship she has with her child grows daily, because as they spend time together they build a greater and more lasting bond.
Time and experience have taught me a priceless lesson: Any child you take for your own becomes your own if you give of yourself to that child. I have born two children and had seven others by adoption, and they are all my children, equally beloved and precious.
– Dale Evans
A real mother knows her child’s favorite color, and what kind of food he hates, and what he wants to be when he grows up. She is her child’s biggest fan. A real mother is known not by the relation she holds, but by the station she holds.
Any woman who would attempt to steal the role or title of mother, having little to no connection to the child in question is as selfish as they come. Real motherhood is blood, sweat, and tears…it is hard work and toil. It is not abandoning a child when the going gets rough and then deciding down the road you want to reap the fruits of another’s labor. What cruelty to the heart of the one who has raised the child and invested their life in them!
He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord. – Psalm 113:9
3. A Real Mother Produces Seeds.
Take a moment to think about your child in regard to his/her spiritual needs.
Are you the primary caretaker of your child’s spirit?
- Prays with them?
- Reads the bible to them?
- Takes them to church?
God’s word urges parents to lead their children’s thoughts heavenward continually…day by day. A real mother does not neglect this task but seeks to make every moment count as she trains her children up spiritually.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. – Deuteronomy 6:6-7
I believe it is safe to say that to have the kind of parent/child relationship described above, one must be with their child day in and day out. As parents, it is our duty to train our children up in the way they should go. This is motherhood at it’s very realest.
It should be noted that even Jesus himself placed a far greater priority on such spiritual relations than biological relations:
There came then his brethren and his mother, and standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. – Mark 3:31-35
Our Lord is a great advocate for adoption. In fact, adoption is how we become a member of God’s family! (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5) We were born to a world of sin and destruction. Would we identify with this evil world because we are in a sense it’s biological offspring? God forbid that this would be so! Rather we are to be identified by our true, real, and adoptive father…God.
A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. – Psalms 68:5
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. – Psalms 27:10
If your desire is to be the most authentic mother possible to your child, this is the way to do it:
Be a godly example to them. Lead from the front – they need to see you refraining from sin as well as seeking to do good continually. They need to know that God is number one in your life! Example is important, but do not neglect also to help your child see truth for themselves. Teach them God’s word…show them the right way to go…make faith real to them personally! Caring for the body and soul of your child can build a lifetime bond. Caring for the spirit of your child can build an eternal bond.
My birth mother brought me into this world, but it was my adoptive parents who gave me life. – Christina Romo
A real mother is one who truly loves her child. This is not in her imagination, but in reality.
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:18
To understand adoption, we must rise above carnality. We must embrace the ability to love someone irrevocably without biological relation. It is not by DNA, but by these three characteristics that you will know a real mother:
- Is she providing needs? (of the body)
- Is she promoting deeds? (of the soul)
- Is she producing seeds? (of the spirit)
Bottom line: There are birth mothers who are real mothers, and there are those who are not. There are also adoptive mothers who are real mothers, and still…there are those who are not. The test lies herein: If a woman can be identified by her performance of the three traits above, then you will know that she assuredly has – The Mark of a Mother.
I didn’t give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.
For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn’t give you
The gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you.
Most people like adoption. I’m happy I got adopted, because I have a good mom! I have the best mom in the world! – My seven year old son (adopted, picked, and chosen)
For God’s Glory,
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.