The rustling woke me out of a restless sleep and I got up to peek into the bassinet. Dark eyes peered back at me, lips pursed, wanting.
The excitement of the day before faded as I cradled her on my shoulder, warming a bottle in the semidarkness. The longed-for call and hasty trip to the adoption agency to receive this tiny one, laid gently in our arms by her birth father. The long drive home and houseful of excited family and friends to greet us on our return.
She took it well, this quiet child, content to accept the love lavished on her as if she was born to it.
And now, in the midnight hours, it was up to me to feed her, soothe and rock her. Mother her. She gazed at me over the bottle, my unfamiliar face now beholding hers. She watched me and I wondered at the responsibility handed to me to keep this helpless little person alive.
She settled into my embrace, sated and sleepy, and I marveled that I was a mother – that I was her mother. I whispered a prayer as I rocked her and pondered the story that led her to our home, and the story that was yet to unfold. A love bloomed in that moment, deep and fierce and possessive. In her trust I became a mother, birthed as truly as she had been to another.
We rocked together in the silence, mother and daughter, wrapped in the warmth of something deeper than I had imagined. Wrapped in the love of God who brought us together. Wrapped in the wonder of this miracle that changed us from woman and infant to mother and daughter over the course of a simple midnight feeding.
God uses the picture of adoption to describe our grafting into His family. Until I held Kelsey that first night, I never really understood what that meant. The word can’t describe the desperate heat that flooded my veins at the thought of this child belonging to anyone except me. Until I cradled her, I didn’t appreciate how His heart bonded to me in the welcome; couldn’t comprehend the power of a love that could sacrifice so much to bring me home.
Its says in scripture that God comforts His people like a mother. I see it now, feel it down in my bones, this love that has welcomed me home. I feel the warmth of His embrace and know that I am where I belong.