Continuing with our theme this month of love, CAC Adoption Advocate and Birth Mother, Lori, examines 4 different aspects of loving a birth parent well: encouragement, cultivation, service and generosity. We pray these words would awaken your heart to follow the instructions Jesus left for us, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God” (1 John 4:7).
ENCOURAGEMENT: Speak and write LOVE
Words that come from the mouth of your soul spill out and splash into the ears of a birth parent. Words moisten the drought that may exist due to lack of support or negative self talk. Affirming words carry life and power for the hurt, broken and crisis stricken. They can foundational stack stability, trust and strength. Birth parents who’ve been in crisis need to feel like they are more than their current or past difficult situation. They need to feel possibility, purpose and promise like any other well-deserving child of God. They need to be encouraged with value-sized words and super-sized worth in the form of audible and written words. Love is waiting at your pen tip, as well as the statements that tumble out of your lips. Be an encourager to build love.
CULTIVATION: Make time and space for LOVE
Life is the keeper of moments we cherish, right? It holds, stores and even downloads those moments randomly at any given hour. Often, we try to outrun time and ask it to slow down. When it comes to appearances, we ask time to erase. However, when it involves our children, we ask for a time out. We do not regret spending time’s currency, since it always seems to yield a profit. Even when time has not been spent, it can be joyfully multiplied by love. For birth parents, visits become these incremental experiences with an immense life-building impact. Be sure to keep the covenantal commitments via FaceTime, Zoom or meet ups, since this not only ticks the love box of your birth parent, it also chimes love to the child. Be a curator of time to build love.
SERVICE: Be a doer of LOVE
Recently, service industry employees were deemed essential. We need food, groceries and certain products or elements to live—especially amidst a pandemic. Service workers are able to provide us with the sustenance we need to get through the difficulties surrounding limited exposure or quarantine. Being a birth parent in crisis amidst a pandemic is especially unique. The blessing of delivered food, house cleaning, gardening, or other errand running is not something everyone can afford. Choose to be an aide to assist your birth parent in this simple way. Don’t ask her whether she needs the assistance, just assume a posture of service. Humility and pride are difficult in these times, so one cannot expect an honest answer regarding whether they require help. Just do. Be an essential servant to build love.
GENEROSITY: Create and give LOVE
Physical objects, or representation of love, is a keepsake. What happens in the craft room or baby book should not stay there. Milestones, art, footprints, handprints, scribbled genius, video dance moves, poems and construction paper are worth gold to any birth parent. She will relish their individualism and creativity no matter how flimsy the craft. She will feel included, valued and respected by the thoughtful action of sharing these mementoes. Do not fall prey to sending pics of these items via text, which in today’s climate we so readily do, since the actual physical object is extremely personal and engaging. She will feel and touch love. Be a giver of keepsakes to build love.