by Kate Hannula

John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Or to lay down your life for your child. Our children’s birthmothers have done this, haven’t they?  They have laid down their lives for their child. First, they chose life for their child. Then they chose to lay down their own lives. They gave up their very own flesh and blood.  The one that was knitted in their womb.

Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

They laid their own desires at Jesus’ feet and they put the needs of their children ahead of their own.

All our children’s days were ordained for them and they were written in God’s book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16   It’s marvelous to know that God chose us to be our children’s parents. It blows my mind some days. However, may we never forget what a sacrifice it was in order to have our children in our families.

May we never forget our children’s birthmothers. Let us not forget them in our prayers. Let us not leave them out of our photo collages. Let us not forget them in our daily conversations. And let us not forget to communicate with them thru letters and photos.

I was in Ethiopia sitting outside on a mat with our son’s birthmother. We were looking through photos. Her photo albums were tattered and torn. I did not recognize them at first. Then, I realized with great sadness that I gave her these very albums. She has looked at the photos so often that the binding was completely undone. The covers were dirty and worn. She opened those albums over and over again to look at the photos that I gave her of her precious son.

Can you imagine the heaviness on our birthmother’s hearts? Did I make the right decision? Is my child healthy? Safe? Happy? Growing? Excelling? Or is she laboring as I am? Hungry as I?

Your letters and photos reassure these precious mothers that yes, they have made the right decision. Their child is loved. Their child is growing and not suffering. And that laying their own desires at Jesus’ feet was indeed a worthy sacrifice. Greater love has no one than this, that she lay down her life for her child. What a demonstration of LOVE. In my own life, I do not know of a more beautiful human demonstration of God’s love.

Hannula-fam-300x233The Hannulas have adopted four children internationally, two from Ethiopia through YWAM in 2009.  They recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia where they visited with their son’s birthmother.  Kate has also written a children’s book titled “Forever Jewel“.