Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From the Backseat #17 Chromosomes

Like a brick.  Expected at some point but still, a brick.

 “Mom, so did I get all 46 chromosomes from my birth mother?”

There are a couple of reasons her question made me grip the steering wheel a little tighter~ one, as I have said before, these significant questions come at the oddest moments like when I am thinking about the car in front of me or the condition of my homemade pedicure.  Two, I am in the beginning of researching exactly how I want to tell her about the traditional way a family is formed.  Birthfathers have not come up yet in our conversations about adoption.  I always wondered when she would figure it out-- if it would be when we talked about how babies are conceived or if she would just innately know that if she had a birthmother, she must have a birthfather.

For days before the question was posed to me, she had been thinking.  Our wonderful children’s museum had set her wheels in motion.  The genetic exhibit had drawn her in and left her wondering alone in her thoughts.  And weeks later, she asks me a big question from the backseat.

Mere seconds pass while I think, “How do I answer that when we’ve not talked about conception?”, “Lord, do we have the talk right here and now as I pass under the 183 bridge on Bryant Irvin following a black car with really obnoxious stickers on it?”, “How will realizing there is a birthfather affect her heart?”, and “God, is Brighton ready for all this too? He’s sitting right beside her!”

Even as I regurgitate the story here, I feel the same frustration Jeff does when I try to retell any story to him.  It all goes fuzzy-- not remembering what I actually said versus all that ran through my head.

Trying to make meaningful eye contact and focus the road, I told her that she and Brighton both have a birthfather- that it always takes a man and a woman to have a baby.  So in her understanding of pregnancy, she said, “So my birthmother was married?”  I shake my head no. “Oh, Mom.....it’s ‘that’ again, that divorce thing.  It makes me so sad.”  In her innocence she assumed her birthparents were married at one time in order to have her.  I neither countered nor agreed.  I just let it be.  For a second.

And the question of the ages, the one that has been pondered patiently and argued harshly for centuries-- wrapped up in a nine year old girl’s curiosity of her genesis,

“She made a bad choice, didn’t she?”  ~undercurrent this momma heard, “Am I the result of a bad choice?"

Where is James Dobson when you need him?  Or Tim Keller?  Or even good ol’ Charles Stanley?   How can the origin of all these chromosomes get so complicated?

But more than that, without really knowing, she pondered the mystery of Romans 8:28~  God’s sovereign ability to work all things together for our good.

So here is what I said heading east on 20, “Her choice may not have been a good one, but God knew before He created the universe what her choice would be and, so, He made a beautiful plan for you.”

I wanted to go on......."and for your Mom and for your Dad, and for your grandparents, and cousins and friends" that BECAUSE He brought her, we all experience the blessing, the grace... of her.


Her middle name is grace.  Karis {charis}.  The definition on her birth announcement reads, “the absolutely free expression of the lovingkindness of God.”

I love Phillip Yancey’s writing and I will never forget this example he used. I think one day, I’d like for her to understand it like this. He spoke of laying aside his chess game for 20 years and picking it up again to play a “truly fine chess player”.

“When we played a few matches, I learned what it is like to play against a master. Any classic offense I tried, he countered with a classic defense. If I turned to more risky, unorthodox techniques, he incorporated my bold forays into his winning strategies. Although I had complete freedom to make any move I wished, I soon reached the conclusion that none of my strategies mattered very much. His superior skill guaranteed that my purposes inevitably ended up serving his own.  Perhaps God engages our universe, his own creation, in much the same way. He grants us freedom to rebel against its original design, but even as we do so we end up ironically serving his eventual goal of restoration. If I accept that blueprint-- a huge step of faith, I confess—it transforms how I view both good and bad things that happen. Good things, such as health, talent, and money, I can present to God as offerings to serve his purposes. And bad things, too—disability, poverty, family dysfunction, failures—can be redeemed as the very instruments that drive me to God. A skeptic might accuse me of flagrant rationalization, arguing backwards to make evidence fit a prior conclusion. Yes, exactly. A Christian begins with the conclusion that a good God will restore creation to its original design, and sees all history as proceeding toward that end. When a Grand Master plays a chess amateur, victory is assured no matter how the board may look at any given moment. In a miracle of grace, even our personal failures can become tools in God's hands.”

Winning strategies.  Complete freedom.  His goal of restoration.  Victory is assured.  A miracle of grace.

So as grace covers me, I pray to be able to lay a foundation of grace in her life that she may be able to walk in it and live in it.  I pray for that day she will see clearly that by His lovingkindness, He knew the origin of her chromosomes before.....


I pray that as grace covers her genesis, as grace brings it out to the light~ dancing and shimmering only as a miracle of grace can, she can rest knowing she, no matter where her chromosomes originated,  is perfectly put together and perfectly adored.  All of her, all of us... tools in God’s hands.


Lizzy said...

oh my goodness, beautiful. saving this one for sure, for reference ;)
Bless you,

TJ Wilson said...

K, can't believe - again - that you got something so huge in words. Just beautiful. and Julia - you are a gift to me!

Alyssa said...

Beautiful pictures and words! I don't know how you do it time and time again - this putting into words such hard heart/mind struggles!