One of my all-time favorite books is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. My mom read it to me when I was in 7th grade, and was studying the Holocaust in school. It is a favorite because not only does it make history real, but it paints a portrait of one of my heroes. Corrie Ten Boom is one of my heroes because she experienced some of the worst things life can throw at a person, but she remained true to God through it all. She used her horrific experiences to proclaim Him and make Him known, and He was glorified in those dark, ugly, evil concentration camps. I often wonder what I would do if I were put in Corrie's situation. Would I respond in the same way? Would my faith be as unwavering? Would I be as bold in sharing Christ? I have read The Hiding Place and In My Father's House (one of her other books) numerous times, and have been encouraged and strengthened each time.
Last night one of Corrie's stories returned to my mind as I was in a difficult situation with my little Piper. I was able to adapt it to meet Piper's needs in that moment, and it made a big impact.
As I was helping Piper finish her bath last night, she asked me, "Mommy, why didn't my first mommy and daddy love me enough to get me back?"
How does an adoptive mother answer that question? As I have done so many times in the weeks since Piper and her sisters came to live with me I inwardly prayed, "More of You, God, and less of me." Here is what God gave me to tell Piper. Thank you, Corrie Ten Boom, for sharing your amazing father's story!
Piper, it had nothing to do with love, and everything to do with big problems in your first mommy and daddy's lives. Imagine that you and I are going on an airplane trip. We are going to be gone for a while, so we have packed a big, heavy suitcase. It is as tall as you and weighs over 100 pounds. Should I give it to you and make you carry that big, heavy suitcase? (Of course, she answered no!) It would be Mommy's job to handle that suitcase, wouldn't it? Mommy is big enough and strong enough to carry that weight. You are not big enough or strong enough.
I know the details of why your first parents didn't get you back. But like our pretend suitcase, the details I know are very big, and very heavy. They are much too big and too heavy for a little girl to carry in her heart and mind. It would be unkind, even cruel, for me to ask you to carry those things now. Will you trust me to carry that suitcase until you are old enough, and your heart and mind are strong enough to handle the weight?
Piper gave me permission to carry that load for her. I assured her again that love had nothing to do with it. I hope it helps her rest a little easier for a while. In the meantime, I carry the load for her. And it's a heavy one. And I'm glad to carry it, because I'm her Mommy.
Once again, thank you, Corrie Ten Boom.