“Mommy, whose tummy did you come from?” Jasmine, my four year old, asked one early morning while lying in bed with me. It’s a common conversation in our house, babies coming from mommies’ tummies.
“Grandma Annie,” I reply.
“And Abe came from your tummy?”
“No, honey. Remember, you came from another mommy’s tummy.”
“Oh, I know. What was her name again? I don’t remember.”
“Her name is Annie, sweetheart.”
And then out of the quiet a question comes, one we’ve never discussed before.
“Why didn’t my other mommy want me?” she whispers.
And I pause. Not sure how to begin, but knowing what I say next would matter. I can see my little girl’s fragile heart in this moment…
My mind returns to four years prior. That first evening Jasmine was brought to us by a county social worker with just a few diapers and the outfit she was wearing. I knew that night as I bathed her in our sink, put on a new outfit we’d received and laid her down to sleep: I could love this child. That even though we were simply her foster parents and had no right to claim her as our own, she was already ours.
“Well,” I reply, my mind returning to the present, “I think your other mommy did want you, honey. But she was young and wasn’t sure she could take care of you. She loved you so much, she wanted to make sure you had a mommy and daddy that could care for you.”
And my words seem to fall a little flat, even to my own ears.
With my daughter’s eyes still on me, I sigh and whisper to her, “You have always been wanted.”
I tell her how her daddy and I prayed for a child, and God answered our prayer when he gave us her. I tell her we wanted her before we even knew her, loved her before ever seeing her face. I tell her of the inexplicable joy daddy and I felt when we found out we could adopt her. And then I hold her, wondering if my words are enough, wondering if they’ve gotten to her soul.
If she’ll ever fully know the depth of our love for her.
And this past week as I’m preparing to give a message on Sunday, never finding enough of the uninterrupted time I need with the Lord to prepare between kids, cooking, cleaning up, homework and such, God reminds me of my conversation with Jasmine.
When I stop for just a moment, I realize her question is mine as well.
“Lord, am I wanted?” My heart seems to cry out. “Am I loved? Cared for?”
And he gently reminds me that he loves me. Apart from speaking. Apart from being a mom, from cleaning, taking care of children, cooking, all of it. He wants me. Just as I am.
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:5).
His words breathe life into my soul: I wanted you. In advance. Adopted. Family. You give me great pleasure.
You are loved.
You are wanted.