I have a neighbor friend who is an older lady. We truly are friends after volunteering for so many opportunities in our town. She is Catholic and I am not but we talk about our shared faith all of the time.
Right now her beloved granddaughter is in the early process of adopting a baby from foster care. This is the granddaughter who shows up every week to help her do the things she needs done so she can continue to live independently. But their special relationship goes back much further than that. I love this young lady too. Her faith has grown so much through her 20s.
This granddaughter has suffered at least eight miscarriages. I know because she tells her grandma first who then starts praying and invites me in to pray with her. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve had to talk through the inevitability of losing the baby, barely ever getting past 6 weeks.
Two years ago the granddaughter signed up to do foster care with the hope of adoption. I know this too because her grandma tells me every time she and her husband have taken in a child. She asks me to pray. All of those foster situations have been temporary and that status has been known. The granddaughter has gone above and beyond to drive to all of the appointments to reunite the families.
But now she is fostering a 4-month old baby. That is very likely going to be up for adoption. She and her husband have immediately opened up their hearts to wanting this one. She is even going to “Mommy and Me” classes with her. It took less than a week for them to agree that this is the one they’ve been praying for.
I know this because her grandma tells me so we can pray. But I don’t pray like her grandma. She is praying all of the time for this possibility to happen. She says she sees a baby toy and she is back to praying. She sees a pink blanket and she is back to praying. She is one of those beloved praying grandmas.
As for me, I’m still a clumsy, mind-wandering pray-er. I’ve always wished to be one of those praying saints.
Then it dawned on me. I’m a grandma too! While it is not continual, fluid, brilliant, or profound, I am continually praying for my grandkids. Those prayers are less clumsy for me because they are so dear to my heart.
Am I one of those beloved praying grandmothers too? This has been an identity-forming moment.
There was a court date last week for this baby. Just one of the routine ones. The mother continues to show no interest. There is no father’s name on the birth certificate. But this bad news was found out. There is a sister to the mother in another state that wants to take the baby. That is all we know right now. We know nothing about her.
To all of you parents who have adopted, you know exactly the emotions that are being experienced right now. How did you make it through every day knowing you very likely could have your heart smashed by loving this child so much already?
I have no happy ending yet to share. This is in the thick of it. I wonder how the happy ending will eventually look.
But this I know feeling the third-hand pain and hope of this story–much love to the praying grandmas! You are faithful to the stories of pain and hope. Through all of it. Our world is better because of you.
(photo credit: https://legacycoalition.com/the-role-of-grandma-prayer-warrior-and-teacher/)