This truth wasn’t far from my mind one brisk November morning. It was a beautiful sunny day, so we decided to take Nate, our then 3 year old son, to a local park to burn off some energy. As my husband, Jason, hurried off to help Nate climb steps on a nearby slide, my phone rang and our lives were changed forever.
It was our adoption attorney. The standard DNA test to confirm maternity of the little boy whose referral we’d accepted for adoption had turned up a terrible, terrible truth, a reality that no one had mentioned before. The 15-year-old birth mother who’d placed him for adoption wasn’t just his birth mother. She was his sister, too.
The facts don’t lie. The little boy I’d already fallen in love with had been conceived through incestuous rape. A father had raped his then 14-year-old daughter and another life had been created. We were given 24 hours to make an absolutely gut-wrenching decision: proceed with the adoption and face a future likely filled with a mountain of medical challenges and innumerable unknowns or abandon him knowing we were likely his last chance for hope.
We chose hope. And for the past 7 years, Mark has been a wonderful and loving part of our family. Yet it hasn’t been easy. Not by a long shot. In fact, if I’m to be completely honest, it’s a daily battle: A battle against medical dead ends in an effort to help Mark, a battle to help him function as well as he can for as long as he can and I battle personally to stay sane in the midst of it all.
I do what I can to help Mark. A suspected congenital amino acid metabolic disorder as well as the high likelihood of a urea cycle disorder has me limiting Mark’s intake of protein to a maximum of 15mg a day. He’s followed by our family doctor, a medical geneticist, a biochemical geneticist and more “ologists” than I can count. I comfort and care for him when his pain peaks uncontrollably and I enter his world when the line between reality and his own thoughts become hazy.
You might very well be shaking your head as you read this thinking that this little boy shouldn’t be here at all. You might be wondering if it would have been more merciful to both Mark and the birth mother if abortion had been the sought after solution instead. But the fact of the matter is, Mark is as much an innocent victim in this horrible situation as that 14-year-old little girl is. And, to put it very bluntly, 2 wrongs never make a right.
Yet as I strive to do the right things—the loving things—in the midst of this situation, I often find that I wind up short, woefully short. I run out of patience. I lose my temper. I let worry and fear about the future clutter up my head and close up my heart. The truth of it is that despite all my well-meant intentions, I can entirely forget to heed a few other just as important things, too: to be still (Psalm 37:7, 46:10a), to rest (Matthew 11:28-30) and to be quiet (Psalm 4:4, Proverbs 29:11).
Though our circumstances and challenges may all be different, I’ve got a pretty good hunch I’m not alone in this struggle for stillness. And so I created Selah Space, a place where those of us who want to practice more stillness can learn to do so. Just as there’s a mystery to the word “selah,” so is there a mystery to stillness. It’s about allowing ourselves to stop, admitting Who’s in control and submitting to His will.
Welcome to Selah Space.
It’s a place that honors the importance of stillness and reflection, a place to slow down, a way to better make space in our hearts and lives for Him.
Read about my personal journey and what I’ve been hearing God say in the dark.
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