On the eve of my birthday, I want to give thanks to the woman who carried me for 9 months of true hardship. 9 months that were physically, emotionally and psychologically straining and then she did one of the hardest things a woman will ever do; she gave her baby away.  She gave me away. 

She knew my life would be better with a different family and MAN OH MAN was she right (it's a long story, one that I have actually written a yet unpublished book). 

I don't have an earlier picture of myself than the one above.  The picture was taken the day my mom and dad brought me home at six months. 

Her life's testimony since is encouraging to many people, especially women.  Our story is one that encourages and has allowed me to speak to groups that minister to young women who are making tough decisions as they are carrying "unwanted" children.  My youngest son, Ethan, used our story in Uganda this past month as he ministered to pregnant teenage girls to encourage them.  

You see, as my all time favorite bumper sticker said: 'GOD DON'T MAKE JUNK!' with a picture of a little baby next to it. The picture above could have fit on that bumper sticker.

I am not, nor ever was a "mistake".  The circumstances surrounding my birth were in many ways horrible and tragic, but I WAS NO MISTAKE and neither are those unwed mother's babies!  I don't mean for my blog to be political or devisive in any way, but the most startling thing I found out the morning I met my birth mother was that she had tried to abort me, not once, but twice.  Her life circumstances were so desperate and hellish that she felt out of choices, so she desperately searched for a resolution that might help her preserve her life and those of her three children. 

I have never told the story about finding my birth mother without the person I am telling either crying and/or telling me to finish the book, you see, she isn't the same person she was when she carried me.  Ours is a story of hope, faith and grace. She has a faith in God that she is loved, forgiven and free of any guilt and I bear no ill feelings about the past. God had a plan for me then and he still does now. 
 She is my birth mother and the reason I can celebrate my birthdays in spite of her earlier tragic circumstances.  

My mom, the woman who raised me, used to tell me on my birthdays that there was a special woman out there who gave her one of her greatest gifts; me.  

My mom was thankful for her and so am I.