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A Gift of Love

My little brother Tyler is adopted.

I have a special place in my heart for Tyler's birth mother.

I did not fully realize the gift that she gave us 28 years ago until I watched my sister make the same decision to place her baby boy up for adoption. Once I had my own children, I understood even more.

My sister Kelly gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on September 3, 1998. She was nineteen, and unmarried.

She named him Ryan Joseph and for three days that is what our family called him...

Until his adoptive Mom and Dad came to pick him up and gave him the name Kellen Seth.

I remember the day my sister told us she was pregnant. Those are hard words to hear when you yourself are dealing with infertility.

I remember crying and saying "I'm going to be an Aunt before I am a Mother." It was hard to deal with at first.

After my initial selfishness, I realized that this was not about me, but my sister.

We all rallied around her and did what we could to give her our full support. In the end, she decided to place her baby up for adoption, probably the hardest thing she ever had to do. I can only imagine how difficult it was.

I was there the day she placed her baby into his mother's arms. It was bitter sweet and yet we knew this is what she wanted and needed to do. It was only from the love, strength, and peace gained from our Heavenly Father that she was able to give her baby to his family.

As I watched my dear sister place her baby in his parents arms, I wept. We all did. We wept tears of sadness and heartache, but tears of joy and happiness also filled our eyes and ran down our faces. Right then and there, I knew for the first time, the magnitude of what my brother's birth mother had done for our family.

I knew what heartache she and her family faced with her decision. I also knew how much love she had for her son-- love so pure that her own wants and desires were put aside for him. How I admire my brother's birth mother and my sister for their strength and love.

My sister died 9 months after Kellen was born. I am sad that Kellen will not get the chance to meet Kelly again in this life. However, I am grateful to be part of his life so that I can share things about Kelly with him. That way, he too may understand what a wonderful woman she was.

I am so grateful that Tyler has had the opportunity to know and spend time with his birth mother. She is also a great woman. I am forever grateful for the tender mercies from our Heavenly Father that allow us to understand His will and understand the tremendous gift that one girl can make to a family.

~A Guest Post Submission by Amanda Bartel

*image via Google

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