There are an estimated 20 million orphans in the country of India. Kelly and Scott Parkison decreased this number by one. Calling the Parkison’s adoption story a rollercoaster ride of emotion would be an understatement. After almost every major decision in the Parkison’s adoption process, God put a twist in their carefully laid plans only to lead them to greater opportunities. Now you can read their full adoption story in Kelly’s new book, He Knows Her Name: An Amazing Pursuit to Adopt From India. Just in time for Mothers’ Day, check out this excerpt from He Knows Her Name, as Kelly reflects on “goad liya” (“adopted” in Hindi) and her daughter’s birth mother.
“In the airports, several groups of Indian women were fascinated with us because we looked like a unique family. I spoke the phrase “Goad liya” (adopted in Hindi); my friend in Mumbai said it translates “from one lap to another.” When I told people she was adopted, they became excited. They chatted away in Hindi, and I knew they were talking about us because they stared at us as they talked. Most always though, one person would stop and look at Lyla and touch her face and say she was blessed.”
Since adopting our daughter from India, I have always found this translation “from one lap to another” to be very thought provoking. When I reflect on the phrase, it causes me to think about the third person in the scenario, the birth mother.
While I do not know anything about Lyla’s birth mom or the reasons which led Lyla to be placed in an Indian orphanage as an infant, I know this: she cared enough to spare Lyla’s life and to make sure she was looked after. In India, there is a high mortality rate for female infants. They are not desired and often considered a curse. But Lyla made it, she beat the odds, and a big part of that is thanks to her birth mom.
I have been graced enough to become a mom through two means, biologically and through adoption. Having carried and birthed four children, I can only imagine how difficult it was for Lyla’s birth mother to part with her precious little one. I pray often for her birth mom. I pray that she knows she made the right choice and I pray she can rest in the hope that her daughter is in a good home. I long for her to know that her daughter will hear about and understand the sacrifice she paid as a mother for her daughter. But most of all, I pray she knows Jesus so we can meet one day.
You know, I think the people in India we met along the way that touched Lyla’s face and called her “blessed” were right. She has two moms. Two moms that love Lyla very much: one mom that loved her so much that she chose to bring her into this world and ensure that she would have the best life possible, and the other that loves her so much that she chose her and gets to watch her grow in love.
In the interim years, from the time Lyla was brought to the police station to the day we adopted her when she was about 4½ years old, I imagine her sitting in someone else’s lap. However, the truth of the matter is that she was in a person’s lap from the moment she was conceived. I picture the Heavenly Father gently forming her tiny frame in His hands, knowing about all of the physical trauma her body would face in just a few short years. She experienced a skull fracture as an infant, she was born with a severe heart murmur, she contracted a parasite, and she did not receive the physical and emotional attention a child needs to grow and be nurtured.
He knew all of that and yet had a greater plan in store. I envision Him rocking her in His lap telling her, “Everything is going to be okay, because I place the lonely in families. And one day soon, Little One, and in just the right time, I am going to entrust you over to someone to help Me care for you. She is going to search hard for you and fight for you. Her heart will hurt when you ache. She will dream and laugh with you. She will also tell you all about Me, and guide you on a journey that will lead you back to me. But soon, Little One, she will come. I will take you from My lap and place you on hers, and you will call her Mom.”