Thursday, May 5, 2011

From God’s Arms

     Well today i had plans for a different post, mentioning that we finally found r kittens we been looking for. But i will leave that for tomorrow. Have you ever heard of meridian Magazine. It is a church magazine. I really enjoy it. It comes threw email to me. I opened up the email today and Michael McLean had wrote a article on a song he had written. I wanted to share it with everyone. As most know our family has been touched by adoption twice. It has been a struggle in many ways. From waiting to financial to many other things. What it has left us with is two of the most amazing girls. We love them so much and are so grateful for them. I read this story and it really touched my heart. As the birth mom felt the strong desire to do what is best for the child. I have always felt that. As Brielle is just about to turn 4 in a few weeks it takes me back and reminds me of that call i got that day. We are also going to court on Tues. To finalize Bristol. And on May 21 we will be sealing her to us in the Las Vegas temple. By the way if your going to be in Vegas that day and would like to come let me know. I'm just starting to email everyone on it.

 We will always be grateful for the Adoption and the decision that there birth moms made.


From God’s Arms


By Michael McLean
I was once asked to speak at an Adoption Conference and share some of my songs and stories from my book “From God’s Arms to My Arms to Yours”. I guess it’s only natural for me to be thinking about how I was introduced, in a very unique way, to those whose lives take this journey.




Normally I would have just let the secretary take the call. I was facing a deadline and the last thing I needed was an interruption. But then again, I wasn’t exactly “in the zone” creatively so I took a break and picked up the phone. The voice on the other end was a young woman’s (I couldn’t tell her age) and she asked if I was the guy who wrote a song called Hold on the Light Will Come. Apparently that song had meant a great deal to her, and it was terribly important that she connect with the one who wrote it.



She told me she needed my help. “You see, I’m pregnant and I’m not married, and after great soul searching I’ve decided to place my baby for adoption. I was hoping you could write a song that I could sing to the family I’m giving my baby to.”



My first instinct was to run away from this. How could I possibly know what it feels like to be an unwed pregnant woman about to give her child to someone else? How could I ever truly understand her position. I couldn’t write the song she wanted. I’d look foolish if I tried. Let’s see, just how many other “I” concerns should I recall here?



I searched for some internal script that would help get me off the hook. I wracked my brain for the names of female songwriters that I could refer her to. I wished I hadn’t picked up the phone. I was about to apologize for being unable to help when something stopped me. It was like a little burst of compassion, asking me why I couldn’t take a minute and just listen. This girl was in trouble and was asking for help. My help. She’d made a huge effort to track me down; to talk about something that was probably painful to discuss with friends, let alone a perfect stranger, and the very least I could do was hear her out.



She talked about what led to her decision and she told me it was because she felt like she couldn’t give her baby what her baby deserved: A home, a family, a father. It wasn’t the material things she was worried about, it was the spiritual ones she felt so unable to give her unborn child.



“There’s this really amazing couple.” She told me, “They’re spiritual and loving, they’re totally committed to each other, and they’ve been waiting for a baby for nine years. I’m sure they are the right ones to get this baby home.”



I thought she meant to say that she found a couple that could “give” her baby a home, but when I asked her about it, she explained:



“They’ll give him a home so they can get him home… you know, to Heavenly Father.”



The expectant mother believed her baby’s spirit was coming directly from heaven and that as the one who was bringing that life into this world, it was her responsibility to do all she could to help that child learn how to return to his heavenly home. Her assessment of her own situation led her to the selfless conclusion that as agonizing as her decision had been, when she put the child’s best interest ahead of her own, she knew what she had to do.



I’d never spoken this long with an unwed mother before. I didn’t really know what questions I could ask that wouldn’t embarrass or offend. But as awkward as it all could have been, my young friend made it easy to talk with her. She was so candid and open, willing to volunteer such private things to someone she’d never met. Perhaps I should have been more suspicious of her motives. When she told me my song about the light had been there in her darkest hour, and that she felt that whoever wrote it was a friend, it didn’t sound like she was conning me, or playing on my sympathies. She sounded honest and sincere, and I found myself wanting to help her as best I could.



She told me she was afraid this baby might grow up thinking that if his own birth mother would give him away, he probably wasn’t worth very much.



“I’ve got to find a way to let this child know that I’m doing this because it’s the only way I know how to show him how much he was loved by me from the start. The other thing I want the baby to know is that he isn’t genetically immoral. I made a terrible mistake, but Michael, he’s got to know that the one who brought him into the world wasn’t a sleaze.”



We were having this conversation over the phone so I couldn’t see who I was speaking to. At the beginning of the conversation the picture of her I had in my mind was much different than the one that was developing. As I listened to this young woman’s plea for help, my paradigm of unwed mothers was radically altered. As she spoke I felt ashamed of myself for all the times I’d felt smugly superior to “those kind of girls” that get in trouble. I felt sick to my stomach because so often in my life I’d been so willing to cast the first stone. But all of that was melting away.



She mentioned that she’d kept a journal through the experience and that many of her



thoughts and feelings were in it and they might help me with the song. I told her that songs were gifts and that I didn’t always know when they’d arrive, but I’d work on it and try to get myself ready to hear it when it came.



A few months later the song arrived. The impact of that initial conversation and the discussions that followed must have filled my creative subconscious until it overflowed one night in my studio at home. I called my friend to tell her that the song’s water broke. It was so fresh and new I wanted to sing it to her over the phone and see if it was even close to capturing the feelings of her heart. With the phone in the crook of my neck, a yellow legal pad filled with scribbled over and scratched out lyrics on the piano and my fingers in the key of C, I sang:


WITH SO MANY WRONG DECISIONS IN MY PAST I’M NOT QUITE SURE


IF I CAN EVER HOPE TO TRUST MY JUDGMENT ANYMORE

BUT LATELY I’VE BEEN THINKING CAUSE IT’S ALL I’VE HAD TO DO

AND IN MY HEART I FEEL THAT I MUST GIVE THIS CHILD TO YOU

AND MAYBE YOU CAN TELL YOUR BABY

WHEN YOU LOVE HIM SO THAT HE’S BEEN LOVED BEFORE

BY SOMEONE WHO DELIVERED YOUR SON

FROM GOD’S ARMS TO MY ARMS TO YOURS.


IF YOU CHOOSE TO TELL HIM, OR IF HE WANTS TO KNOW


HOW THE ONE WHO GAVE HIM LIFE COULD BEAR TO LET HIM GO

JUST TELL HIM THERE WERE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

I PRAYED AND PACED THE FLOORS

AND KNEW THE ONLY PEACE I’D FIND IS IF THIS CHILD WAS YOURS

AND MAYBE YOU CAN TELL YOUR BABY

WHEN YOU LOVE HIM SO THAT HE WAS LOVED BEFORE

BY SOMEONE WHO DELIVERED YOUR SON

FROM GOD’S ARMS TO MY ARMS TO YOURS.



NOW I KNOW YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS

BUT COULD YOU KISS HIM ONCE FOR ME

THE FIRST TIME THAT HE TIES HIS SHOES OR FALLS AND SKINS HIS KNEE

AND COULD YOU HOLD HIM TWICE AS LONG

WHEN HE MAKES HIS MISTAKES

AND TELL HIM THAT HE’S NOT ALONE

SOMETIMES THAT’S ALL IT TAKES

I KNOW HOW MUCH HE’LL ACHE.



WELL, THIS MAY NOT BE THE ANSWER

FOR ANOTHER GIRL LIKE ME

AND I’M NOT ON A SOAPBOX SAYING HOW WE ALL SHOULD BE

I’M JUST TRUSTING IN MY FEELINGS

AND I’M TRUSTING GOD ABOVE

AND I’M TRUSTING YOU CAN GIVE THIS BABY

BOTH HIS MOTHERS’ LOVE

AND MAYBE YOU CAN TELL YOUR BABY

WHEN YOU LOVE HIM SO THAT HE WAS LOVED BEFORE

BY SOMEONE WHO DELIVERED YOUR PRECIOUS ONE

FROM GOD’S ARMS

TO MY ARMS

TO YOURS.






When I finished singing there was silence on the other end of the phone. After a long pause my friend spoke.



“How did you know? That’s exactly right, but how did you know?”



The truth was, I didn’t know. I couldn’t have known. My own experience and even fairly well trained powers of observation didn’t know. But then I wasn’t writing this song for myself. I wasn’t hoping it would make it on the charts someday. I’d been transformed by the power of someone’s example, and yearned to follow that example of being more concerned about someone else than myself. Because I was using what gifts I’d been given to help someone carry out the unselfish desires of her heart, something beyond my set of skills was clearly at work.



We arranged for her to come into the studio and sing the song for the family she was giving her baby to. It was five days, I think, after the baby was born, and she placed the pictures of the child on a music stand next to the words she was singing. It was a good thing I knew the chords by heart because I wouldn’t have been able to see them written down on paper for the tears.



I had never planned to release a recording of “From God’s Arms to My Arms to Yours”. It seemed too personal, too private, Things changed however, a few month after writing the song when I felt impressed to share the song during a concert in a small mining town. When the program was over I discovered that the song affected more people in the audience than I ever anticipated. From the adopted teenagers to their parents to the pregnant girls who were trying to decide what to do with the babies they were carrying but hadn’t told anyone about.



To protect the privacy of the people involved, the song was recorded by a gifted studio singer who knew nothing of the people involved in the story that brought it to life. It was the last song I put on the One Heart in the Right Place album.



After its release, I found a whole new world of friends, and the song bound us together in tender ways. I heard from birth mothers, adoptive mothers, grandparents, teenagers, adoption agencies, celebrities and friends. The song moved in mysterious ways. Several years after it had been recorded, I was in Toronto Canada, directing some commercials for a water heater company. They called me because they wanted people to get very emotional about their water heaters. One of the production assistants that drove me back and forth to the set mentioned one day that she was adopted. I told her that I had written a song about adoption called “From God’s Arms to My Arms to Yours”.



She pulled the car over. “You wrote From God’s Arms to My Arms to Yours?”



I wondered how she knew about this song. It hadn’t been released in Canada. It wasn’t a commercial hit that got airplay. How could she have known about this song, so far away from its birthplace?



“Last year, my birth mother found me. She sought me out, came to Toronto, and gave me a tape with your song on it. I didn’t know who had written it or who was singing because it was a copy of a copy of a



copy.”



Songwriters LOVE hearing that.



The 26 year old continued: “My birth mother told me that for 26 years she’d feared that I didn’t know why she did what she did, and that this song was her heart. I listen to it almost every day...how can I thank you?”



I told her there was really no need to thank me because I just wrote a song. The real thank you, obviously, is for the one who loved her enough to give her the home she couldn’t provide.

5 comments:

Grant said...

wow-that is so powerful- we are so happy that adoption has played such a big part in our family. We love you guys and wish we could be there to see Bristol sealed to your eternal family- holly

The Stratton Family said...

That song makes me cry every time I hear it :) Adoption is wonderful isnt it :)

Laurel said...

Thank you for sharing this article and post. I admire you so much and the girls are past adorable. You are blessed!

Mindy said...

i love love love this song! i have an older Micheal Mclane CD and this song is 1 of my favorites on it! i agree, Adoption is Awesome! what angles it's brought to our lives! :)

Cluff Family said...

LOVE that song! You guys are seriously one amazing family! I'm so glad that we get to be there for the sealing this time!