Only a tender-hearted Father would urge me to release the emotional pain of losing my first child to adoption by encouraging me to write. A few years later He encouraged me to share the healing that I'd experienced with others through the writing of fiction. Only a God whose heart is full of compassion would arrange to have the beautiful grown up face of my relinquished daughter on the front cover of my debut novel. But I have to go back 32 years to when I gave birth to that little girl.
Not married at the time, I felt God compel me to relinquish her to a Christian couple unable to have children. I named my baby Sarah in the hope that one day I would see her again.
Twenty years later Sarah and I were reunited. But though our reunion was a good one, I began to relive my original loss of relinquishing her. In looking at her, my soul recognized her as my child, yet she belonged to another mom and dad. In her eyes I was not her mom, but I would always feel like her mother.
My husband saw me crying one day after the reunion. He went out and returned a while later. He gave me a brand new pen and a journal, and said, "Write it." That was the beginning of my 12 year writing journey.
And now my debut novel will be released this May 2011—a story that has nothing to do with adoption (well not much anyway). But the Lord had something special in store for me, more than I had ever dreamt of.
As WhiteFire Publishing and I discussed the design of the cover, I suggested the model wear the sari material I had purchased in India on a missions trip. WhiteFire loved the idea but said to hold off on mailing the silk across the country as it was pretty heavy with gems and beading.
It was then I noticed that the model they suggested for my main character, Abby, resembled my birthdaughter. On a whim I suggested Sarah for the model and WhiteFire agreed. Sarah was shy at first, but she pitched in on this step of faith with me, even though she had to travel 300 miles to participate in the photo shoot. Our relationship was distant, and I was so encouraged by her interest in this project of mine.
I began to panic though. What did I know about arranging a photo shoot for my own novel? But the Holy Spirit who urged me to trust my child into His hands all those years ago, urged me again to trust Him with the labor of my heart.
WhiteFire wanted 2 costumes—a western one for 1919 and the sari that Abby wears in the novel. A friend loaned me a straw boater hat, and I was sure I had a tan linen skirt in my closet. But when I went to look . . . it was gone. I’d forgotten that when we moved last year, I’d given the skirt away to a charity. On another whim I decided to go to the local second hand store to search for something similar.
As I walked across the parking lot I prayed the Lord would help me find the perfect skirt. I was not 5 minutes in the store, when I found my very own skirt which I then purchased back for $9.99.
I could go on and on about the details—there are so many. I’d asked the Lord to put His fingerprints all over the cover, and He did.
It wasn’t until later that I realized—that without my ever planning or imagining it—He had not only inspired me to write through the loss of my first child, but He then blessed the fruition of that faith with the beauty of the very child I had relinquished to Him. Each time I look at my book, I see my daughter's face.
Only our Heavenly Father could do something so intricately tender.
If you’d like to read more about my journey as a birthmother, and that of Book One of my series, Twilight of the British Raj, the drop by my website www.christinelindsay.com