Posted by: donnatallman | July 10, 2012

How Great a Love!

Photo by Donna Tallman

“Mom, could you and Dad come now?” my oldest son asked calmly over the phone. “She’s in labor and we need to get to the hospital. Kensie’s waiting for you, can you come?”

I don’t remember answering my son’s question, but I’m sure I did.  Of course we’ll come, we have been waiting for weeks for this call. We were totally eager to come and watch our granddaughter while our new grandson was being born.

“On our way!” I reassured him quickly before darting through the house to let Bob know it was time to go.

Our bags were already packed so we threw them in the car and dashed to Denver. My son called again while we were in route redirecting us to the hospital, as they had to leave without us.

“No worries, we’re about ten miles away. We’ll be there in a few,” I promised as I hung up the phone and urged Bob to hurry.

I’ve done this baby drill a time or two in my life having lived in the company of women friends who have gone through it, had three boys of my own, and was at the hospital three years ago when Kensie was born. There actually is a rhythm to all the chaos despite the frantic minutes that attend it. The labor and delivery process is familiar to someone like me; I’m a veteran.

“Third floor,” I repeated to myself as Bob and I hopped on the elevator to make an anxious ride to the waiting room.

“Come on, come on,” I commanded the elevator. It ignored me.



When the elevator doors opened, there in the 3rd floor lobby sat my son, granddaughter, and a young man neither Bob nor I had ever met. He was the birth father of our soon to be adopted grandson. This was his hour, this was his waiting room, and this was his son he was giving to us.


Overwhelming gratitude hit me full force as we were introduced to this brave young man, but very few words even entered my mind. I struggled to express our gratefulness.  My “thank yous” hung weakly in the air and didn’t come close to expressing the profound debt I felt to him. There were so many options he could have pursued, but he chose to give the greatest gift of all to my son and his family; he chose to give them the gift of life…

…the gift of his son.

Within minutes the lobby filled with a huge cadre of family supporters we also didn’t know. Aunts, cousins, friends, and birth grandparents descended on the 3rd floor lobby waiting area anxiously waiting for the call to come and see the newborn baby. Celebration was in the air and we were all eager to rejoice together. Instantly we had become an intimate company of strangers joined by the umbilical cord of this tiny new life.

The caseworker from the adoption agency, Hope’s Promise, appeared at the doorway of the maternity ward welcoming all of us to come and see the new baby. The excited group moved quickly through the door and filled the room where the birth mother and baby were recovering.

The enthusiasm of the waiting room quickly gave way to hushed whispers as we stood before the mother and her newborn son.

Silence filled the spaces of my uncertainty followed by, followed by…

What is that?

It was a tension I couldn’t quite identify, one that all my years of bringing babies into the world hadn’t prepared me for…


Photo by Jodie

The painful, gut-wrenching sacrifice of this young mother washed over me as I watched each family member interact with her. This was not the celebration I had experienced with my children; this felt more like a funeral. Though I hadn’t even met her yet, her courageous grief incited many tears of compassion as I waited in the corner of the room. I couldn’t speak.

The young mother’s decision to carry her baby for nine months only to offer him to another family was the most sacrificial thing I’ve ever witnessed. Her selfless act of love will forever testify to me of her courage in personal distress and of her trust in God’s care for her precious little lamb.

Because she loved him, she relinquished her right to keep him.

Because she loved him, she entrusted her son’s future to God.

Because she loved him, she gave…

Because He loved us, God gave his Son.

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Because He loved us, God called us his children.

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” 1 John 3:1

Because He loved us, God adopted us as His own children.

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

Photo by Jodie

Open adoption is an incredible gift to the child suspended between all of the family members involved. As my son and daughter-in-law pass along our grandson’s physical heritage and legacy, it will be a tremendous blessing to him. He will know that he was loved all along the way in this process – by those who gave him life, and by those who received his life. Adoption is, indeed, an amazing privilege and a sobering responsibility for everyone.In the same way, being adopted as a child of God is an amazing privilege and a sobering responsibility as well. To make us heirs of all that He promised, God surrendered His own Son for us – not just to live on this earth, but also to die on this earth.

Because He loved us, God gave…


Just as adoptive parents wait in hope for what they have not seen or experienced first-hand because they did not physically carry the baby themselves for nine months, believers in Christ wait in hope for the day when their sonship with God is complete. Hope’s promise is that one day we will enter into the joy of our Father’s presence participating fully in all He has offered us because we are His adopted children. The heritage and legacy of being a child of God surpasses everything this life has to offer, so we eagerly await its completion.

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”  Romans 8:24-25

Our adoption as children of God has come with a tremendous price; the sacrifice by God of His one and only Son. From this moment on, I will never be able to hear the word adoption without treasuring the one who made the sacrifice. It took enormous pain to make me a child of God.

Photo by Jodie

My son and his family waited in hope for the promise of a child and were not disappointed when he was born last Friday night. He was ushered into the world by a huge company of people who love him and have put his best interest before their own personal desires. We know the thanks we offer falls short of expressing how grateful we are for this precious gift, yet we offer them just the same.

May our grandson grow to be a man who loves God deeply, offers himself completely, and serves others freely.

Because his parents loved him, they gave…

Oh, how great a love!

 © Copyright, 2012 by Donna Tallman.





  1. Thank you for sharing that beautiful, tear jerking story of love and sacrifice. Love and miss the Tallmans!

    • Then get out here with us…we miss you too! :{

  2. Thank you for taking us into such a beautiful and intimate moment Donna. I cried as I read and I remembered being in the room for a very similar delivery 25 years ago. I was the birth coach for a brave 16 year old who placed her precious baby in the arms of a young couple. They had an open adoption when that was a new and untested way to do things! Several years ago when I was going through chemo and at a really low point in that process I got a call from that precious baby, Jasmine, her birthmom and her adoptive mom. They were all together at Jasmine’s college graduation! God was so faithful to each and every one of them in their life of sacrifice for the best of the other. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life…

    • What a full circle moment, Gayleen…*crying* God is so good! Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. beautiful, beautiful!!

    • Thanks, Kim – it was a beautiful experience…emotions and all!

  4. You continue to amaze me with words and stories and how God is imprinted into each one. Each post is just beautiful to read… I’m flooded…

  5. I love this! What a beautiful story of sacrifice. I’m in awe.

    • I actually thought of you and your nursing buddies several times that day – what an amazing privilege you have to bring little ones into the world and care for them! Yes, the birth mother was a champion – she’s my hero!

  6. I am speechless.

  7. Wow. Donna, thank you for letting us vicariously share some of that day with you. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of what happened that day and eternally in heaven. When I pray for your family I will also pray for that birth family.

  8. Bless you for your heart of thanks and your message of hope. Beautiful.

  9. Remembering when I was the birth mother counselor “in the old days” and how wrenching it was to witness the sacrifice. My prayers are with the birth parents and grandparents.
    Congratulations to you.
    What’s the new little Tallman’s name?

  10. You are a very good writer, and that is a lovely story.

  11. Someday you will show your grandson this story you wrote at the time of his birth…God’s precious gifts of love keep on giving…
    Love you…have a blast!

  12. Donna this one made me cry after reading this beautiful story of the beginning of my grandson’s journey. I feel more at peace now as this was very hard for me to accept. Thank you so very much for giving me this perspective as i had forgotton it during this personally tough time.

    Randall Paul

    • Dear Randall,
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. I cannot begin to imagine the challenges and the pain you and your family have endured the past few months. I do know that Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Know that many are praying for you and for your entire family as you walk through this season of grieving. I’m praying that you will be able to draw near to God as he gives you his comfort and peace. You all are so appreciated by us!


  13. What a beautiful story this baby will have as he shares someday, weaving the love of his birth mother with the love of the Father. Oh, how important it is for all adoptees to have a spiritual foundation as you so beautifully shared in this blog piece. As an adoptee, I’m cheering your grandchild on!

    • Thank you, Sherrie. My husband is also an adoptee so this has truly been a full-circle journey for all of us. So much to be grateful for. Thanks for joining the rooting section. Cheers for your own journey from us!

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