She’s supposed to be sleeping. I’m supposed to be working. And there we sit in her dark room, rocking and rocking and rocking. They say you aren’t supposed to look your baby right in the eyes when you are trying to get them to sleep, because they’ll get too excited to see you and stay awake. But I do. We do. We stare deep into each other’s eyes. She has her pacifier in and just around its edges I see the corners of her mouth curl. I remove the pacifier, which reveals a huge, gaping smile. She lets out a sweet squeal. She knows me. I am her mommy. We repeat this over and over again, each time her little eyes and mouth get a bit drowsier.
Her baby cheeks glow soft brown perfection in the dim light. The light hits her eyes and they just glisten, filled with so much wonder and delight. She looks at me like I am her whole world. I want to hold on to this sacred moment forever.
I savor the moment, but am swept away here and there by the weight of motherhood.
I want to give her everything, show her everything, teach her, support her, protect her, and help her become her best self.
A moment of worry tries to steal my focus.
Will I be enough for her?
In addition to normal mom stuff, I’ll need to teach her to understand her adoption story and about her African American heritage. What if I can’t figure out how to do her hair? Corn rows and twists and perfectly smooth frizz-free parts?! It can’t look dry and nappy!
My thoughts fly to her birthmother. I know so little about her. I know she is beautiful, because this little girl is beautiful. Even more than that, I know she is beautiful, because she chose life for her daughter. I marvel at the selflessness of recognizing she couldn’t provide and then of letting go, knowing her child would have a better life. I put myself in her shoes. Could I have made that same selfless decision? I easily weep when I think of my children’s birthmothers, because I am so in awe of them and eternally grateful to them.
And then as quickly as I am lost-away, I’m lost again in the present with my daughter. 2016 has been about savoring the nooks and crannies of life and this moment reminds me of how very worth it is to slow down.
Tears well up again in my eyes and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m so thankful for this moment. I’m so thankful for this child. And while I would have never said it during, I am thankful for the long wait. I’m even thankful for the infertility struggles, because without them we would have not adopted.
In this moment, I know she is my daughter forever and I am her mommy forever and for THIS child I prayed.
To all the mommies and daddies out there, this is a simple reminder to savor the moments with our children.
To anyone that is waiting for their child through adoption, I’ve been there and know it is nearly impossible sometimes, but when you hold your child in your arms, just know it will all finally make sense.
To anyone that is struggling through infertility treatments, I’ve been there and know what a miserable rollercoaster it can be. Someone said to a friend of mine when she and her husband were going through infertility treatment, “Do you want to be pregnant or do you want to be parents?” That always stuck with me. I wish you blessings through your treatments, but encourage you to be open to the fact that they may just be a step in your journey to parenthood. Adoption is not a second-best choice, it’s not a fallback plan, it is an amazing blessing that some of us just never knew to consider first, because we assumed it would happen “the old-fashioned way.”
We’ve been blessed with three children through adoption and I have no doubt that they were meant to be our babies. I never knew I could love like this!
Blessings on your journey and prayers that we all can slow down and better savor the blessings right in front of us.
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