I’ve felt the urge to write all day. Surely there must be words for this day this year… I’ve struggled to find them all day. I stood on the platform at my church today and dedicated our sweet about to be adopted baby girl. I stood next to Mamas figuring out the whole multiples under 3 struggle, Mamas raising babies and teenagers, and Mamas in the fresh newborn stage. I stood next to Mamas I have grown to love. I have watched them struggle and succeed doing this incredibly beautiful thing called motherhood. Though I’ve lived through many of those stages and struggles, I still didn’t feel like I fit up there.
I listened to the dedication prayer made by a man whose legacy I can only dream of achieving one day.
I struggled to be in the moment. To listen to that prayer and not just hear it. To celebrate that this tiny wild child in my arms is about to be legally ours.
I feel so guilty.
All I could think about was the children who were no longer in my arms.
I am a mother of four. But only two of them do I get to read to, to hear their sweet voices, to snuggle and smell and touch. I know they were never biologically mine. I know I never carried them. I have heard over and over again that at least I didn’t lose a biological child. I understand and I would never want to minimize the pain that Mamas whose babies are in heaven feel, but. But. I know in my heart I couldn’t have loved those babies more. They didn’t grow in my belly, but they truly did grow in my heart. I loved them so much it hurt.
I love them so much it hurts.
To my dear Z. To the wild child who first called me Mama. I love you Son. From the first moment I met you, I knew I would never be the same. Your long wild hair and desperate icy blue eyes stole my heart from the instant I opened the door. I prayed for you buddy, I still do all the time. I dreamed about you before I even knew you existed. When the caseworker said your name on the phone the first time I melted. I don’t even know why. You, my first “born” child, pushed me harder and farther than I ever thought I could. I spent so many nights weeping and praying over your crib before you were in it, when you were fast asleep in it, and after you were gone. Nothing and no one has pushed me harder, faster, or more desperate into the arms of my Jesus. Your tenacious, strong-willed, hot tempered spirit broke me in ways I didn’t know I could. But your sweet, compassionate, affectionate soul filled me in ways I could never explain. Hearing you accept Jesus into your heart was absolutely the best moment of my entire life and I will never forget it. I love you buddy, and I always will.
To my precious L, You were quite a surprise sweet girl! We got a call and 40 minutes later you were in our arms. When I saw you for the first time my breath caught in my chest and I thought, “I’ve never seen a more perfect baby in my life.” You were sleeping so soundly, having no idea that your world had suddenly completely changed, and so had ours. That first late night feeding you grabbed hold of my finger, and simultaneously grabbed tightly onto my heart. Baby girl the beginning of your life was an incredibly difficult one but you fought hard with all the tiny precious spirit in you and some day I’m sure, you are going to change the world. Watching you grow from a weak and sick tiny baby to a happy, silly, giggly blue eyed toddler brought me more joy than you will ever know. Your “Dada” has always been a gentle man, but having a tiny baby girl changed him profoundly. You did indeed have him wrapped around your little finger. You changed me too L -girl, and for that I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be your Mama. I love you sweet girl!
To my beautiful E. You are about to forever be a Jones! Your case is one that your workers have never seen, and they are so surprised by it. Your Mommy and Daddy aren’t surprised in the least because we know that God specifically chose you to be our girl forever. You are our joy in sorrow. You have been my window to the grace of God during his times of silence in our lives. In your eyes I see all the promises of God. Our story is still unraveling in his time, but on this Mother’s Day I want to say again sweet baby girl, I love you.
To my sweet C. While you haven’t been in our home for very long you have been in my heart much longer. I have never met a child with a sweet genuine compassion like yours. There is a gentleness to your soul that I absolutely cannot explain and if I’m honest, I long to have these characteristics someday describe me too. I carried you into our home that night sleeping peacefully against my chest. A chest containing a heart that was so recently torn apart by the same system that brought you to us. I didn’t know if my heart could handle taking in a little boy the same age as the little boy we had just lost. We almost said no that night sweet boy, and if we were told the entire truth about your situation, we defiantly would have. But God knew better. We don’t know what your future holds but we are trusting God for your future, and praising him that for tonight, you are still ours.
I sat at the dining room table tonight with my husband, weeping but choking out “I really am ok, I promise.” People always ask me, “How do you do it? Love them when they might leave.” I don’t really have an answer to that question. It really actually totally sucks if I’m honest. Days like today remind me of exactly how much it hurts and how hard it really is to love another Mother’s children. I can say this, while today I am grieving, I am also rejoicing. I am grieving the children I have lost, but I have joy over the ones breathing heavy and slow a few feet away. This life has broken me in profound ways. This life has left cracks and fissures in my heart and soul that no other life could. But, the broken places, the cracks and holes are the places where slowly, God’s light is able to shine through. And for that, I can thank my children, all four of them.