Mother's Day 2020
The pictures above were the moments I met my babies. It is so evident to me the range of emotions that I experienced during these meetings. With Israel, it was overflowing joy at the long-awaited child! I was in shock that I was finally meeting this tiny person who I had prayed for and ached for.
Honestly I can't remember which of the bottom pictures are Edith and Annie! But I remember the anxiety during pregnancy with Edith - could I love this little white child as much as I loved Israel? With Annie, I doubted I had the strength to parent one more kiddo in such a hard season we were walking in. When both of the girls were placed in my arms, I was overcome with awe of God's goodness to me when I didn't deserve it. Both of the girls were unexpected blessings and I grumbled through those pregnancies as if I had a better idea of my timeline in life. When I heard their cries, saw their faces, I was reminded that God's gifts are so good and sweet.
In the first few weeks home with the kids, I was in for a major adjustment. Bringing Israel home started my special-needs parenting journey as we dealt with sleep issues, early intervention, testing and my introduction into talking with insurance companies for endless hours! He was the cutest baby ever, and I loved holding him and caring for him. I came alive as a mom advocate and his younger years were absolutely chiseling to my character and resilience!
Edith arrived while I was in grad school and also introduced me to postpartum anxiety. I remember breastfeeding Edith, while working on a paper on my laptop, in a therapy waiting room for Israel. It was a blur.
Annie came to us in our darkest year- so much spiritual warfare, mental health issues, challenges with special needs. It was a true ray of light in the middle of a dark time. I remember that we prayed for Annie's pregnancy, that she would be healthy and "God, give her red hair." When she was born with red hair I was in disbelief. Not only that it could be possible genetically (are there any red heads on my side of the family?) but that God would love me enough to give a detail like red hair to my baby. For weeks people would say "she has red hair!" and I wouldn't believe it!
All three of these kids have shaped me so much. They have highlighted my impatience, anger and desire to control. They have stretched me physically, to sleep deprivation, worry, and love. I know God has used these kids to show my sin nature!
As an adoption social worker, I get to sit with adoptive families as they lay out their dreams about parenting. I hear their infertility stories and process the grief and loss that has led them to the place of adoption. I also get to celebrate when families are made. Although you couldn't pay me a million dollars to go back to 2013, or 2017 because they were the toughest years, I am so grateful to have walked through them and come out on the other side.
Thank you kiddos, for letting me be your mom. Thank you Jesus for continuing to work in my heart to make me a better mom and wife and person. I'm thankful that when I look at these three kids, I see little reminders of God's faithfulness to me and to His glory. He is the author of the story here. And I'm so grateful!
Photo from April 2020 - (Not our house)