Birth Day Memories

Eight years ago, a tiny little pink bundle was born – but not to me.  I loved her, prayed for her, longed for her, but I hadn’t met her – yet.  I had a nursery all set up for her – green walls with classic Winnie the Pooh bedding, a brand new rocking chair, a lovely new crib, but I hadn’t heard her heart beat or felt her kick me from inside of me.  Yet she was mine.

I used to sit in that nursery every night, praying for her, writing letters to her in my journal, and hoping for the day that I would hold her in my arms.  I had one picture of her – the ultrasound that her birthmom so lovingly handed over to me the day we met.  I knew her name, but she as yet only existed in my thoughts and prayers.

The first time the call came early, and we made the five-hour journey to the hospital to pick up our baby, who had not been born yet.  But we were unable to find out that information for three days because it was a weekend, and the person in charge didn’t work on Mondays.  It was actually a good time for my husband and me to spend some much-needed time together before two became three.

The day we received the “real” call, I was alone at work, running the office by myself.  My husband and I decided to finish out the work day, spend the night at home, and then head out the next day as we wouldn’t be allowed in the hospital until the birthmom had been released (hospital protocol).

The first time I laid eyes on that beautiful, ebony-haired, furry bundle, I was in love.  She was squalling when the nurse pushed her in to the makeshift nursery they had set up for our privacy.  But the instant she saw me, she stopped crying and looked at me as if to say, “It’s about time you got here, Mom.  I’ve been waiting for you.”

When we were finally released from the hospital, I remember thinking that they had made a mistake allowing this little, needy person to go home with two such naive human beings!  Our first night was a rude welcome into the world of parenting, and we were uncertain that we would be able to handle this new stage of our lives.

But oh my goodness how that little love just wrapped us around her little finger!  How we adored her from the very beginning!

Eight years have gone by, and we have now become a family of five.  But she is still the one who made me a mom.  She is the one who challenges me in ways that I could never imagine.  I made all of my first parenting mistakes with her, yet she grows and loves and exceeds my expectations every day.

That little bundle in my arms has turned into a fiery, opinionated, loving, charming, thoughtful, energetic, creative eight-year-old girl.  And I am still terrified of this mom thing!

I pray every day that the mistakes I make will not harm her long-term.  I pray that she will grow to be a woman after God’s own heart.  I pray that her dreams of serving the Lord will come true.  I pray that I am the mom that she needs.  And I pray for the amazing woman who gave her to me, who carried her for nine months and then loved her enough to give her a bright future.

The most amazing thing to me is how God gives us grace every day to do the things He calls us to do.  I am so overwhelmed when I think back to those days of heartache when all I longed for was to be a mother.  What love He has shown me in creating a family for me in such a unique way!  And what mercy He gives every day when I fail as her mother, and He lifts her up to do great things for Him DESPITE me.

Today, I remember the prayer I prayed along with Hannah in I Samuel 1:27:

 “For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to Him.”

Thank you, Lord, for this amazing gift!

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