After a six-week-long family season of sickness and poor to sleepless nights, I decided it was time to dig deep and reflect on some sweet moments from my almost four years of motherhood. Enough wallowing in the when will this end? and why me? moments!
I started my journey into motherhood when my then three and four year-old son and daughter came into our lives through adoption. I missed out on so many of their “firsts” in life. But I remember clearly the day we met them. My daughter stood at a little picket fence, chubby hands and stocky little body poised and eager to meet us . Her brother clung to his foster mother and hesitantly eyed us from under the longest brown lashes I have yet to see. We were off to a running start from there. Some days I wish I did give birth to them. I wish I had been there to rock them, to see their first smiles, or hear their first words. But I revel in the special moments that are mine now.
I didn’t see them take their first steps, but I still smile when I think about the crisp and sunny fall day when we took off their training wheels. They were just four and five, but the elation and joy I felt when I saw the tender pride on both of their faces as they glided along our driveway without help was such a prize. In some funny way, it was more than enough to make up for what I had missed. Isn’t life like that sometimes? There is such abundance if we can only see it. I find the if only thoughts and the why couldn’t it have been this way thinking cloud my ability to see the goodness in front of me sometimes…well a lot of the time, if I’m honest.
Two years after adopting our daughter and son, we were blessed to give birth to a baby girl. I wondered how it would be to get to know this child from the start, to not “miss out” on anything. Adopting and giving birth are so amazing and so different that it is hard to compare the two – at least for me. But I can tell you this, watching my baby girl’s first steps this last summer was just as amazing as seeing those training wheels come off! I love that I can celebrate her accomplishments from the start, but I also have to admit that I feel so privileged to have been chosen to witness and celebrate the milestones and day to day miracles passing in my older children’s lives as well.
I can’t change the past for my older two, but I can choose to see each day as a gift – no matter what that day brings. This is my challenge to myself and to you if you so choose: may we have eyes to see the goodness before us, and strength to rise above any self-pity.
Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. Psalm 119:18 (NLT)