With Valentine’s Day just behind us, I’ve been thinking about love. Not the romantic kind, but the kind we feel for our children. A Mother’s love. As I cleaned up to remnants of the Valentine treats I gave my daughters, I thought of my grown step-daughter and wondered how her Valentine’s Day had been with her own boys.
My step-daughter was just four years old when her Father and I got married. Since she already had a good Mom, there was no need for me to “fill in.” She and I decided we would just be close. I quickly found that there is nothing easier than loving a child. Ten years later, her Dad and I had a baby on the way. Many of my friends and family said, ” You will feel differently about your baby. A baby of your own is your own flesh and blood.” Inside I was nervous. I had loved my step-daughter for a decade and I was worried about how I might feel- and so was she. I didn’t want to make a difference between her and the new baby.
When the big day came and my baby girl came into the world, I fell in love with her the moment I held her in my arms. Much to my relief, it was the same love I had felt for my step-daughter all those years. The only difference was-it happened in an instant.
Now I know that you can love a child you did not “give birth to” in the same way as a child you carried. I feel the same way about all of my girls and I have never made a difference between them. The heart has an amazing capacity to love a child- it’s our faulty logic and overactive emotions that can get in the way.
If you are struggling to have a child of your own, don’t forget about all of abandoned babies, forgotten children and lonely teenagers who are desperately searching for a family to love them. You have so much love to give a child, so find a place to give it.