A Different Kind of Love?

loveWith 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.

Want to know more? Click here for information on adoption and foster parenting.

 

A Birthday Wish of Hope

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A Birthday Wish of Hope

On Sunday we celebrated my daughter’s 15th birthday. As I hugged her tight and told her Happy Birthday, I was surprised when I started to cry. Not because she’s growing up, or turning out to be such a fine young woman, but because I wasn’t sure if she would ever get here. You see, my daughter is my oldest, but not my “first born.” I had a miscarriage a year before she was born that made me worry if I would ever have a family. It rocked my world, and my expectation of what my future might be.

When my daughter arrived it was such an amazing joy. One that I wasn’t sure I would ever have. And now, 15 years later, it made me “misty” as I wished her a Happy Birthday and remembered the day she was born, and how much we wanted and waited for her.

Trying to have another baby after losing one, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I was terrified. Not just at the beginning…the whole time. I was embarrassed to share just how afraid I was that something would go horribly wrong…again. I pretended to be undecided when I reached the 8th month and I still hadn’t named her. I was too scared to get that “attached,” still panicked that it could all come crashing down.

All of that changed on the day she was born. My perfectly healthy, 7lb 3oz pound baby girl arrived. No complications, no problems, no horrible ending. I held my daughter tight, and I cried tears of unspeakable joy and relief. She was here- my family and my dream.

My husband was the one who kept encouraging me to try again. Thank God for him. I was so afraid of what could go wrong, that I almost gave up what is so right about my life- my family. Eight years later, I had another beautiful baby girl. She almost didn’t survive the first 6 weeks of the pregnancy. Just like her sister, she overcame the terrible odds I struggled with. And once again, I held my new baby in my arms.

If you are struggling with fear – don’t lose hope. Grief and pain can alter your perspective- it can paralyze you. It can steal your dreams and leave you feeling all alone. You can’t be too afraid to hope- to try again, and to keep trying. You never know what could be just around the corner.