My kids are my life. They are my greatest joy. I love them fiercely.
As a mom, I want to be everything to them. I want to fix their problems, shield them from hurt, and protect them from anything and everything that would dare to threaten their happiness. I honestly wish I could just wrap them up and keep them safe in my arms forever.
As my kids have grown, though, I’ve noticed that it gets harder and harder to guard them against life’s unpredictable twists and turns…and inevitable pains. I wish my kids could enjoy a smooth unruffled journey through life but I suppose there wouldn’t be any room for them to grow if there were never anything hard they had to wrestle with. Still, it hurts to watch them go through hard things, even if I am knee-deep right alongside them.
Over the weekend, I was fixing tacos in the kitchen when an out-of-nowhere conversation came up. A conversation that once it’s out, it’s out. There’s no reigning it back in where it belongs.
My son asked me, “When did you find out I was a boy?”
Hubby chipped in, “We knew before you were born.”
“Really? How?” My son asked.
“Ultrasound pictures.” I smiled. “Do you remember seeing those pictures I have from when you were inside my tummy?”
My son recalled seeing the pictures and we went on talking about how cool ultrasound pictures are. Because, really, they are pretty cool.
Suddenly my daughter was standing in front of me. Her big brown curious eyes looked up into mine as she asked, “You have pictures of me in your tummy, too?”
My heart hit the floor.
My mind raced for an answer. “No, Honey,” I lamented, “but I do have pictures of you when you were just a teeny tiny baby in the hospital!” And I quickly scooped her up into my arms before she could see the tears that were welling up in my eyes.
Holding her tight, questions began pouring into my mind. What is she feeling right now? What’s she thinking? Did I say the right thing? Should I have said more? Does she know she’s loved beyond the shadow of a doubt? Did I just mess up? What is the right thing to say/do in this very moment?
Although she’s still too young to really grasp the meaning behind our conversation, soon, very soon, she’ll have lots of questions.
I flipped through all my books on adoption, looking for answers.
There were none.
I guess books don’t always hold the answers. There’s not always a quick-fix. No magic formula. No princess Band-Aids that I can stick over her hurt.
Adoption is a beautiful thing but it’s not without its cracks. There’s brokenness and loss.
There will be gaps, doubts, emptiness, questions, insecurities, and unimaginable emotional hurts that, try as I might, I will never be able to keep my daughter from experiencing.
I know I’ll never be able to begin to fully understand the hurts she will experience thoughout her lifetime, but I’ll always be right by her side.
I’ll always fight for her.
I’ll always cheer her on.
I’ll always go through the deep waters with her.
I’ll always love her without condition.
And I’ll always be her biggest fan. She’ll never have to do any of it alone. No. Matter. What.
All I can do is continue praying the she always knows just how wholly loved she is. And that she would know how great her heavenly Father’s love is for her, too.
photos by Liz Anne Photography