Tonight the rain has come and is spilling down the window. The drops sound like a metronome, casting me into a rhythmic trance. The house is warm and comforting, and the candle creates a soft glow on the wall. I’ve just put the little one to sleep. I’ve read her four books, prayed over her, and sang her the same song my mother used to sing to me. As she lays on my chest and listens to the melodic notes coming from mouth, I am overwhelmed with joy, and overcome by love. I lay her down and cover her head with kisses, I tell her how much I love her, and thank God for giving us this perfect and beautiful gift. Because a gift is exactly what she is. I cherish this gift and these moments.
In a of couple days I will be having a birthday. I will be embarking on another year, I will be 29. I am no longer in my mid twenties, hardly even my late twenties anymore. Now I am in a category all in itself “almost 30”. As I think about embracing this new year, I can’t help but think about the one I’ve just lived. When I was approaching 28 not so long ago, I felt as though life was being lived too fast, and moments that should be made memories were being missed. I wanted to embrace my late twenties, instead of ignore them. So I made a list. A list of 28 things to do while 28. Places I wanted to go, books I wanted to read, and things I wanted to accomplish. This wish list included things like; go to New york, go sailing, cook every recipe in a cookbook, see a musical, go skinny dipping, start a blog, and many more. I was determined to complete every one and have the greatest year yet.
I did have the greatest year, just not how I planned.
What I didn’t write on that list, was the one thing I truly wanted. The thing I secretly wished for at every birthday for the last six years. To become a Mother. I didn’t write it down, because I didn’t think it would happen. But it did.
We had always known we wanted to adopt, we just didn’t know when or if it was possible for us. After a long year of Fost-Adopt certification through our local agency, we were finally certified and licensed in december 2012. They told us it would still be another 4-8 months before we received “the call” for what would be our foster baby. And since we didn’t know the age or sex of the child, we were told not to buy anything and just to “wait”. So we waited. And every night we prayed for the child that would one day fill our home.
Four weeks later, we got that call. In a whirlwind of less than 24 hours our lives completely changed. I quit my job, we put up a crib, baby proofed our house, bought diapers and formula and brought home the most beautiful five month old baby girl. We picked her up from the hospital as she was sick with a respiratory infection. When we walked into her room, we saw a nurse holding a crying baby who was wearing a hospital gown five sizes too big. When we saw her face, we were both silenced by her beauty. Holding her for the first time is a moment I will never forget. She stared at me with her big brown eyes, wondering I’m sure, if I was someone she could trust, and if these arms that held her were safe. I looked right into those eyes and said “I have been praying for you for so long, and I already love you so much” Because I did.
When we brought her home, her future was unknown. We didn’t know if we would have her for a week, a year, or forever. Either way, we were so happy to have her now, no matter how long or short it was. We already loved her so much. Ten months later she is still with us. We are still hoping and waiting for adoption finalization. It is not promised, but it is hopeful. And until that happens, we are going to continue to love her with everything we have.
Becoming a Mother is a dream I always wanted to come true, but didn’t know if it would. And now that it has, it is greater than I had ever hoped or dreamed. I may not have done everything on that list, in fact I probably only checked off a few things. I didn’t make every recipe in the cookbook like I wanted, and I definitely didn’t go skinny dipping, or visit New York. But its ok, because I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do, what I was meant to do. Be a mother and love this little girl who needed love so badly.
This last year has been amazing, exhausting, and at times really hard. But it has also been so rewarding. I look forward and anticipate this next one, and this new age. I don’t have an agenda, and I don’t have a list. Maybe I will make one, maybe I wont. Either way I am going to enjoy it, I am going to embrace 29 and end my twenties with the two people I love more than anything, my husband and my daughter. I will enjoy every moment with her, and I will delight in every laugh and every smile that comes from her mouth.
I’ve come to realize, as I’m sure we all have, life is unexpected. Somedays it is incredibly wonderful, and other days, overwhelmingly hard. But its the small things, the little moments in life that make all the hard days ok. Like that moment when I’m singing to her before bed, and she reaches her head up to find my lips in the dark, and kisses me. At that moment I know, no matter what happens to her, to me and to us, everything is ok..right now.
So happy birthday, to me.
This photo was taken a few days after we brought the little love home, it is still one of my favorites.