It's one of those questions, similar to "do you have children?" that I found hard to answer sometimes. When people would ask me if I had children before, I would usually say not yet. I then felt a surge of guilt because of course I had children, I just didn't have them in my arms. It was usually to spare the person asking from any awkward feelings that came from asking an otherwise innocent question. I lived in this in between, gray area for nearly five years. A mom, yes. Definitely. A child in my arms, no.
Mother's Day has been a tear-filled reminder of that fact for years. My aching heart and arms desperately missed my babies and wanted to have them here more than anything. The desire to grow our family but not being able to just yet. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way, and my heart is tender for all the moms who are still waiting for and missing their babies today.
Then came Emmerson.
Though she wasn't in our arms this time last year, she was on the way. Our hearts were hopeful that we would meet our miracle baby and bring her home. And, we did. Life since she arrived in September has been a dream. A sleepy, wonderful, beautiful dream.
I was a mother before I held Emmerson, but yet, she is my first.
She's the first baby I rocked to sleep.
She's the first time I cried tears of joy in the middle of the day because I thought my heart my burst out of my chest with love.
She's the first one I can comfort with my voice and touch.
She's the first baby I've kissed from head to toe millions of times.
She's the first one I've nursed for the past seven months.
She's the first reason I wake up with a smile every morning, no matter what little amount of sleep came the night before.
She's the first to make me feel such pride in every milestone she accomplishes.
She's the first to light up everyday with her smile and laugh.
She's the first one to make me cherish and savor every day, and to appreciate ordinary moments as the extraordinary ones they are.
She's the first one to show me how to truly love another unselfishly.
She's the first one to make me love my husband more than I thought possible because I see him live out his dream of being a dad.
She's the first one to make me want to fiercely protect her from all the scary things in the world.
She's the first one to provide a healing for my heart in a way that only she can.
She's the first one to teach me how to grow as a mommy and try to be the best for her, because that's what she deserves.
Thank you, my darling baby, for all of these firsts. Thank you for believing in me and I promise I'll always believe in you. Thank you, God, for making me a mom and for so beautifully choosing us for Emmerson, and Emmerson for us. My grateful heart is so very full.
So, this Mother's Day, I will probably still cry, though the tears will surely be joy-filled. And there are always tears reserved for the babies who are not here, and who are missed everyday. Eli and Michael, our precious twins, baby Kate, and our three angels in Heaven are always with us. In my daily prayers I thank give thanks for them, and ask that they watch over, guard and protect our family always. I know they're watching over us and their sister and are smiling down on us everyday.
Happy Mother's Day, to all those who are moms or who are waiting to become moms. You are celebrated, and I am keeping you in my prayers. And Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mama! I'm so thankful for you and the opportunity to experience motherhood with your guidance and love.
I'll be holding my baby tight and counting my blessings for another day spent with her in my arms.