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The Road to My First Mother’s Day…

8 May

I am so giddy about celebrating my first mother’s day this year!  A little birdie told me that I may be getting an apple tree (4 year olds are easy to get secrets out of!!)  More than the apple tree or the day off from cooking, I am still giddy and excited about how I became a mom this year.  I am amazed at how God matched our daughter with us even before we were ready to consider adoption…

You see, our daughter was born before we got married 🙂  We will be married 4 years this fall, and she is 4 next month.  When we started the adoption process last year as first time parents, we were sure that we wanted a healthy infant girl.  We didn’t look at the Waiting Child List because special needs and older children weren’t  something we thought we could do for our first adoption…”Maybe later” we told ourselves.  After moving twice, paperchasing, and buying baby clothes, God changed our hearts in a big way.  I had this “curiosity” for what the children were like on the Waiting Child List.  I found the password, and up popped a little girl with a HUGE smile.  She was all the things I didn’t think I could handle…Three years old, been waiting almost a year, HIV+, etc.  I must not have gotten much done that day at work, I bet I looked at her photo 100 times, and said no to God 99 times.  When I got home from work, I told Ed how I had seen this little girl and I was afraid.  It’s the only word I can use to describe how I felt.  I was afraid I had already fallen in love with her, I was afraid she would die as soon as we got her home, I was afraid that she had a damaged past and would act out in some horrible way, and I was afraid I wouldn’t know what to tell her or how to help her when she got older and began to realize the stigma attached to her virus.

We had some really great friends pray for us.  Ed was hesitant at first, he was still partial to the infant girl plan.  I prayed that God would bring us together on this issue in an undeniable way.  Later that week, Ed came to me and said “If we don’t do this, then who?  She needs a family, and we need a daughter”  Both being on the same page at this point, we met with a specialist from Nationwide Children’s Hospital who was awesome, and actually got us really excited about this.  We left the meeting thinking, we can do this for sure.  I called AWAA that day and accepted the referral.

This past January, we met our daughter in Ethiopia.  There was a long line of families ahead of us.  They were calling them up one at a time, and the tension grew as families were closer to their child.  All of the sudden, they say “WXXX  family-your daughter is getting anxious and must come next.”  The next minute of my life changed me forever.  I became the mommy to a beautiful bouncy, energetic, healthy, loving girl.  Words can not capture the way I felt.  After we played ball a few times, and had cookies, I just knew she was always a part of us.

We’ve been home almost 4 months.  We feel like she has been with us since the beginning.  We have family jokes, nicknames, and quirky ways we do things as a family… for example, Pill time at our house is the time when we all take our vitamins and supplements while our daughter takes hers.  We each look for the disgusting tasting one, and we have to eat it first.  Some days she is forcing me to take my fish oils! 

Our daughter’s viral load is undetectable.  We do meds twice a day.  We go see the wonderful people at the clinic every 2-3 months.  There are weeks when it doesn’t even cross my mind that our daughter is positive.   She is much more healthy than other 3-4 year olds we know around here.

We’ve also learned that 4 year olds are so much fun to explore with and discover.  My daughter tried to read her first book tonight.  She loves to make up dances and we follow her with them.  She loved to eat all our favorite food from before she was adopted.

All of the things that scared me the most were erased quickly.  I am so proud to be her mommy today.  I hope to have years of spending time under the apple trees with my kids and remember back to the time when God changed my heart and made me a mother to the most wonderful little girl.