blessings piled high

Mother’s Day 2005:  I was beginning to think that maybe being a mom was something for me.  Up until this point, I wasn’t sure that I really wanted any kids at all!  I taught middle school kiddies all day, and by the end of a day was ready for a kid-free zone at home.  But this year, my heart began to soften and change.  I began to see motherhood not as a task, as a burden, but as a calling and joy.

Mother’s Day 2006:  By this Mother’s Day, I had experienced the devastating loss of miscarriage, and also the joy of a healthy pregnancy!  I was just weeks away from having our firstborn, and my husband celebrated me as a Mama-to-Be.  Didn’t know anything about the little one growing in me yet except that I loved her!

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So young! My first Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day 2007:  What joy to be holding my baby girl in my arms this year!  Oh!  And what was that??  Expecting again!  Yep!  Our first two babies ended up being 15 months and 2 days apart.

Mother’s Day 2008:  Girl. Boy.  Done?  I thought so!  

Mother’s Day 2009:  I knew that I wanted a third little one, but didn’t know if I was ready to add another quite yet.  But I knew I loved how close my older two were, and knew that their age being so close would continue to grow that closeness all their lives.  I thought it might be nice to wait a few years, and then have two more sweet littles close together, Lord willing, but I also know that the hardships of being pregnant was something my body probably couldn’t handle TWO more times.  So, shortly after this Mother’s Day, we discovered that another little one was on the way… and in February of 2010, Brady was born. We had three babies, all fairly close in age.

My heart’s desire really was to have two more close together, and I thought that was a desire that wouldn’t be fulfilled for us.  I loved all of my babies at that point, and didn’t feel a gaping hole in our family, but that secret desire for a fourth was still there, being cultivated and maintained by the Father, and I didn’t even know it.

Mother’s Day 2010:  Rachel, Eli, and Brady.  Such joy!  These babies of mine bring me JOY!  Little did I know that halfway around the world, another mama that I will probably never meet was about to find out that she was expecting!  She would have a little girl, and one day, that little girl would come home with us and be our daughter.

Mother’s Day 2011:  Another sweet day with my sweet blessings.  And still, only the Lord knew that Julianne was being loved and cared for by parents that would soon make the choice to allow others to raise their girl.  I don’t for a moment think that this choice was easy for them.  By the time they made it, they had known this sweet one for about six months.  They had witnessed her smiles, her tears, and the cute little dimple pop out in her cheek when she giggles.

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I thought this picture was a completed picture for a long time. But God’s plans were greater than I could imagine, and “family of five” wasn’t how we were meant to stay.

Mother’s Day 2012:  Wonderful, as usual, and the Lord was watching our fourth grow within the walls that would be her home for a few more years.

Mother’s Day 2013:  A few months earlier, the Lord had spoken to me during prayer time and I knew that adoption was on our horizon.  I didn’t know when, but I knew that it was for us.  It was surprising, this revelation, but at once, I knew it was Truth, and I was waiting patiently for the day when we would start to pursue our child.

Mother’s Day 2014:  The pursuit is on!  After a most topsy-turvy 2013, the Lord opened doors, hearts, and eyes, and stepping out in faith and unity, we started our adoption process!  By this Mother’s Day, we had already been matched with our little girl, who we already called Julianne.  My mama-heart knew a fresh ache because while the day itself was great, I was very aware that there was another across an ocean that was missing from our table.

Mother’s Day 2015 (that’s today!):  We have our children, all four of them, and it has been a great day!  It’s fun to watch Julianne learn things; she has never known a “mother’s day” before.  It made me smile to see her hand me her gift and be excited.  It was exciting to listen to her say, “Happy Mother’s Day” with her little I’m-still-learning-English lisp all while being coached by her Dad.  I’ve thought a lot today about the mama who raised her as a tiny baby, and my heart hurts.  What joy there is in being Julianne’s mama… but what pain that had to happen for me to experience this joy.  I don’t taken it for granted, any of it; the healthy pregnancies and deliveries of my first three, or the miracles that occurred to bring Julianne to our family.  These children are gifts.  Pure gift.

My heart’s deepest desire?  The Lord has given it to me!  I have another beautiful child, and this one was born exactly 12 months and 4 days after her brother.  While I know that this closeness may result in some conflict (!!!), I see sweet glimpses of what the future holds, and it. is. GOOD!

Who knows what coming Mother’s Days will hold? Laundry may still need to be folded, crumbs swept up, clothes ironed and dishes washed.  But you know?  These things are part of being a mama to my little loves, and for some reason, on this day when mothers are celebrated, I don’t mind these mundane things as much. I love Mother’s Day because I love being a mom.  I love taking care of my family, and I love the way they giggle and whisper as they make plans to honor me.  I love how they plot with their Dad, and how they *insist* on giving me a bag full of my favorite candy (okay, maybe I suggested that gift…)

I am thankful, and humbled to be the mama of these.  I count my blessings and they are piled high.

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2 Comments on “blessings piled high

  1. Beautiful. I cried for Julianne’s bio mom as I read it. I pray that she had a peace beyond our understanding and knows her little JinLing is happy, healthy, and LOVED. Happy Mothers Day.

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