In less than three weeks my oldest daughter graduates college. I am not sure how that’s possible. I’ve spent the last few days in full sappy mom mode. I had flipped through photo albums and cried my eyes out. I have looked through her box of baby clothes and found myself just sitting in her room gazing at her books and old dolls. With my 18 month old daughter in my arms I took a walk (or two) down memory lane. Was it not just yesterday I held Sie in my arms this way?
Last Friday my husband and I made the trip up to her college to watch her present her Capstone presentation (It was on Jane Eyer) and see her receive an award from the English department. We could not be more proud of her if we tried. As I watched her walk across the stage and interact with her professors my eyes saw the beautiful young woman she has become. My heart however could only think about the first time I saw my 8 pound 13oz blue eyed princess.
I was not prepared to be a mom. I was a week away from turning 19 when she made her grand entrance. I was scared out of my mind. I felt like I had disappointed my parents and that left me feeling ashamed and isolated. How in the world was I going to be a mom? But then the nurse placed this perfect little person in my arms and all fear was gone. I did not know how things would work out but I knee they would. My world was now all about her. She was not planned, but she was perfect for our God does not make mistakes. She was beautiful and for the first time in my life I was completely in love.
Jump forward a few years, ok 16 years, and I find myself with two teenagers. In just a few years they would be out of the house and my husband and I would be free to travel or do whatever we pleased. Ah my husband . He is a terrific man and wonderful dad to my kids. He is such an amazing step dad, all though my kids never call him that. To them he is just dad. So glad God gives us second chances at happiness. I prayed he could somehow experience all the wonders of parenting not just the teen years. Be careful what you wish for lol
One of the many joys as foster parents is that every now and then you get to experience the beautiful miracle of adoption. And we have been blessed to experience the joy of adding five little loves through three adoptions.
Sie has been “sissy” since she was three. Once diva became part of our family sissy became “big sis”. I never thought I would get to experience raising a daughter again, and then diva arrived. She has brought so much to our family. She is so smart and sassy. She loves her big sissy. She wants to be just like her when she grows up. She loves to dance and plans on being a professional dancer when she grows “big”. If we had given up of foster care after the first failed adoption attempt she would not be part of our lives.
And just when we thought we were done, God blessed us with Divas half sister. So the names changed again. Sie stayed big sis, diva became middle sis and peanut became little sis. Peanut is such a joy. Just when I thought I could not possibly love “one more child” she became a piece of my heart. She is learning so much, how to walk and how to talk, I look at her and my heart just melts.
As I flip through the old photos I can’t help but think “If I would have done this would things turned out better for her?” Did I do my best to teach her right from wrong? Did my decisions effect her in a positive or negative way? Did I pray enough for her? Did I worry enough? Did I worry to much? Now that she’s all grown up will she need me anymore? Will she make time to call just to say hello?
And just as I’m in the middle of a very ugly mom cry, my phone rings. It’s a video message. It’s my girl. She was calling me to let me know she was taking her final draft of her thesis to turn in. She called me. Out of all the people she could have shared that moment with she called me. We talked for just a few minutes but it was just what I needed. I took a few more minutes to finish my ugly mom cry and then went to check on peanut. She was playing with her toys singing a song as only 18 month olds can do. And I smiled.
God has been so good to me. I have three beautiful daughters. Each uniquely different and brilliant in their own way. I am thankful God has allowed me to be momma a little while longer. My parenting style may have changed some but I am grateful to have this chance again.
If having a daughter graduating college has taught me anything it’s that life goes by so quickly. It is important to be in the moment. Yes I have dishes that need washed, and I always have laundry that needs to be folded, but when my kids are off on their own and think of me I want them to remember I was there for them. I was there pushing the swing just a little bit higher, I was there making silly dinosaurs noises, I was there snuggled on the couch reading their favorite book for a sixth time in one night. I want them to remember I loved them and enjoyed being their mom. I hope my oldest two remember that mom too.
From our beautiful chaos to yours time goes by so fast, make sure those you love know exactly what they mean to you.