Becoming Mommy Part II

Nine weeks ago Calvin and I walked into a dark civil affairs office in China. My heart was freaking out. We were about to meet our brand new 5 1/2 year old daughter. Our only knowledge of who she was came from a 36 second video, a translated report from her orphanage and 15 photographs. As we rounded the corner I caught a glimpse of her, blue eyes staring at the ceiling, moving slightly, and looking scared out of her mind.

IMG_0954IMG_0965In that moment I thought… can I do this? Seriously. Can I do this?? Can I mother a child who has been blind and institutionalized her entire life? She’s going to hate me. Approximately 4 seconds later I was face to face with her. Overwhelmed with Love. And God whispered: No. You can’t do it. But I can. This is your daughter, she has always been your daughter.

IMG_1281I’m going to promise you one thing right now. I will never use God to over dramatize anything in my life. When I say he spoke to my heart in that time of doubt, he did, he was with me.

Adoption, for our family, is a spiritual thing. God led us to adoption, he walked with us in the process and he now sustains us as we work toward healing with our children.

It may seem bold… or maybe even shocking to think that I questioned whether I could mother our daughter in the moments before meeting her. But I think that every mother experiences this quick shock before beginning her journey. I remember looking at 2 pink lines after being married 6 months and having just started grad school. It wasn’t just morning sickness that made me want to throw up! The thought of shaping, molding and raising a human being is crazy overwhelming. I wasn’t ready. Calvin wasn’t ready. Seriously,  no one is ever really ready to be a parent. We think we are ready to deliver that baby or get on that airplane but we have no idea what is waiting on the other side. A life that is totally dependent on YOU. And if that life decides they don’t like to sleep you are really in trouble.

Fortunately, each time a child has become mine I’ve fallen madly in love with them. I’m the mom that smells my kids. I love the outside smell, the post bath smell and the plain old kid smell. Not every mom bounces right into motherhood. I’ve seen many friends struggle with postpartum and post-adoption depression. I know without a doubt that entering motherhood can be the most difficult thing one does in life. I also know that things will change drastically. Life will never be the same. Ever. (because it will be better! You just don’t know that in the beginning.)

But, motherhood, with it’s struggles, joys and pits of despair is the most rewarding thing I could ever choose for myself. I’m growing people. I’m impacting people. God is pouring his spirit into me as I pour everything I have into these 4 littles. There’s not much left of me at the end of the day. But I’m fully comfortable saying that my life is not my own.

To read more on my path to motherhood, check out my first Mommy blog post.

About the author

Erica

Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.

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