Identity, Parenting


This week, I am just past 24 weeks pregnant. We found out while we were still in China. That was scary. It wasn’t planned. In fact, I had other plans; to come home, start a career, enjoy the exciting, young, married life with my still newly wed husband. This baby was a curveball to say the least. But it’s my baby. I had feelings of excitement mixed in with the fear too though. Our little secret from the world, a whole new person! My person.

Now that we’re home and I’ve had time to let the reality sink in along with my expanding belly, my excitement and joy are growing too! We’ve modified our plans and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little girl. In fact, I have so many plans for this pregnancy, the birth, the first days home, the first year, the nursery, our home, her whole life, our whole lives, etc, etc, etc. I’m sure all moms know the feeling.

There are so many things that I want for this little girl and for our family. I feel pressure too, to be the picture of domestic tranquility, to be the perfect mother. Those thoughts are normal and natural I assume but I know from the experience of living in a family that that is not how family life works. I know that I will make mistakes, probably many of them, and the same ones over again. I will loose my temper, reach my breaking points, feel unfulfilled, sad, and resentful at times.

In some ways, this motherhood thing is all new to me. I was born to a mother who couldn’t keep me and raise me on her own. My adoptive mother never had biological children, never went through a pregnancy or birth. So motherhood looked a little different for me. But I was never denied unconditional love.

The first few months of pregnancy asked me to think about my birth mother in ways that I never had before. Was she nauseous with morning sickness like I was? Did she have back pain and wake up in the middle of the night because I kicked her or didn’t like which side she was laying on? I wonder if she loved me that way that I already love my daughter, so much. What were her hopes for me? Her hopes for herself? And the unexpected reasons that we couldn’t be together?

Some questions we return to time and again.

So the same conclusion that I’ve reached when thinking about her is the same one for the thoughts and hopes for my own daughter. I pray for them. And for myself. That I can be grateful and humbled, that I can place God’s will first, for all of our lives.

I wish I could tell her that she is a grandmother. I wish we could share our mothering experiences. I wish for my daughter to meet her some day; the courageous woman who carried her mom for nine months and gave her the gift of life. But those are my wishes and while they may never come true, I will always pray for her and hold her in my heart, sharing what I do know with my children.

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