So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

It had been three years since our youngest daughter died from a rare genetic disorder at the age of seven and barely one since our oldest died of the same disorder at the age of 11. I had birthed, loved, and buried two children. I wasn’t looking to do it again.

Then God came calling. Literally. Technically, an acquaintance from church made the phone call, but God was working. “I have a young woman who is pregnant and looking to place her baby for adoption. I told her about you and your husband, and she would like to meet you. Are you interested?”

When I picked my jaw up off the ground, I promised to talk to my husband and get back with her soon. We had no plans for more children, but that evening I told him about the call. We talked and considered. We cried and shook our heads. We cried and prayed. We laughed over the absurdity of it all. And then I broke out in hives and nearly hyperventilated. We had zero information and no plans, so we were both taken aback by the sadness we felt when several days later we learned that the situation was uncertain.

We didn’t know when the baby was due, where the baby was located, if the baby was healthy, or even if the baby was a boy or a girl. We had no medical history or background information. We knew nothing. Even so, this baby had found us and if this baby needed us, we were all in. So, we waited and prayed.

I experienced the stress of anticipation and an uncertain future, but I had a peace within.

Through the trauma of loving and losing two children, I had come to find that, deep inside, God was still God and I was still me.

I had come to understand that while being their mother had been the absolute privilege of my life and that losing them had been indescribably painful, I was still me without them. I was an evolving version of me, but I was still me. I was undeniably and irrevocably changed, but I was still me. I was still the me God had created. I was still the me He had loved and grown and protected for 34 years. I was still His. Always had been. Always would be. I knew if we were given the opportunity to parent this child, I would still be His. If no other child ever called me Mommy, I would still be His. No matter what, I was complete.

I will never forget the Valentine’s Day when my phone rang and the voice on the other end said, “It’s a girl, she’s due in July, and she’s yours if you want her.”

Our daughter was born on the Fourth of July and from the moment she entered this world, there was a place in my heart for her.

Thanks to the overwhelming love of the woman who carried her, I became a mommy again.

This is a love letter to my now three-year-old little girl.

Dear daughter,

I choose you. I chose you before I met you. I chose you the moment you were born. I have chosen you every day since. I will continue choosing you every day for the rest of my life. As you grow, I pray you know that it is my absolute privilege to be your mom. I will do everything in my power to love you big, raise you well, and to point you to Him.

Every day you grow a bit taller, a bit older, and a bit more independent.

I pray that my love and example fosters the confidence to be who you are—to be who God created you to be. You are complete in Him.

Your daddy and I do not define you. Your birth mom does not define you. Your circumstances, possessions, and relationships do not define you. You are a child of God and in Him you are complete. So am I.

I need you to understand this—you do not complete me. I lived 35 years of beautiful, painful, wonderful, heart wrenching, joyful life before you were born. You did not fill a hole in my heart; God created new space just for you. My life is richer with you in it. I treasure the love that is uniquely ours, but you do not complete me. My identity is not your burden to carry.

Someday you will leave our home to start a life of your own. I hope that you will lead a full life, secure in the knowledge that you are complete simply because you are His. I have found joy in many of the roles of my life, some I clung to more desperately than others, but my identity is in Christ alone. As you grow, please know that I have strived every day to give you these most precious gifts.

I chose you and I will continue choosing you.

I didn’t choose you because I need you to complete me. I chose you because I love you.

Love,
Mommy

You may also like:

Precious One, You Are Chosen and Cherished

The Kids We Adopted Aren’t the Lucky Ones—We Are

Mandy McCarty Harris

Mandy McCarty Harris lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband, young daughter, three dogs, and eleven backyard chickens. She writes about living happily in the messy middle of life. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and at HappyLikeThis.com

There’s Just Something about a 4-Year-Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
4 year old girl smiling outside

There’s just something about a 4-year-old. The way their bubbly laughs and sweet little faces still have some traces of babyhood while they’re transforming into more and more of their own unique person right before your eyes.  The way they ask questions about everything under the sun, listen wide-eyed to your clumsy answers, and believe every single word you say. It’s so innocent (and scary) the way they believe absolutely anything you tell them—just because you’re “mommy.”  The way their still-a-little-chubby hand finds yours. And the way they still come running to you for a hug and kiss when they’re hurt. Or...

Keep Reading

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationships grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

You’re Graduating From Kindergarten and the First Part of Your Life

In: Child, Motherhood
Mother, father, and little boy in graduation gown, color photo

To my little graduate:  I’m so proud of you. I used to think graduation ceremonies at this age were just a cute, end-of-the-year celebration. Now I see how much they really represent. I watched you in amazement this year. I saw all of your hard work. Not just academically but socially and emotionally as well. You learned to make friends without me there. You learned how to make your place in the world. You have learned to deal with disappointment, stand up for yourself, and the awkwardness of not being friends with everyone. You dealt with teasing because of your...

Keep Reading

He’s Outgrowing My Lap But He’ll Never Outgrow My Heart

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

He’s five now—my baby, the third of my three children. I feel like I’ve taken the time to enjoy each stage, but no matter how much I try to savor, it still seems to go too fast. Like grains of sand slipping through my fingers—if I try to hold on too tightly, the years just seem to escape faster. We were sitting in church this morning. He had asked to sit in church with mom and dad instead of going to children’s Sunday school. And we let him. He’s gone from a squirmy toddler to a little boy who can...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Don’t Ever Lose Your Helping Heart

In: Child, Kids
Young boy carrying two gallons of milk, color photo

When you carried two gallons of milk on our way out the door at Aldi, I smiled. You insisted to take them from my hands. You’re growing out of your shoes and shirts, and my prayer has always been that you’ll reach your full potential as a young boy growing into a young man.  You’ve always had a drive inside you that is seen big on the soccer field, and I pray you’ll always desire to work hard and serve strong wherever you are. RELATED: Let Us Raise Boys Who Have Respect Running Through Their Veins I pray you’ll work...

Keep Reading

9 is Changing Right Before My Eyes

In: Child, Tween
Girl sitting in car holding stuffed animal, color photo

“You are officially tall enough to ride without a booster seat,” our pediatrician tells my daughter after reviewing her measurements. It was her 9-year check-up, and she’d grown three inches in a year, landing at the 96th percentile for her age. She’d likely been tall enough for months, but I insisted we wait for her doctor’s confirmation, comforted by the imminent discussion on sitting safely sans booster. My girl gleefully melts into the car’s fabric and buckles her seatbelt, flashing a smile that showcases an assortment of adult and baby teeth. Reality hits me like an airbag in the face:...

Keep Reading

Goodbye To the Preschool Years

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother smiling with giggling preschool daughter, color photo

For me, personally, I feel as though this is the first gut-wrenching string I’m letting go of with my little girl.  Although when she started preschool I felt nervous and I missed her like mad, I knew I still had two weekdays with her as well as the weekend. It has been perfect—freedom and growth while at preschool—but still time for us.  School is on the horizon. The year of starting school has come quicker than I was prepared for. It has literally flashed before my eyes.  I have spent every day with my girls since they were born. Every...

Keep Reading

Don’t Ever Lose Your Sparkle, My Child

In: Child, Motherhood
Smiling little girl

I wish I could freeze this time, right where we are now. Right in this moment. Nothing is more bittersweet than seeing you grow.  People say time flies, and I didn’t really know how much it did fly until I had you. Until I held you in my arms for the very first time.  Since then, I have watched a little girl grow, right before my eyes. I watched her first steps. I heard her first words. I wiped her first tears. I held her hand the very first time. She grew. She keeps on growing. I see her smile...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Will I Know You Tomorrow?

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Smiling boy

When you were a newborn, I knew you as well as it’s possible to know another human being. I was your everything; you were mine. I knew what each cry, each smile, each grasp intended. I anticipated your spit-up, your hunger, your fatigue. You grew into infancy, and we remained nearly as intimate: your laughs, your budding motor skills, and your newfound interest in toys were my complete delight. I was there with my camera to document the first time you sat up and played with toys on your own. I knew every single food you had eaten and its...

Keep Reading

Down Syndrome Does Not Define Her

In: Child, Motherhood
Infant in hospital bed, smiling, color photo

Riley’s story starts April 23, 2019. We had opted to get the 3-month scan and NIPT test with our third pregnancy just for the extra ultrasound. The tech brought in the maternal fetal medicine doctor, and he pointed out that there was an increased nuchal translucency measurement and that it was common with different trisomies. He suggested we have the materNit21 test to see which specific trisomy we were at high risk for. We opted for it. I got the call a few days later that the baby was at high risk for trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down syndrome....

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime