Dear daughter and son,

Let me start by saying how much I love you. You have made my life shine and sparkle. You are my sunshine after the rain, and I am humbled that God chose me to be your mother.

Dear daughter and son, let me now apologize to you. I was not ready. As much as I love you and wanted you, I wasn’t ready, but I have always been so grateful for you. Being a rainbow mom is hard and confusing, and at times, I know I got lost in my own head, but my heart was always clear and fully focused on you.

Dear daughter, we have had some rough times. There were times when I didn’t understand that becoming a big sister made you feel insecure. Or the times when you would cry non-stop because you didn’t have the words to tell me how you felt. I recall the tantrums and my frustration, and I wish we could do it all over again and get it right.

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Dear son, I see you struggling to find your place in this world. Being a baby brother hasn’t always been easy, but let me be very clear—your place is with us, the family God has given you. You brighten my world daily with your infectious laugh and mischievous grin. And we are all better because of you.

Daughter, you are so much like mea thought that makes me smile some days and grow wary on other days.

I see myself in youmy determination, my moodiness, my sensitivity, my ability to figure things out, and my tendency to overthink situations. I know all of these qualities may make it difficult to know where you fit in, but let me assure you of one thingYou belong where you have always been, with me, in my heart. There will be times when that won’t feel like enough, but I will use every opportunity I have to remind you of that.

Son, you are brave, so very brave, and I struggle every day to not let my fear of losing you hold you back. I want you to run free but could you please not run too far?

My precious daughter, you came to me just when I needed you the most. I needed to be taught patience and gentleness and how to put others before me. It wasn’t your job to do that, but you have done so effortlessly. And for that I thank you. If ever I leaned on you too much, I am sorry.

Beautiful boy, no one gets me like you. You know exactly when I need to be hugged and kissed.

The fact that even after I discipline you, you are never afraid to run into my arms is a daily reminder that no matter what, I can run to my Heavenly Father and like any parent, He will welcome me with open arms.

Sweet girl, as you grow older, life will test you. You will be pulled and tugged in so many directions. You will struggle to know which way to go. I pray I will be there to hold your hand as you figure it all out, but in case I am not, remember all that I have taught you about who you are, but even more importantly, about who God is. Run to Him.

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My son, from the moment I learned of your existence, I purposed to do everything I could to protect you from harm. It was a lot easier back then, but as you grow older, I will have less and less control over the choices you make. So it is my hope that by guiding you while you are young I could spare you some pain in the future.

Daughter, there will be people who seem to go out of their way to hurt you, and even though I will give anything to protect you, there are important lessons that can be learned from dealing with difficult people. Learning to forgive, praying for those we find hard to love, and moving on from the past will only make you more equipped to recognize and receive those who genuinely love and care for you.

Son, my greatest prayer for you is that you grow to be the kind of man who loves the Lord and lives according to His word.

More than wealth or happiness, I pray you choose righteousness and see that all God has in store for you is far superior to any plans you can make for yourself.

My beautiful girl, you are so precious to me. When the boys come calling, promise me you will always know your worth. Not in dollars and sense or the cost of Daddy’s firearm but in the cross. The place where Christ died so you can have life and have it more abundantly.

Dearest son, let your character be the most attractive thing about you. Your handsome face and dazzling smile will not be enough for a woman who truly knows herself. But a meaningful connection with God, honesty, integrity, and respect will be.

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My precious children, I want you to love each other. After we are gone, you will only have each other to help guard all your memories of us. There will be broken hearts and bruised egos, and you will need each other to help you through it all. You will fightbe angry, but please don’t let too much time go by before you make it right . . . even if you must agree to disagree.

You will have jobs you hate and those you love, work hard either way.

You won’t love everyone but be kind regardless. Respect won’t cost you anything, but it comes with huge rewards.

I may not agree with every choice you make, but I promise my love for you will never fade, and there will always be room at my table for us to talk it out.

One day you will go on to launch families of your own and maybe even have children of your own. Maybe this will all come easy to you or maybe you will have to work a little harder. However it all comes, I hope you will see it as your most important work. To love and to be loved. To teach and instruct a new family you will love as much as I have loved you.

Finally, I want you both to know that no matter the road that led to us becoming mother and child, you were always my destiny. I may get sad thinking about things that have happened but never about being your mother. I know that before I was even born, we were meant to be. So let’s learn and grow, argue and makeup. Keep pushing me and challenging me, and I will keep loving and instructing you. And when all things have been said and done, we will forever be a part of each other. Forever your mother, forever my children.

Natasha Carlow

Natasha is a wife and mother of two amazing rainbow babies. She resides in Trinidad and Tobago and is the author of the award-winning Happy Tears and Rainbow Babies which tells the story of how faith brought healing and hope to her family after the pain and loss of miscarriages. She is a contributing writer at https://pregnancyafterlosssupport.org/ and you can follow her thoughts on motherhood after loss on her blog at natashacarlow.com or on Facebook and Instagram.