Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. I would have loved to have been married with a few kids in my 20s, but that is not how life worked out for me. I spent most of my 20s wondering if I’d ever get married and have the family I dreamt of. When I finally got married at 31, I went through 28 more months of wondering if I’d ever get to be a mom.  

During those times, I always wished God could give me some sort of sign I was going to be a mom one day.

It took me 15 years to figure it out, but I think He did give me signs along the way.

The first sign came when I was a senior in high school. We were at a church picnic, and my mom got some tickets to put into baskets for a raffle. She pointed out a really nice prize basket of kids’ books, games, toys, and art supplies. 

“You should put some tickets in for the kids’ basket. That would be nice for you to have for your future children,” Mom said.

I was a single, senior in high school at the time, but I knew I wanted to be a mom one day, and it sure was a nice assortment of kids’ stuff. So I put a couple of raffle tickets in for that prize . . . and ended up winning it.  

RELATED: When God Made a Mother

After graduating college and moving out on my own, still single, it felt kind of silly to move the kid stuff along with my other belongings to my first apartment, and then six years later again when I moved to another apartment. I sometimes wondered if I should give the items to someone who had little kids or donate them to children in need. For some reason though, I held onto them.

As I was wondering if I’d ever get married and have kids, God put a feeling in my heart to start researching adoption.

I wondered if it was possible, if I were to never get married, that I could still be a mom one day through adoption. I did not end up pursuing anything at that time, but learned some helpful information about the process and really fell in love with the idea of adopting a child.  

Then finally at age 29, I started dating my future husband. We got engaged when I was 30. As we went through marriage prep, at one point the deacon working with us talked about infertility and asked if we had thought about what would happen if we found out we couldn’t have kids. My immediate response was adoption.

When we got married and I moved to my husband’s apartment, I didn’t feel silly bringing along the assortment of kids’ items. Five months into marriage and infertility though, when we moved into the house we had just purchased, I wondered if I was being dumb lugging all this kids’ stuff again. This was the fourth time it had been moved! When was I going to get a clue that maybe I would never have children? I tucked the items into a closet in one of the extra bedrooms at our house so I did not have to see them and be reminded of what might never be.

RELATED: When 30 Looks Different Than You Planned: Our Struggle With Infertility

About a year after we moved into our house, my sister had her first child, a sweet little girl named Charlotte. When my mom’s birthday was coming up after Charlotte was born, I thought it would be nice to get her something related to her new role, even though I had nothing to do with making her a grandma. The gift I found for her that I liked the most was an album that said “Grandkids Fill The Hours with Sunshine and Flowers” on the cover. There was one issue with it though. I kept debating over the fact that my mom currently only had one grandchild, a girl, and this album had a lot of blue in the design, which is typically thought of for boys. I ended up buying the album and told myself even if she never had a grandson, the album was still cute for pictures of grandchildren.  

As my husband and I continued on our wait for a child, one Father’s Day weekend we were at a Saturday morning Mass that is special to us. An older gentleman came up to us and wished my husband a happy Father’s Day. We were confused, as we had never brought children to Mass with us. My husband told him thank you, and he wished he was a father, but we didn’t have children. 

The man assured us it would happen, and the Lord would bless us.

RELATED: Wrestling With Infertility and Faith

Months went by after the conversation with that man, who we later found out was a deacon at another church. I felt in my heart he had to have some special connection with God, and God wanted to give us that message. I had expected an instant result after that conversation, but we continued to wait. 

We eventually completed a home study with an adoption agency about two years after we got married. We had two chances nowa pregnancy or an adoption.  

A few months after we completed our home study, my phone rang. We were matched with a baby boy who had already been born. As soon as we found out we were bringing our son home, my mom gave us an angel ornament that said “Gabriel” on it.  Gabriel was our son’s namethe name his birth mom had given him that we loved and kept. I was amazed with how quickly she had gotten an ornament with his name on it.  

RELATED: Considering Adoption? Lean In.

The story she told me shocked me.

She had had this ornament for a while. She explained my sister-in-law had said if she had a boy one day, his name would be Gabriel. She then ended up changing her mind on that name and picked another. Mom had already purchased the Gabriel ornament but held onto it for some reason.

Now we knew the reasonGod knew a Gabriel was joining our family one day, and when it happened, it happened very quickly. Having the ornament on hand was perfect.

When I look back, I can see how everything was pointing to the fact I would be a mom one day. My son now plays with some of the items I won in that raffle many years ago. There’s more tucked away in the closet that will be better for him when he gets older.

The urges I got to research adoption when I was single gave me a foundation for what was ultimately my future way to become a mom. 

That picture album that seemed like it was better for a boy than a girl is now getting filled with pictures of three grandkids, one being our sweet little boy. 

The kind deacon at church who wished my husband a happy Father’s day before he became a dad now gets to watch our little guy grow and blesses him every time he sees him.

And Gabriel’s ornament from his grandma with his name on it hangs in his room, except at Christmas time when it hangs on the tree.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kimberly Keys

Kimberly is a stay-at-home Mom to her precious son who joined our family through the miracle of adoption. She loves exploring parks with him around her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Besides being published on Her View From Home, she's also written about her experience from her twelve year IT career for Zapier as a freelance writer for their blog. Currently, she is a project management freelance writer for Codeless, but is always looking for additional freelance writing opportunities.

It’s More Than a Crib Once It’s Held Your Babies

In: Baby, Motherhood
White crib in baby's room, black-and-white photo

It’s just a piece of furniture. Maybe. But to a mom who has laid three babies down in it over seven years, it is so much more. It’s everything. I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I didn’t know yet what we were having, but I knew I could start planning the nursery. I didn’t want to paint yet . . . until we knew. So we started looking at furniture, the chair you would be rocked in, the books to adorn your ever-growing collection, the dresser to house the ridiculous amount of...

Keep Reading

Never Forget How Much I Love You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding nursing newborn, black-and-whte photo

I see us here. In our spot. You and me. And I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness. A gratitude that grows because I have what I’ve watched others long for. And even for some who I love, I’ve watched them lose. Two times now, I’ve become a mama. Two healthy pregnancies, two drama-free, full-term deliveries, and two perfect princesses, we’ve welcomed into this world. In utero, they voiced concerns. Yet with every ultrasound and appointment, we got good news. You were perfection. Just two short months after this photo was taken, I found a spot in that very breast nourishing you. I...

Keep Reading

This is the Bittersweet Goodbye to the Baby Years

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Little girl pushing toddler brother in baby swing, color photo

Last August, I had my last baby. Oof. Even typing those words makes my heart ache. There’s something so final, so sad, so unreal about acknowledging the end of having babies. Maybe it’s because I’m the type of person who likes to keep all the doors open. I love possibilities. I hate goodbyes. And this, my friends, feels like a very hard goodbye. When I think about being done having kids, it feels like a goodbye to the baby years. For six years now, all I’ve known is the baby years. And while the baby years can drain me and...

Keep Reading

Sometimes God Sends a Double Rainbow

In: Baby, Loss, Motherhood
Two sacs as seen in early pregnancy sonogram

I lay on the ultrasound table prepared to hear the worst. While this pregnancy wasn’t totally expected, it was a miracle for me. I knew with the current stress in my life and the symptoms of a miscarriage, I may have to face another heartbreak to my series of heartbreaks over the last two years. I questioned what I did wrong to deserve it all. I prayed I had been stronger in my prior life: to have made better decisions. So I lay there, I held my breath, and I waited as the tech put the cold jelly over my...

Keep Reading

When Your Baby becomes a Big Boy

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler boy smiling with hoodie on

My son recently learned how to climb out of things, so I asked my husband to take the side off the crib to convert it to a toddler bed today. I snapped one last picture of my son in his crib before I hurried off to get him dressed for school. As I got to work, I saw my husband had sent me a text of the transformed crib, and it just about killed me. I know, I know . . . what even changed? It pretty much looks the same. But it’s more than just the side of the...

Keep Reading

I Know This Baby Is Our Last and It’s Bittersweet

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman snuggling baby by window

Three is our magic number. It always has been. It feels like the perfect number of kids for us. Everyone who belongs around my dinner table is here. Our family is complete. And yet even though my family is complete, I still find myself grieving that this is our last baby just a little bit as I pack up the teeny, tiny newborn onesies and socks. I’ve folded up swaddle blankets that saw us through the all-nighters of the newborn phase, ready to be passed along to a new baby in someone else’s family. But they won’t be swaddled around...

Keep Reading

I Wasn’t Sure You’d Be Here To Hold

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother with newborn baby on her chest in hospital bed

I stood naked in my parents’ bathroom. Even with the tub filling, I could hear my family chattering behind the door. I longed to be with them, not hiding alone with my seven-month round belly, sleep-deprived, and covered in pox-like marks. For three weeks, I’d tried Benadryl, lotions, and other suggested remedies to cure the strange rash spreading over my body. No luck. By Christmas Day, my life had been reduced to survival. Day and night, I tried to resist itching, but gave in, especially in my sleep. At 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m., the feeling of fire ants...

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

My Second, It Only Took a Second To Fall In Love With You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother with newborn baby on chest, black and white image

You were the second. The second child who, as a mother, I wondered if I could love as much and as fiercely as my first. It’s true, I’m ashamed to admit. As much as you were so desperately prayed for, I was scared. So, so scared. I was scared I was going to fail you. You were the second. And already so loved. But, you see, your brother was my whole entire world. My everything. He made me a mother and gave me all the firsts. My lap was only so big. My heart was only so big. There was...

Keep Reading

Dear Helmet Mama, It’s Not Your Fault

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mom holding baby with helmet, color photo

I’m a helmet mama. It’s something I never thought I’d say, but there it is. And I’m not going to be ashamed of it. Of course, at first, when the doctor referred us to see a specialist for “flat head,” I thought, “Oh, please no. Not my baby.” I’ve seen those babies, and I’ve always felt bad for them and wondered how their heads got that bad. And I’ll be honest, I’d usually pass judgment on the mother of that baby. So how did I end up with my own baby having a helmet on his head? It’s called torticollis—and...

Keep Reading