Two years ago we were a family of four. We had a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. We adopted both of them as infants. We were waiting to adopt a third time. A couple of months earlier, we met a baby and we fell in love. But in our hearts, we knew she wasn’t our daughter and that precious girl became someone else’s daughter. We got through the holidays, as a family of four, and it felt like someone was missing. I hoped and prayed we wouldn’t have to go through another holiday with those feelings.

But I also knew that it was a very real possibility we could wait forever before bringing home another baby.

We weren’t very far into our wait, but I was still nervous we might not get another chance. We had a son. We had a daughter. Who would choose us when we already had two kids? But with the New Year, came a sense of peace. I was content with our family. Did I want our family to grow? Absolutely. But I was going to be OK with whatever happened, even if it meant staying a family of four.

That’s when it happened. My phone rang. It was the adoption agency. In the two seconds it took me to answer the phone, I mentally went through every possible reason they were calling and convinced myself it had nothing to do with a baby. Twenty-four (hectic, busy and emotional) hours after that first phone call, we were bringing home our third baby, our second daughter.

The one who made our family complete.

She’s filled our lives with so much love. She’s been the perfect addition to our family. But yet, there’s some sadness as we approach another birthday. We have a closed adoption. We don’t know her birth parents. In fact, her birth dad might not even know she exists. Our agency did everything they could to locate him. To give him a chance. But no such luck. It’s hard not having that relationship. I wish I could share pictures and tell stories about what she’s been up to. I wish they could see how much joy she brings to so many.

Somewhere my daughter’s first mom is thinking about her. Loving her from afar. Missing her. Wondering what she looks like. Playing the “what if” game. But I also know she has her reasons and I respect her wishes about wanting to remain a secret. It saddens me that she doesn’t get to know this precious girl she brought into the world.

But birthdays are a time to celebrate and there’s much to celebrate!

To my sweet, almost 2-year-old girl,

You are small, but mighty. You are a happy, laid-back girl. You’re sensitive and caring. You give the best hugs and your kisses are so sweet. Your smile lights up the world. And that smile almost always shines when you spot your big brother and sister. You are a great little sister and an amazing daughter. I don’t know why I get to be your mom, but I am thrilled to be given the chance because being your mom is pretty wonderful. You are the best you there is and we love you to the moon and back. Happy 2nd Birthday, Emma!

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Alissa Kay

Alissa was born and raised in the Midwest and currently calls Wisconsin home. She's happily married to her college sweetheart and she's living out her dreams of being a stay-at-home mom. Although, let's be real, she's hardly ever home. She's the mom to 3 kids who all came to her via adoption. A boy (8) and 2 girls (6 and almost 4!). The kids keep her plenty busy, but when she has free time she enjoys a night out with friends or curling up with a good book.

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