On the rough days, I have to remind myself that I wanted to be a mommy–cried out for it, prayed for it, took classes for it. See, I am an adoptive mom. In all honesty, I always wanted to adopt. It was my first choice. I knew that in my state, thousands of children in foster care were in need of a loving home. So, my husband and I took the classes, became foster parents, and eventually adopted.

We first adopted a beautiful baby boy and later a shy, precious 2-year-old little girl. It didn’t take long for us to realize the foster home our baby girl was in before she came to us was not a safe place. While she was never able to explain the trauma, it would manifest itself in her behavior. Getting her diagnosed was another bumpy road. In the beginning, many thought I was just a nervous new mom until they began to see that her development was lagging, especially socially and emotionally. Then the diagnoses began.

As she became a teenager and the severe mood swings set in, there were days I would go to bed in tears.

Was I doing the right thing to help her? Medication or no medication? Will this new therapy really help? And how do I make sure I don’t neglect my son–he needs mommy too.

Then I remembered this Bible verse: “Before I was born, God chose me and called me by His marvelous grace . . .” (Galatians 1:15, NLT). It’s a verse that calms me and reassures me that I am just the mom for the job. 

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Even before I was born, even before my babies were born, God knew He had chosen me to be their mom. I often have people tell me they just couldn’t do what I do, they couldn’t deal with my daughter’s behavior the severe mood swings, tantrums out of nowhere, intense need for routine, you name itbut I just don’t understand that. Has it been challenging some days? Yes! But if you birthed a child with special needs, you would just do what you had to do. This is no different. 

But then one day I realized the deeper meaning of that verse. Before we were born, God knew exactly what we would be like–how we would hold up under pressure, our likes and dislikes, what would irritate us, drive us nuts, make us happy. He already knew about all of it.

So, He gave her to me–He matched us up because He knew that no matter how bad it got, it would somehow work.

He knew I would never question my commitment to them, that for me biology is simply a science term, and that I would love my children completely no matter how we became a family. 

He gave me a laid-back son who would roll with the punches and be easygoing. He knew my boy would hate to have certain foods touch on his plate and that he would eat one thing at a time . . . slowly. While that may drive some crazy, it’s normal to me because it’s what my mom does, so He knew I would have no problem accommodating him (he’s 21, and I still make sure he is free to eat one thing at a time and use separate plates if he needs to). 

He knew my husband and I didn’t care about how we grew our family and that adoption was something that would be our first choice, no matter how weird people thought we were for choosing adoption over getting pregnant. 

And He knew that one day there would be this 2-year-old little girl in need of a home and that I would be that mom who would be relentless in trying to find the right diagnoses and fighting to make sure she received all of the services she’s entitled to.

On the tough days, remembering that I was chosen and that it wasn’t by accident that they are my babies, gave me the faith I needed to break through.  

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It has been amazing to watch them grow into the young adults they are today. Now my role as mom is different. I am there to counsel and give advice–even with my baby girl who is trying her best to figure out what it means to be a young adult. Understanding that I am the one God chose to be their mom has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

I hope that even on the rough days, knowing you were chosen for your children will put a smile on your face and give you just what you need to keep on keeping on.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Karin Davis-Thompson

Karin is a former foster parent and adoptive mom. With more than 20 years in communications and journalism, she is a freelance writer, blogger, journal lover, and journal maker. Her company, In My Shoes, provides a platform and community for women of color to tell their story and be heard.