My darling little daughter has been mine since the moment she came into this world. I was there when her birth mom pushed her out, I was the first to hold her, I named her and brought her home from the hospital.
And yet, she isn't only mine, and I'm not only hers. She has another mom in this world. One who we are open about, open to, and love very dearly.
We have talked about Jackie, and to Jackie, for all of my daughter's life. She doesn't have any memories where she didn't know Jackie was very special. We have always talked about growing in her tummy, and that she is her birth mom.
However, at 4.5, she is just now starting to understand that those facts also make Jackie her mom.
And that is confusing to any person, let alone a 4 year old.
My little girl, so far, has only happy things to say about being adopted. Talking about having a birth mom brings her joy, and you can see that on her face.
So imagine my surprise when the other night at dinner she said out of
nowhere, "I don't really know who my mommy is."
I saw my husband's shock and he started to rise to my defense. I stopped him short and asked her what she meant. It became clear she wasn't sure between myself and Jackie, who she was suppose to consider her mommy.
I listened to her and helped her process through it.
I could tell the confusion made her a little embarrassed. My husband was ready to insist of course I was her mommy, and I stopped him again.
I told him I would rather her joyfully claim having 2 moms than feel any ounce of shame over loving us both.
I explained to my daughter that because Jackie was her mommy when she was in her tummy, and I am her mommy in life, that makes us both a mommy to her. And that it was ok to love us both.
She looked relieved when I gave her that permission. Then she asked if she could make Jackie a video.
For 4.5 years I have worried how my heart might react to conversations like these and I have prayed regularly for wisdom. When it came down to it, though, it was easier than I expected.
It's important for me remember, as well as my husband, that her questions are in no way meant to hurt me. The last thing my precious little girl would want to do is hurt her mommy. I know that. Yet, the way I respond to them CAN and will hurt her, if I let myself take them personally.
I will keep on praying for wisdom and strength for when more questions come. And I will keep praying for the ability to lovingly and selflessly help her process through them. I mess things up a lot as a mom, because I am normal. But It is because I love her so much, that I have to get this one very right.
Rachel is a 32 year old mom with 6 kids married to the best man she knows, Joey. Her kids are 2,4,7,16,20, and 21. God keeps bringing them teens and asking them to adopt them. Like crazy people, they keep saying yes. What could seem like the worst possible age to adopt in the world, has become God's beautiful redemption story playing out right before their very eyes. And it is good.