Being a mom has been a HUGE learning experience. Becoming a mom by way of adoption has been an even bigger learning experience.
I really felt like I loved Mary Alice before we ever met her. I did love her. Then I met her. Then I thought I loved her. 4 months passed, more love. Her one year birthday, even more love.
Now we are coming up on our one year anniversary of meeting Mary Alice and I feel like my world has been turned upside down. In the past few weeks I have a love for her that isn’t what I had when I first saw her face, met her, knew she loved me, or any experience previous to this.
It isn’t a fun love. It isn’t like falling in love. It isn’t like anything I have ever known. One year after meeting our daughter and I feel like I love her like a momma. I tried to explain it to Matthew yesterday and the only way I can describe it is that I love her so much it hurts. We watched a news story about a mom who saved her 2 children from a tornado by laying on them. During the time that she was laying on top of them her house was lifted off the foundation and part of the house fell on her legs. She had make a split second decision to let go of her kids and save her legs or hold onto her kids and lose her legs. She lost both of her legs.
As we were watching it I totally understood that kind of love. I would give anything for Mary Alice. My legs, my life, anything. I didn’t always feel that way. I didn’t feel that way until recently. I didn’t know this kind of love existed. In a head knowledge kind of way I knew that I would sacrifice anything for her well-being but I didn’t feel it deep in my soul. I do now.
I know that my love for her will just continue to grow and I am looking forward to it. I have learned that parenting is a relationship just like any other. I love Matthew differently and more deeply now than I did when we were first married even though I had never loved anyone more at that moment. I am looking forward to my love deepening for both my husband and my daughter. Watching my heart change and grow. Watching them change and grow.
The main reason I want to share these feelings is to encourage other mommas who feel like it is taking them longer than they expected to feel that momma love for their babies. I know that for a while after she came home I kept thinking, “is this what it feels like to be a mom?” It wasn’t a feeling much deeper than what I had felt for children I had taken care of before. I think as mothers and especially adoptive mothers we pressure ourselves to feel how we think we are supposed to feel about our children when that kind of love takes time.
The Way of Love
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. Itdoes not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.