I will forewarn you. I'm going to be sentimental in this blog. If you continue to read, it's at your own peril.
It is hard for me to believe that ten years ago on January 5, 2001, I got to see my baby girl come into this world and take her first breath. This is not common for a lot of adoptive mothers, but it is what I had prayed for. It is what I had wished for. It is what I had longed for, for three very long years, and there she was. While the moments then were so sweet and moments I will treasure, the next 60 hours were fraught with a roller coaster of emotions. They are something that I would not wish on anyone, and I shared these hours with my husband and one other couple.
Dr. Dobson says, "Parenting isn't for sissies," but I say, "Adoption is not for the faint of heart." To have a sweet momma place her baby in your arms and have to leave her there was excruciating. My heart broke for her. My love for Erin's birth mom swelled so much I thought I would burst. I just wanted to take her in my arms and just hold her, take away her hurt, anything to make it better, but that wasn't for me to do. She is a phenomenal mom, and I am proud of who she is and who she has become.
It's been ten years, but I can still feel all those raw emotions of that day at the adoption agency – so very, very raw. WOW!
I recently got some of Erin's baby dresses out. Pink little Feltman Brother dresses and white ones with smocking. I remember putting a little, gold bracelet in the dimple we called a wrist, and for the first year or so, Erin lived in bonnets. We didn't do bows because she only had "old man hair" – you know, the hair that's around the ears and lower. There was nothing up top to put a bow on!
So fast forward ten years. She is entering the double digits. Erin is her own person. She knows who she is; she's just figuring out how to grow into the young lady God has created her to be. She doesn't much care if her socks match. She says, "Oh, mom, they don't expect my socks to match. They know I don't care. I'm okay with it." AND, she was right. She has never been one to care if her clothes matched at all. It's never been a great concern of hers.
Erin's timing is impeccable. She is naturally funny and laid-back, and as true to God's sense of humor, he gave me a child with the spiritual gift of mercy. Go figure! Erin often misses social queues or any other queues because she's not really into the details of life or she's talking. She is all about playing and having fun and enjoying life.
She is smart. When you start talking in complete sentences at 18 months, it's kind of a sign to hang on because she talks all the time often without filter – we're working on that.
She believes in prayer. She prays daily for those who serve in the military and for missionaries, especially our friends who went to El Salvador to be missionaries. She is a gift from God.
God gave Erin a voice. She has this low, raspy voice like she has been singing in smoky jazz joints all her life. I love it. God gave Erin a voice – I KNOW GOD HAS GIVEN HER A MESSAGE AND A PURPOSE, and I can't wait to see and hear what those are.
My challenge? To survive her puberty and all the drama that entails. To parent a child who is very different than myself (She's a lot like her daddy). To help develop Erin's strength and help her focus and grow into the godly, young lady God wants her to be. (It can be quite overwhelming at times, but I'm up for the challenge.)
I am blessed every day to hear my daughter call me "mom."