My love for babies and children is something that started at a very young age. My little brother Kenny was born when I was 5. I would take care of him by playing with him in my room while my mom gave piano lessons in the living room. My mom would often find us on the bed taking a nap together.
I started working in the nursery at my church when I was 12 and when my cousin Corynn was 2 I took care of her all summer, at the age of 14. Baby sitting was my way to make money until I was old enough to get a real job at 16.
When I was 19 I took care of my best friend’s daughter Alexis when she went back to work until I had to get a new job. When I decided to quit my full-time job and work from home for a mortgage company I also took care of my cousin’s daughter Adriana. We had a great time. Spending those early years of her life with her everyday was a precious gift. I took her to Busch Gardens and to other fun outings and did the same for my best friend’s daughters when they were small. The joy of a child is something that just doesn’t get old.
When we moved into our house we started hosting the “Great Pumpkin Games” every Halloween for the neighborhood kids. We have about 5 games that the kids can play to win prizes and extra candy. Plus we have random prize drawings. It is so great to see the smiles on their faces.
The joy a child brings is what fueled my dreams. I wanted to be a mother so badly. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. When that fear started to become reality it was very hard to deal with at first. But I knew that God gave me this love for kids for a reason. I started focusing on children’s ministries at church with Operation Christmas Child and collecting donations for Hope Children’s Home. I cared for children in my home and eventually quit my full-time job at a law firm to work as a nanny.
Taking care of my friend’s daughter Charlotte from the time she was 3 months old was a gift to my broken heart. The Lord used her to teach me that I didn’t have to give birth to a child to love it with my whole being. The time I spent as a nanny to Charlotte opened my heart even more to adoption.
As many of you know our son MacMillan was born in 2013. His adoption was finalized the following year. We are so blessed to call him our son and everyday has been a dream come true. Now that he is almost 2 he is discovering and exploring the world in new ways.
Today I took him to Busch Gardens and I had so many flash backs of the times I did this with my cousin Adriana. I remember seeing her little eyes smile bright and now I get to see Mac’s do the same. He loves to see the animals and ride all the fun rides. He is eager to see and learn new things. His memory is like a steel trap and he can tell you what animals are in what area of the park even though we have only be a twice this month and a few times this summer. Today he got to see the elephants and he was in love with them. He wanted to pet and hold them he said. I love that about him. He loves with reckless abandon.
When I was childless, God filled my heart with love for other people’s children knowing that He was calling me to adoption. Their smiles and hugs kept me going those 8 years until I held my son in my arms.
While we have been waiting to be chosen by our next child’s birth mother I have felt that ache again. The one of a mother missing her child, longing to hold them in my arms. When I see new babies or hear pregnancy announcements I feel a small twinge of jealousy but I know God has a plan for me. Because I am called to be a mother to a child who won’t know me until they leave the womb, but I know them because they are already in my heart.