Each Mother's Day before church, I pose for a picture with my three children. Their little, sticky hands are cupped around a shoulder and my neck. Later that day, they present me with handmade cards, a dessert and the promise of an afternoon nap. I shower them with kisses and hug them tightly.
My children don't have my eyes or my husband's thick hair. Each of our children is a beautiful mix of nature and nurture, a culmination of their birth families and us, their forever family. We don't share genes with our children, but we share a life.
Celebrating motherhood is something I longed for when I was told I had a chronic disease, one that would make pregnancy potentially dangerous for both myself and a baby. Immediately upon learning my diagnosis, I knew my husband and I would adopt.
We waited 14 long months for our first child. When she arrived, I was beyond ecstatic. We have pictures of every single simple moment. She was our world.
Adopting a child is a monumental event for any person or couple, and for us it was no different. I remember how hard my heart was pounding as we prepared to enter the courthouse to swear before a judge that we would love and protect this child for the rest of her life. It wasn't just a legal commitment, but a heart commitment.