Dear New Mama,

Dear New Mama,

You never knew you could love like this, did you?

That first cry. It’s etched forever into your heart. How you absolutely melted over the weight of someone so small. In an instant, you were changed. Forever. This precious miracle, truly a gift straight from Father, is yours.

You just stare. Scribing every sweet line and wrinkle into your mind. Breathing in the smell of newness. Memorizing the exact spot where that bald head rests on your chest and the way those tiny legs curl up under that sweet rump.

 

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Dear Selah Grace,

You have ended your many adventures for this day. After a few "no's" and maybe some bribing to read the "bear book" from me, you're sleeping sweetly.

You're 21 months old and you talk ALL. THE. TIME! You still have the squishiest cheeks, and your leg rolls melt my heart. You are learning to serve, but 100% like to do things yourself. You throw things in the trash can, even if they don't belong there, like my phone. We've also started talking about the potty. And you like to throw things in there too.

You unload the dishwasher and put the Tupperware away in the cabinet. But twenty minutes later, I can find you also pulling Tupperware out of the cabinet. I finally gave up organizing it, because if I do, you somehow reorganize right after me.

You've recently found a love for stickers, and I have found, "ofphia (Sofia the First)" stickers everywhere. Like under the counter, in between the couch cushions, and on your sippy cups.

You love to dance. Daddy laughs at you and prays you don't get my dancing skills. I, of course, think they're fabulous! We dance in the kitchen a lot together, you and me. You are OBSESSED with outside. We have to spell that word around you so you don't run for the door.

You are learning all about the world. You amaze me how you figure things out so quickly. Yesterday, you fell and got your first boo-boo. You didn't even cry! You just looked at your very skinned knee and said, "whoa!" Everyday I hear you say a new word, and your personality is so big. It brightens any room and you fill the others around you with such joy!

And although you can lay out in the middle of World Market and have a tantrum with the best of them, you are my girl, my baby, and the answer to a thousand prayers.

You'll never know how badly you were wanted. I dreamed of you. I begged Daddy for you. I wished so deeply for you. There isn't a night of rocking you to sleep, that I don't think about rocking in that same chair waiting for you. You are better than anything I could have imagined. And because of you, my sweet girl, I know Him more.

What I really want you to know, is how your heart is growing. You say no and sit in time out. You throw your food off your high chair and it drives me crazy! And when I give you a bath, every.single.night. you pour water all over me, and laugh. But even in your almost two year old tantrums, your heart is learning to love. You care deeply and are sensitive to others around you even now. And I have never been more proud. 

We pray every night after we read ten thousand "gooks." Sometimes when I'm extra tired from loving you and your brother all day, I forget. And you look up at me with your beautiful brown eyes, your paci in your mouth and say, "Shejus mommy." And we pray to Jesus.

Being your mommy is the best thing I've ever done. But, Selah, He is my favorite. He is the beautiful One. He is safe and kind and so many things our words will never be able to explain. He's breathtaking sometimes, and in the same breath, impossible to understand. He is the very best part of life. There is no life apart from Him. 

And more than anything in me, I want you to know Him. The responsibility of shepherding your heart, some days, it overwhelms me. And as much as I hate it, I am going to mess up being your mommy. Just as you are doing so many firsts, they are also firsts for me too. Your daddy and I are trying to figure out how to do this parenting thing. Some things we will do really great, and some things we will do horribly wrong, but we will never stop telling you about Him. And we just really want you to know Him. 

Like really know Him. I want you to smell Him. I know it sounds weird, but sometimes I think He smells like cinnamon, like home. But I want you to decide that for yourself. I want you to hear Him. That soft whisper in the depths of your heart, and then sometimes it's a big shout right in front of your face. I want you to listen when He tells you things. When He shares parts of Himself with you, or when He lets you into the lives of others. I want you to see Him. I want you to see what He's doing in your life, and even when you can't, I want you to see through eyes of faith, and know He is working.

I want you to be captured by Him, overwhelmed, and lost in Who He is. I want you to stay close to Him. Your whole life long. 

I may fail at everything else, like completely flop. But sweet girl, I will not stop teaching you about Him. He is life. And there is no life without Him in it.

And although you are lost in sweet dreams, He is there, even now singing over you. He knows every curly hair on your sweet head, He knows every detail of your precious life, and He's counted all of your days. He's there, Selah, waiting for you to know Him. Waiting for Him to become your Papa, like He is mine. He is always there.

I love you forever,

Mommy

Beautiful Brokenness

I sat in our hospital room with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart.

How can something so broken, be so beautiful?

My whole family was sleeping.

I watched her mince as she changed positions and found a more comfortable way to rest. Her poor body had endured much with this pregnancy. And in the last 48 hours, she delivered our son. Brandon was taking a much needed nap from sleeping sitting up the whole night. He insisted that I have the couch. The room was filled with the sounds of rhythmic breathing. And a blanket of heaviness covered us all.

I looked down in my arms and studied the lines of my son's little face. He too asleep, unaware of all the love held in that room for him. I wished for him. Years ago, when that

lonely pink line

showed up again after months of hoping. I prayed for him, like I did his sister. Prayed he would find his way into our family. Little did I know during our

failed adoption

last summer, God was already growing him in Selah's birth mom's belly. What she considered a mistake, God redeemed, like He always does. What we thought was loss from our failed adoption, was only God's kindness in

biological siblings.

While the quiet lingered, my heart cried out to Him. "Do you see her? She'll loose a son today, Lord. And what we have prayed for and wished for so long will finally happen. We'll gain a son. How do we do this?"

The days our birth mom has signed, placing her children into our family, have been both the happiest and saddest days of my life. Happy, because without her, I would never be a mommy. I would never change diapers, watch first wobbly steps, get wet kisses, and hear that name. Sad, because she will miss those things. And even though right when it happens, I send her a message or video, the children that share her DNA, call me mom. "The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege is not lost on me."-Jody Landers

Right when the weight was too much to bear, I received a text from a dear friend, "This is a beautiful brokenness that will draw you both to Papa. His love covers."

Did He see her? Absolutely. He is crazy about her, just like He is crazy about me. He watched our sweet son form in her inmost parts, and He was knitting him together right in her womb. He was preparing her heart for this day, the day she became a mom again. The day, she would love him so much she would sacrifice her feelings, for his future.

Did He see me there, grieving one second, and filled with complete joy in the next? Of course He did. And those tears I shed when the room was sleeping, He sat right there with me and caught every one.

His love covers. It covered us both. And still does.

Our adoption story is quite different from most. Never had I imagined I would have two children with extremely

open adoptions

. I wanted to adopt internationally so I wouldn't have to "share" my children with a birth mom. Looking back, I see how selfish my motives were. I was thinking about me and the desire I had lived with for so long. Now, looking at all God has done in our story, I am humbled how God has grown our family. Not only do we now have a son and a daughter, but we have a dear sister, and her two boys in our extended family as well.

People ask me all the time how I "let" her be so involved in our lives. And although I understand their concern, it's because it works for us. She respects me as mommy, and I respect her as the mom who gave my children life. We share a bond that is like no other. My children will never know the depths of our love.

But it also works, because we share a similar story. One of loss and brokenness. A story in great need of redemption. And right at the time in both of our lives when we experienced our darkest days, God picked up a pen and started writing.

And He wrote a story of beautiful brokenness...

A woman with a choice to make, and a woman with no choices left.

And throughout His story, He drew our hearts to His. In a way we both never imagined.

Welcome to our family, Micah Rand Satterfield.

You will never know how you are loved.