I've given birth to five daughters, four who live with me and one I placed in an open adoption 13 years ago. My heart for them none-the-less is all the same! With a recent death in our family, I can't help but think about the legacy I'm leaving behind in these five girls. Some may be only toddlers and babies now, but one day they will be grownups and hopefully raised up to be warriors in this world, fighting for the good (cue Wonder Woman battle song).
My daughters, this is what I want you to know as you grow:
You were wanted and are loved
Each of you have your own story of when you came to be. Maybe it was a surprise teen pregnancy, maybe you were prayed about for months, regardless, you were all wanted and loved. Even if I was shocked at the time of finding out, even if it wasn't my ideal time — you came at the perfect time. And yes, that includes even you, my birth daughter, as you were placed in your adoptive family's home out of love.
You've taught me so much about myself
Truthfully, I wouldn't be the woman I am today without each of you. Each pregnancy, each birth, each experience being your mother — in one form or another — with each unique personalities has taught me valuable lessons about myself. You, without even knowing or trying, have changed my world and refined pieces of me for the better.
I'm always here
I've walked some shaky paths in my lifetime and was blessed to have family walk alongside me in those times. Daughters, know that I'm always here to be that for you as well. No matter what choices you make, no matter if I might disagree or feel disappointed that will never change my love or my ability to hold your hand as you walk through life — whether on solid or shaky ground.
You are all strong
You may not feel it all the time, but I see it. Some of you have faith that makes you strong, some of you have strong wills in grained and hardly take “no” for an answer or offers for help, one of you is physically the strongest I've even known as you scoot across the floor in mid-diaper change and do planks all day long. All of you are strong in your caring for others around you. Your strengths may be in different areas, but they are all so needed in this world!
I love watching your talents bloom
Just as I watch your strengths above grow stronger, I love watching your talents unfold into their beautiful potential. You, my sweet girls, have your own abilities, even if you have a similar talent. Your style is all your own. Some talents, of course, are yet to unfold. I can't wait to see what they will be.
Learn from your mistakes
I wish I could protect you from the heartaches of this life, but I can't. Instead, I hope you will learn from your mistakes, not wallowing in them. Face them head-on. My mistakes and weaknesses — while extremely challenging at times and threatening to break me some days — have been the pivotal moments in my life. When I harnessed the strength of learning how to correct something and move forward, I grew as a person. Those moments will come for you too, and you have to decide how you will proceed. You can let it cripple you, or let it grow you.
Look for the good and be the good
I'm convinced this world has gone crazy, but you don't have to be. Look for the good and the little lights within the world. There is always good that comes out of a hard situation. Most importantly, be the good in the world. Be a light in darkness. Be an encourager, a friend. Darkness cannot fully overtake the world with even one light shining — it's a good thing I have five girls who can join together to be even brighter. Be lights in your sphere of influence.
Your instincts are smart
Listen to your gut, it is there for a reason. Whether it's a small situation like what to buy as a gift for someone, to major decisions in life like what college to go to or who to marry — listen to your instincts. Somehow we are tapped into something bigger than we are, and your instincts are key to that knowledge.
Learn how your body works
It's embarrassing how little even adult women know about their bodies. I didn't really learn about how our bodies function and give us signs until I had had two babies. Don't be like me; learn early. Learn before you are ready to have babies, learn so you can be in tune with the amazing body you have! Learn so you can care for your body in the ways it needs, so you can take care of it. I'll be here to help you with that. No question is too embarrassing for me.
Lean on each other
One reason I have “so many kids” is because I never wanted you to be alone. I grew up basically an only child. I wished for a built-in friend at home, just like you ladies have. I know it is frustrating to have siblings sometimes, learning the art of sharing space and time with others, but I hope you'll treasure it. Not just now, but always. Don't let space, time, and differences as adults fizzle out the friendships you have now. Keep having sleepovers.
Most of all, know I love you and am thankful for each of you every single day. I often question if I am good enough for you as your mother, but every now and then I get peeks at moments of “I must be doing something right” because each of you already are bringing light to somebody's world — mine.