Your little, round eyes are a beautiful shade of blue. Mine are brown- maybe a slight touch of hazel if the lighting is just right. Your hair is radiantly blonde with just a tint of red and you are getting so much of it. Mine is naturally dark and unbearably thin. Your skin is soft and fair, mine is stamped with freckles after spending too much time in the sun.
My baby girl, you do not look like me. You never will. But you have all of me.
When we first found out about you, I had only been dating your dad for a few months. Love at first sight is real darling. We are proof of that. We locked eyes one night and my ordinary life quickly became a fairytale. He’s handsome, funny, confident and passionate. He loves hard. He is dedicated and he will always protect us.
Something tells me that even at 9 months old, you already know that.
Meeting him was my dream come true. But even dreams can take you places you never expected. Like the day I was told another girl was claiming to have his baby. I will never forget that morning. I was standing in the bathroom and he came in- trembling, soft, panicked. Having to tell me that he potentially has a child with someone other than me. He thought I would run. He thought wrong.
I may have been blindsided, but leaving was never an option. Not even a consideration.
We didn’t know if you truly were his at first. I want you to know that because had we known, we would have saved you from so much pain. This person that carried you for nine months was selfish to you. She chose herself. She chose addiction. And you suffered. You suffered in a way that no innocent child ever should.
But you fought. And we fought for you.
Your dad stood up to the plate. He took the tests, completed the classes and drove thousands of miles to visit you. He quit is high-paying job in the oil field in order to find something local and far more stable. He endured every step of the legal process- fighting each battle and jumping over every hurdle until we won. I, too had to adjust. I had to get past feelings of jealousy. I had to accept that this girl from his past, would always be somewhat in our future. I had to accept that I was going to have a baby that wasn’t “mine” despite how much I wanted it to be.
But that all changed the minute we were able to bring you home. The moment I held you for the first time. Just three months old and so full of life. Full of hope. The cutest and sweetest little girl I have ever laid eyes on. I mean that.
I would be lying if I said it’s all been easy. We didn’t have the standard nine months to prepare for you. I wasn’t prepared to have a nursery when I signed the lease on my one bedroom condo, but we turned the loft into your pretty pink sanctuary. I wasn’t prepared to spend every dime of my salary on diapers, clothes, toys and formula- but you are always fed, clean and happy. No, I wasn’t prepared in nearly every aspect, but something in me was ready.
That’s what love will do. That’s what strength is all about. It pushes you to do things you never dreamed you could do. I will teach you that. I will teach you so much, little girl. Like how to dance and how to write. How to smile at strangers and how to pray. How to enjoy the good things and how to learn from the bad. I will guide you, protect you and support you. I will show you unconditional love and help give you a life full of wonderful experiences. We will make so many memories as a family and together we will have it all.
Because although you didn’t come from me, it doesn’t make you any less mine. And just last week, when you looked up at me and said “mama” for the first time, I cried. I am your mother. And now you know it.
You always will.
The Mother that IS Yours.