I’ve long lived in complete respect and gratefulness to the other two mamas who are intricately tied to my heart as I raise the children they have borne as mine. The three kiddos I get to hug and hold every day fill us with indescribable joy. As my due date has passed and the days stretch on and I mentally think about if every kick was possibly a contraction, my heart and mind think about the other mamas, the lives they have carried and the way our family has grown through them. Miraculously and abundant for us but twinged with so much loss for the other mama (and family) as well as for our kids.
At least on a daily basis now, the girls and I have a discussion about medical care and they voice their fears I will die in labor. We pray and move through that anxiety and I teach about the gift of lifesaving medical care I have access to in the US. They feel relieved but it brings so many questions for them of where this life-saving care was the day their birth mama gave birth and why she didn’t have access to it. We replay what the scene would have looked like, the hut birth, the awareness that she wasn’t okay and the teeny babies were early, way too early to make it. We talk about how she was carried on a litter down the dirt paths to a main road, where they finally got a ride to the hospital, but it was too late. I can imagine the scene, the quiet sighs of grief, not yet manifesting into wails as she was still alive, but with obvious signs she was nearing her last breath. The crowd would have swelled as it passed other villages before it reached the main road.
And then I think of Tiger’s birth mama. One of the bravest, most amazing women I have ever met. Our days together in Utah a mix of joy and grief. I am reminded of her in Tiger everyday and feel an acute awareness and pang of how great a gift she has given to us.
Before we brought the girls home, I remember being at a social event and someone asking, “What if you never love these girls?” Attachment is no small issue and I don’t wish to simplify it, but as we prepare to deliver, I think back on that question because I think, “How can I ever love another the way I love the three God has given us already?” I know we will.
This morning, as they still sleep and I am obviously sentimental, I reflect on all of this in gratitude and emotion too deep for words. God has been using my kids’ stories as reminders to me of His plans and provisions and I think of the beautiful women who carried them.