I still remember the first moment I laid eyes on my children. In those moments I didn’t know if they would get to stay with my husband and I forever. It was just a temporary placement. Yet, as I examined them, as if in the delivery room, my heart felt at peace for a moment as I took it all in.
I became a mom on April 24, 2012. Only then I was a foster mom. After six years of trying to expand our family, I was welcomed into motherhood with wide open arms.
I became a mom that day to four children, a sibling group in need of home. Jonathan was 8 years old, Jazmine was 5 years old, Christina was 13 months old, and Kyle was 2.5 weeks old.
What happened next was 19 months of turmoil, chaos, and distress.
Foster care is messy. Adoption is messy. Messy is hard.
They say adoption isn’t for the faint of heart. Well, no wonder it was so hard. The complete exhaustion in addition to the mental and emotional stress were enough to cause my faith to stumble and struggle through it all. I was faint of heart.
Yet, through it all God sang His anthem over me, His anthem of love, grace, and redemption.
God sustained me and strengthened my faith through what I can only imagine will be one of the most difficult seasons of my life. He never left my side, despite how difficult the circumstances I was facing and how alone I felt.
Another day I will never forget is November 22, 2013. Our adoption day. The day I legally became a mom, forever.
As we sat in the courtroom with family and friends, we declared “Yes!”
Yes, we love these children.
Yes, we want these children.
Yes, we will love these children every day for the rest of our lives as if we had given birth to them.
Adoption is a commitment we live every day to our children by our love. It is an honor and a privilege.
As we are now one year post-adoption, I realize the hardest part of this journey is becoming more and more distanced from my present life.
***Ashley’s new book Blessed Chaos: An Instant Lesson in Motherhood is available on Amazon. Get your copy here.
Just like the painfulness of birth is a distant memory completely worth the product of new life born, the pain and struggles of our infertility and roller coaster foster care journey are every bit worth it in relation to the life we live now with our children.
Ashley is an adoptive mom to four kids, still trying to figure this motherhood thing out while also trying to be alive each day with passion and intention and seeking His face in the midst of all the beautiful mess and chaos of everyday life. Her latest book, Blessed Chaos: An Instant Lesson in Motherhood, just released on November 22, 2014 and is an inspiring memoir about Ashley’s journey becoming a mom to four by adoption through foster care. You can find Ashley blogging regularly at Ashley talks a lot…