What makes me mommy?

What for most, happens the moment they find out they're pregnant, or for others, when they first hold their child, I have found to be vastly different as an adoptive mom. (While this may not be true for all adoptive parents, it is for me and hind sight what it is, I can speak on this with experience both as an adoptive and a biological mom.) Because we were foster parents, there seemed to be this outside perspective that we should protect our hearts from the hurt, just in case he went back. That mindset is a little hard to shake, especially when, like us, you have tried for so long to have a family, the thought of him leaving was crushing. But, you want me to hold back my love from this baby in my arms, just to protect myself from hurt? Sorry, couldn't do it. I kept thinking, "What if he stays? What if we adopt him and he's ours and we are his?" It hurt so bad to imagine that there might even be one minute of his life that we treated him as anything less than our son. So, that was the first moment that made me mommy. When I knew I had to protect and love him, even if it meant I might get hurt. When I put him before myself. The next was probably a little more obvious. Timothy had about one sound when he first came to us, but after a few weeks started saying Dada and Deja (our puppy at the time). We were elated to hear those first words, but it didn't take me long to really start pushing "momma"! And I would have taken just about anything that came remotely close to starting with the 'm' sound! One night while drawing his bath, as the two of us waited for the water to warm up, he looked up at me and said "Momma". That's right baby! I am, and with joy impossible to relate in writing, I swooped him up and ran to find Scott so he could hear this beautiful word.

Throughout this process over the course of the next couple years there would be these moments, that while I was not his biological, or his adoptive mom, made concrete the fact that I was his Mommy.

So, we had his first birthday......

With the volleyball girls

and at home with family.

And our first family picture....

 And our first Halloween...

 And our first Christmas....