Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had,
and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.
There have been moments in our co-parenting journey that I have come to dread.
Moments that you know are coming, but they are still the moments when you are never fully braced for the impact.
You can coach yourself over and over up to these moments.
You can write pretty blog posts about how you should feel, but they never quite prepare you for how you are actually going to feel.
From the moment I gave her life 6 years and 4 months ago, she has been my calling.
The very purpose of my existence.
I never knew what it meant to love someone with every cell of my being until I held her for the very first time.
The power that comes with being the only person who can grow, nourish, and soothe a much smaller version of yourself is both terrifying and exhilarating.
It exhausts you and renews you all in the same breath.
It completes you in a way you that seems so incredibly impossible.
I have always considered it a privilege that God chose me above all the other woman who seem far more capable than me to be her mother.
I wear my title as her mother like a badge of honor.
When I hear her little voice calling out to me, I am reminded that my title has not only been my saving grace, but it is the one thing that got me through all of the sleepless nights, the entire year she cried any time we went anywhere, the sequestered weeks of potty training, the puking episodes in the car, and all the exhausted tears I shed in those first few years.
I wouldn't change that season of our lives for anything.
Those years were worth it.
They were so worth it.
I am the one the who has put in countless hours.
The one who has invested my blood, sweat, and tears into her life.
And yet here we are.
Face to face with the moment I knew was coming, but I wished it never would.
A moment that was never quite part of the plan, but I think we can all agree that we are beyond Plan A and even Plan B at this point.
The moment when you ask me to let our daughter call her, "mom" and you-as usual-just expect me to accept it without a single ounce of fight.
It's funny how the promises you make in the beginning change when the feelings of the other party no longer become the priority.
I mean, it's all okay, right?
We're all just flying by the seat of our pants and making up the rules as we go along, and that's why were here.
In this place.
This place where I am being asked to scoot over and not only share my place as her mother, but my title as well.
I smile and shake my head at you sitting there across the desk from me.
Here we are three years into this, and you still manage to surprise me.
And I'm trying my damnedest not to let this get the best of me.
I'm trying to remember the pretty words I've written and the prayers I've prayed for this woman.
God, am I trying.
Because I want this to work and I want us to get this down.
I want us to be on the same page and I want everything to be fair.
I write about these things. I preach about these things. I coach others about these things.
I have spent enough time watching so many other people just like us get it wrong that I am determined with every ounce of my fragile being to get it right.
Because that's what's best for her.
This is how we are going to succeed at not messing her up more than we already have.
I know that blood doesn't necessarily make you a mother.
I know time, love, and investing in a child do.
I know so many people who have healthy, awesome relationships with their adoptive mother or stepmother.
I know this.
I know ALL of this.
So why does this hurt so much?
Why does it feel like someone is stabbing me in the gut every single time she says it?
Why do I feel like some evil villian when I am the one who has been fighting for what's best for her for so long?
It's because I'm human.
A real flesh and blood human with feelings.
Feelings you forget about 100% of the time now.
Which is how you still manage to break my heart again and again, even though I keep trying to take that power away from you.
You will always know-better than anyone else-which knives cut the deepest.
And so, I will figure out a way to be fine with this.
Because that's what's best.
And I will always be our daughter's number one champion for what's best.
Even if it's killing me.