Category Archives: motherhood

My Real Children

One of the questions that annoys me {and many other adoptive parents. I’m sure} is “are you her real mother?” Or, even better, “are they real brothers?”


They share the same parents and the same last name, what do you think?

For the record, real moms come in a variety of packages.  Some carry their babies for nine months, only to make the brave choice that the best way they can parent is to let someone else parent their child.  Some travel thousands of miles to the other side of the world to bring home a child from an impoverished, desperate situation and literally love them to life.  Still others provide homes for children temporarily, until the child’s parents begin to make better choices or an adoptive family is found.  Many feel called to parent older children, about to be tossed out on their ear by a broken system and in dire need of a family to be their anchor in a confusing and chaotic world.

All real moms with real kids loved by real families. Take my family, for instance:


The black girl beside me- yup, she’s mine.  Did I give birth to her? No {I would have been 12 years old, people} but I watched God birth a new life for her when she came into our home and our hearts.  The fact that He waited till she was practically an adult or allowed her to face unfortunate and difficult circumstances during those years before she became a Smallwood is not something for me to understand.  But the bond that we share is deepened by the awareness, on both of our parts, that we were destined to be family. And, I am just grateful that I’ve had the last 3+ years with her {and the bonus gift? the 3 year old that loves her Mimi almost as much as Mimi loves her}.

Then there is the handsome guy with the crew cut.  My brave soldier boy.  I met Jason when he was 2, almost three.  He had the cutest smile and dark brown eyes that mirrored his daddy’s.  He called me “mommy” that first visit.  While it scared me {his daddy and I hadn’t been dating that long}, it also touched a deep place in my heart.  Little did I know that little sweet boy would become my son three years later, after an exhausting legal battle in a state 1000 miles away.  I will never forget the day I sat with him in the backseat and held his hand as we drove away from the only life he had ever known.  Neither of us, mother or son, knew the battle that still laid ahead for him or our family.  But, looking back on those hard years, I choose to focus on the intense love I had for him then and the desire to make things okay for him, once and for all and the even deeper love that grew as I watched him learn to believe that unconditional love exists.  So, yeah don’t ask me if he’s “really” my son.

Then, the first one that grew under my heart.  Jared was my life preserver. Saved me from myself and has had my back ever since. He came into the world five weeks earlier than he was due to arrive.  God used that time to grow me up quick as I watched my baby struggle and prayed that he would be ok.  And, he’s more than ok. He is a daily reminder that I serve a God who desires to use all things for the good.  Let’s not discuss the fact that he is now a high school senior, ok?

And, last but certainly not least is my Matt.  I felt honest to goodness despair when I finally accepted the fact that I was pregnant with Matthew {who I thought was a Gabrielle} a mere six months after Jared was born.  Spending the last two months of my pregnancy on bed rest helped me get excited to have another baby.  Until his colicky little self arrived and I would sit in the middle of my bedroom, a crying 15 month old on one side of me and a wailing newborn on the other and just join in with my tears, creating quite the cacophony of tears for my neighbors to hear.  Now, he is the tallest of my boys and the most tender hearted.  He has a servants heart and makes his mama so proud.

All four of these kids are really mine.  They really have my whole heart. I would really do anything for them.  I really consider each a special God ordained blessing in my life.

Really, I do.

And, I hope that really answers your question.




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