and Branden have been married for 16 years.
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Tommy Nelson Mommies for Thomas Nelson, Inc. As a member of this group, I receive products for my use and to review at no charge to me. I receive no monetary compensation for my participation. All opinions are my own.
“I could never love another woman’s child.” The comment rocked my world. I was sitting next to a new friend, watching our children play together. My youngest child was obviously adopted, a different race than my two older children by birth. No, I was not his birth mother but I was his mother. And I LOVED him.
There were times that I was startled, almost fearful, of the depth of love I felt for this son through adoption. I was fiercely protective of him, to the point of wondering if I even loved him more than my other children. Was it because of his special needs that required many hospitalizations or his contagious laugh and charm? Did my other two children notice?
Eight years later, another son joined our family through adoption. A year after he joined our family, I struggled with feeling the same depth of love and attachment that I felt for my other children. Affection was very slow growing. The guilt was overwhelming, crushing, painful.
After years of parenting and experience loving many children through foster care and adoption, I have come to realize that love is a choice. Not an emotion. Some of my children have been more ‘lovable;’ easier to express and return affection. Some are more withdrawn and fearful. Some have been annoying, even infuriating. And all 5 of my ‘forever’ children have been all of the above.
Love: The daily choice to care for them to the best of my abilities. The daily choice to shower them with affection, even if they stiffen and push me away. The daily choice to share the love of God with them, though it seems like it is falling on deaf ears.
The other necessity: Grace. Grace for the broken, grace for me. Some days they fail, many days I fail. But understanding the depth of my Father’s unconditional love and grace allows me to shower the same on my children.
And that is how I can love another woman's child.
I'm giving away the Tommy Nelson book, I Love You All the Same. This sweet, rhyming story features three bear siblings who are very different: they don’t look, sound, or eat the same. How could they get along in a family when they are so, so different? With gentleness and love, Mama and Papa Bear assure their cubs that even though they are different, they are loved the same, and God put them in the same family for a purpose. Eden loved this book and so did I. It's a great way to remind all your kids, whether they came to you biologically, through adoption, or however, that they are special and equally loved. Leave a comment on this post with your thoughts on Julia's post or telling how you show your children that you love them all the same, then enter via Rafflecopter. I'll announce a winner Saturday, July 5.a Rafflecopter giveaway