“You have been identified.”
Those three words made me a momma. I remember switching the phone call to speakerphone so my husband could hear everything the caseworker was sharing with me. “There is a baby,” she said, “it’s a girl and she is two weeks old.” I immediately felt my eyes fill with tears and with one look at my husband, I began to sob.
We had been in the adoption process for about eleven months, but we had only completed our home study and had been an approved as a “waiting” family for about three months. The average wait after completing your home study with our agency was about a year, so this call was an unexpected surprise.
“Oh, and both of her biological parents are African American.” the caseworker added.
By this point, I am a mess. Like a snot-faced, ugly-cry kind of a mess.
During the entire adoption process, we were open to any baby. Gender, race, and some potential complications were all things that we were happy to consider. But when I would write to our future baby, I would write to a little girl. When I would have dreams about our family, they always included a little brown skinned girl. My husband is Asian, so dark features will most likely be present in our future biological children, but in my dreams, the little girl was our oldest. Our first.
So as the details about this precious baby were shared it was much more than hearing about a potential match, I just knew that this was our baby. Every ounce of me knew she was ours.
A few days later we drove down to meet our birth mom. With her blessing, we were finally able to bring our daughter, Charlotte Brave, home. She was our beautiful miracle baby and the moment her birth mother handed her to me, our wait was over. We were parents. I was a mom.
Despite all of the wonderful things that came with bringing Charlotte home, I slowly felt insecurity rise up in me. Would I be able to be the best mom for her? Could I navigate the waters of being a mom of a multiracial family? Would I be able to care for her skin and hair? Or raise her to be confident in who God created her to be?
My first reaction was to shut people out. I thought that was because I wanted to be strong, but looking back I know it was just because I was afraid to ask for help.
But we all struggle with that, don't we? We want to be the mom that has it all together and knows the answer to every question, even before its asked. But the reality is, we can't do this alone.
I’m learning that I’m going to be a better mother to Charlotte by letting other moms into my story. Moms that can teach me how to do her hair and make sure her skin always looks great. Moms that can help me navigate what it looks like raising Charlotte to be confident in who she is and celebrate the multiracial family she was raised in.
We need other Moms that can speak life into challenging seasons and celebrate birthdays with us, simply because we made it another year. Moms that can share how they conquered potty training or the tantrums of a three-year-old. Or a mom that can explain the logistics of how to get three kids out of a car when you have the courage to take a trip to Target by yourself, or maybe how many days without taking a shower is socially acceptable.
It's so easy to want to seem strong to our kids, friends, and even strangers on social media, but the reality is that we are actually the strongest when we ask for help. We all want the same things for our kids and for our families, so let's set our pride aside and choose to be moms that seek vulnerability, build one another up, and celebrate the beautiful chaos that is motherhood.
We really are better together.