I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom.

Frankly, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be a mother.  That sounds rather smug and entitled now, but it is what it is.  When I pictured how my life would go it always included a family, one with a loving husband and cherished children whose little hands would fit snugly in mine.

I wrote about the long journey toward creating our family and what felt like the endless years BrightSide and I spent searching for our children.  And while some people come into this life knowing they want to build a family through adoption, I’d always wanted to experience those nine months of anticipation before bringing a baby into our family.  I didn’t just want to be pregnant.  I longed for it.

So when we finally realized that we weren’t meant to bring biological children into the world it knocked the breath right out of me.  I can’t say I handled it very well at first.  There’s a lot of truth to describing infertility as a loss, and the dream of carrying a child was one I mourned.  BrightSide truly was my strength as I moved through those hardest of days.

When I came out of the fog, though, I knew I still wanted to be a mom.  It was such an essential part of who I am that eventually there was nothing left to do except find another way to become parents…of course, now I understand that this is how things were meant to be all along.  These precious children we’ve been graced with are the souls for whom I’d always been intended; we simply had tried to find them too soon.

And when the children I dreamed of for so long finally came into our lives, I discovered that the moment couldn’t have been any sweeter for this mama.

Oh, T-man.  He was exactly 10 months old the day he came home, a pudgy bundle of joy and curiosity.  I’d hold this precious boy and my heart would swell with a love so pure it was nearly unbearable.

Bear came along less than a year later and the unexpected happened – just like the Grinch’s heart swelled with the true meaning of Christmas, our own family’s love grew until it enveloped all of us in its warm embrace.  These babies are our babies; these precious souls are our people.

Giving up the dream of being pregnant with BrightSide’s child was excruciating, but if only I’d known then what I know now…

That the babies we’re meant to love will be the babies brought into our lives.  That while I’m sure the birth story between mamas and their children is special, our family’s “birth story” is more precious to us than anything.  And that BrightSide and I are the parents we were always meant to be.

I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom.  Thank God I get to be the mom to these beautiful spirits in our lives.