34

Right about now, in the very early morning of this particular January 14th, I’m in the process of turning 34. It’s kind of hard to believe that there will be cake and singing in my honor much later today because this year, my birthday feels so insignificant. And it kind of is, in the grand scheme of things. But then again… it is the first time I’ve celebrated my birthday as a mom myself. And perhaps that makes it a pretty big deal after all.

I didn’t become a mom in the same way my mom did 34 years ago today, when she received the greatest gift of all (meeeee!), but I recently became a mom nonetheless. And I enter this, my 34th year, surprisingly grateful for the rocky road that led me here. (Note to self: add rocky road to grocery list.)

I don’t really believe in silver linings anymore, but I do believe that there is meaning in suffering and, in the end, I feel proud of the way my heart has grown over the last six years of infertility and loss. I’d be lying if I said I’d choose to do it all over again, if it were a choice at all, but I do find myself grateful now for how it prepared Seth and me to say the biggest yes of our lives.

Perhaps someday I’ll be in the position to share the whole fascinating story with you, but for now, the legally acceptable, but obnoxiously vague version is as follows:

Shortly before Labor Day, Seth and I received an out-of-the-blue phone call about becoming foster parents. Not a vague do-you-wanna-think-about-this kind of call, but rather a here’s-the-sitch-are-you-in-or-out type deal. I cried (naturally) and Seth logic-ed (of course) and we talked and thought and asked questions and ultimately had to listen to the nearly deafening “YES”-es our hearts were screaming. So with a definitive answer and a few other minor things (completing a metric ton of paperwork, opening our pasts and present up to a rather thorough investigation, begging non-relatives to write nice things about us, bumming Sunday morning fingerprints from the Marshfield Police Department, rearranging every cupboard and closet in the house, completing several hours of online training, etc.), we obtained our foster care license and became first time parents to a walking, talking ray of sunshine.

I’ve wondered so many times over the past six years if everything we went through to try to get pregnant had been worth it – worth the time, expense, pain, stress. And I always had to convince myself of yes, thinking that the only way to know was to have tried. But I don’t have to convince myself of anything anymore. It was definitely worth it, if only because without having gone through all of that, I may never have found myself in a position to say yes to this. And this – being a mom to the most amazing little soul – is worth anything and everything.

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One of our favorite books at the moment is My New Mom & Me by Renata Galindo. I particularly love the end – “Mom is learning how to be my mom and I am learning how to be mom’s kid.” It’s an exciting time for our family as we figure it out together. So this year, whether we’re turning 34, 37, or 6, it’s going to be a good one! I sincerely hope you enjoy it too!

<3 R

13 thoughts on “34

  1. Happy Birthday, dearest Rachel. There’s a quote from the book of Esther, “for such a time as this, I was placed upon the earth…” It can be a bit mysterious . What is “such a time as this”? I think this situation is your “such a time as this.” I don’t believe God causes our suffering, but I believe God is with us in our suffering , and I believe God grieves with us. He also rejoices with us, and God is rejoicing with you now. This might not be your original vision of motherhood, but it is good and right and beautiful! You are good and right and beautiful! I’m so happy for you!

    1. I don’t know you, Marie, but you’re a woman after my own heart.
      Happy birthday, dear Rachel. You’ve received a wonderful peesent!

  2. Congratulations to you both. What a wonderful gift you are providing to this child. I have worked with foster parents and have numerous friends who fostered and adopted their children. How wonderful for all of you!

  3. Rachel, since the day I first became a mom, you were attached a a big piece of my heart. It swells with pride over your successes, weeps with your hurts, and loves unconditionally. Now your heart is not your own and there is no going back. This birthday celebration is for you and your growing heart. I love you inside and out!

  4. Happy Birthday Rachel…Congratulations to you and Seth… Enjoy each & every moment !! I’m truly happy for you:):)

  5. AMEN! Happy Birthday Rachel, I’m so glad and happy for you and Seth. Let me know if you need anything, advice etc. I’m here for you girl.

  6. Oh my gosh, I am speechless with happiness. Congrats to all of you, what an amazing road you have chosen (or that chose you). I know you both will be fantastic foster parents!

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