The first time I heard our daughter call me Mama she was four-years-old. We were in a local Mexican restaurant and out of the blue she asked me, “Can I tell you what I want Mama?”
When at first I didn’t acknowledge her request or use of “Mama” she piped up asking me hadn’t I heard what she called me?
At that moment in time she was neither legally my child or foster child. She was my niece left in our care by my husband’s sister who was away at Army bootcamp. Yet her heart and mine had been uniquely bonded since we first laid eyes on one another and her choice of Mama by which to call me was tempting to approve. Still I explained she had a Mommy and we needed to talk it over with her to see if it was okay. Mommy approved.
Later we’d be asked to adopt this mischievous, darling, dark eyed, curly haired darling nearly five-year-old girl and the answer was yes. Although we prepared for her biological mother to change her mind she held firm in her decision. Our daughter made us a forever family when a rather friendly judge legally declared us parents.
Our daughter has called me Mama countless times since that first time, every time echoing back to that Mexican restaurant. Being her Mama is my sweetest joy and most fearful undertaking.
Now eleven, life is speeding to the teen years no braking and both feet on the gas! Mama has a new tone in it and the first time our daughter remarked that our silliness was embarrassing her my husband and I looked at each other and he said, “Aww Honey we must be doing our job right!”. Which earned us the first official eye-roll.
I had prayed for a child. There had been three miscarriages and my heart ached with longing. My prayers were sweetly and generously answered by a very young woman who bravely realized she couldn’t provide what her daughter needed and when she might be was very questionable.
Somewhere out there she is the mother to two half-siblings to our daughter and lives with our child’s decision to cut ties with her. Some day we pray that will change but it really is about what is best for our daughter.
I love being a mother. Regardless of how motherhood descended upon me.
What’s your motherhood story?