A few nights ago at church I was asked for the 4th or 5th time if "it" was different, if my love for my biological child was different from the love I feel for my adopted child. I can tell the people who have asked me that question have been a little hesitant to do so, but I know the question comes out of a sincere curiosity. If 4 or 5 people have asked me, I'm assuming others are wondering.
I have really thought about that question over the last 2 days. Do I feel differently about my daughters? Do I treat them differently? Have I done anything to make Reagan (my adopted child) feel like I love Gracen (my biological child) more? I hope and pray the answer is no to all of those questions. I admit that when I first got pregnant I was so concerned about this issue. During the whole pregnancy I kept thinking, "How in the world am I going to love Reagan to the same degree that I love Gracen, the baby I have waited 13 years for?" I think my fear was no different than the fear that any mother might feel when her second biological baby is on the way. She would have to wonder the same type of thing, asking herself, "How can I love a second baby as much as I love the first one?" The answer is....you just do.
Of course, our situation is different. We don't have 2 biological children, so I haven't really answered the question, have I? Do I feel differently about Gracen than I do about Reagan? The answer is no. I love both of them unconditionally. They are both my daughters and I view both of them as gifts from God, gifts that came two different ways. Both ways are equally amazing to me.
Reagan was almost 3 years old when we found out we were pregnant. She was my entire world for 3 years. She was God's answer to my heart's desire for a baby. She was the answer to all my prayers. She is the child who made me a mother. We adopted her from Lifeline Children Services, an agency that places babies all over the United States, so she literally could have ended up anywhere. But God, in His sovereignty, placed her with us. That is mind boggling, isn't it? I remember seeing her for the very first time and the instant love I had for her was overwhelming. It literally took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. When you are called by God to adopt a child, He prepares your heart in advance to love that baby as your own, because that baby IS your own. The preparation that occurs in your heart is similar to the preparation that happens in your body when your pregnant. It is very difficult to put into words.
Gracen is equally amazing to me. I remember seeing her for the first time too and being overwhelmed with her. She too took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. The love that I felt for her was instantaneous as well. The only difference is that there is such a sense of accomplishment when I look at her because I (with God and Gene, of course) created her. She came from my body. For nine months, I felt her every little movement. At every ultrasound, I was blown away at what I saw. For the first few weeks of her little life, I studied her features, trying to see me and Gene in her. Of course, I didn't do that with Reagan. I am so thankful that I have experienced pregnancy and delivery, grateful for every single pain and pound.
So, certainly there are some differences in the way they came to be, but no differences in the way I view them or feel about them. I love them unconditionally and would sacrifice anything for both of them.
I just realized this morning that no one in my family, on either side, has asked me this question... Do I feel differently about my girls....Do I love one more than the other? I'm assuming they haven't asked because they don't need to? They know how much I love both of them. They see me with both of them and hopefully see equal treatment. They also love both of them just as deeply. Reagan was the answer to their prayers as well, the answer to their desire for another granddaughter, for a niece, for a cousin. She immediately became part of the family in every way. They are equally grateful for Gracen and for lack of a better way to say it, Gracen was icing on the cake. We are all grateful for the blessing of both girls and, I speak for all of them when I say, we wouldn't change a thing.