Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the love I have for my children.
When anyone asks how many children I have, my response is always “together, we have eight children.” The response is typically wide-opened eyes, and the rounded “wow” mouth.
I didn’t give birth to eight children. As I say, “I pushed two out.” Little One, and Baby Girl.
They are always teasing each other about who is Mom’s favorite. I’ll tell you a secret: Mom doesn’t have a favorite.
I will never forget the day, some call it “gotcha day”, when the hubs adopted Little One and Baby Girl.
Judge Dennis Mleziva was the presiding judge that day. I worked with Judge Mleziva when he was still an attorney with Mleziva, Dalebroux, & Abts.
When my first husband, and the father of Little One and Baby Girl, and I divorced, we asked Judge Mleziva not to recuse himself from our divorce hearing. We had worked everything out ahead of time, and there was nothing in our settlement that would be contested. He agreed to hear our divorce.
Here we were, eleven years later, standing in front of Judge Mleziva again. The girls were so grown up already, Little One being 16, and Baby Girl being 14.
I wonder what went through Judge Mleziva’s mind that day. Eleven years prior, he had seen the dissolution of a marriage where these two girls were losing their family. Nine years prior, he had attended the funeral of their father, where these two girls had lost their father forever. Now, he got to see these two girls, grown up, beautiful, and loved.
Judge Mleziva asked the hubs that day, “why do you want to adopt these girls?” The hubs responded, “because I love them.”
I will never forget. The hubs didn’t have to do that. He didn’t have to take on two teenage girls, and learn things that he didn’t need to know about girls after raising two sons.
The Halves and the Steps
I don’t refer to our eight children as halves and steps. That isn’t my way. It’s brothers and sisters; it’s sons and daughters.
The hubs’ second wife had two children who were grown when they married. They are each married and have children. While we don’t see them often, they are still members of our family, our children and grandchildren. They didn’t have to include us after their mother died, but they have, and we are grateful.
My first husband had two children that were teenagers when we married. As Daughter Kim once told me, “I was determined to hate you, but you made it impossible”. I cherish each of them and their spouses and children, as if they were my own. Again, our children and grandchildren. Again, they didn’t have to include us after their father died, but they have, and we are grateful.
The hubs has two sons that were grown and on their own when we married. I am humbled that they call me “Ma”, and I appreciate their love. I treat them and their wives and children as my own, our children and grandchildren.
And then there remains Little One and Baby Girl. Little One is to be married shortly, at the end of September. Her future husband, The Matthew, is one great guy, and I love him as if he is my own son. Baby Girl’s boyfriend, Ean, I love in the same manner. They love our daughters, and I love them.
I love all of our children unconditionally, no matter what.
I wish I could do more for them. Take away their struggles, heal their hurts. But they have to grow and learn, make their choices and mistakes, just as I have.
I celebrate when they are happy, I smile because I know they are loved.