It was just before Thanksgiving 2002. My husband and I followed the pediatrician down the hall, our footsteps echoing off the undecorated walls and hard floors. We were inside a maternity/pediatric hospital in a small coal-mining town in southwest Russia.
The doctor led us to a bright room, with a big window, three cribs, and one precious 9-month old baby boy. As soon as we walked in, he stood up in the corner of his crib and looked at us with huge brown eyes.
The doctor may have spoken to him in Russian. I don’t remember. She may have spoken to me through our translator. I don’t remember.
All I remember is walking over to his crib and scooping him up. I immediately spoke to him in cooing mother tones I had never uttered before. I held him close. I studied his face.
I smiled like a loon. I bounced him. I danced with him. I smooshed my face into his, then held him at an arms’ length so I could really look at him. I held him close again.
I was his mother! I mean, not officially. That wouldn’t happen for another 43 days (after more paperwork, a court appearance, and two more international flights). But in my mind and in my heart, I was his mommy.
Something I didn’t know existed turned on inside me the moment I held him.
I had longed for motherhood, but I was completely unprepared for how it would immediately infect every pore and crevice of my being.
I thought I would still be me, but also a mom.
I was right, sort of.
I became more me. Like an acorn grows into an oak tree or a buried bulb becomes a tulip, I was still me, but I wasn’t.
My transformation happened in an instant. It takes decades for the oak tree to grow and months for the tulip to bloom, but the moment I held my son, I became a new creation.
Maybe this is how it always works when we finally step into our destiny.
I don’t believe that God has pre-ordered every step I take or decision I make. I’ve experienced too much free-will for that. But I do believe that God, like a loving parent, has a dream or desire for each of us.
I bet God has a dream or desire for you, too. It might not be parenting, I realize that isn’t for everyone (or that might be a season that has already passed for you). But I bet there’s something God dreams for you, no matter what season of life you are in.
You may not even know what kind of creation you are becoming. You might not know whether you are on the verge of becoming a tulip, an oak tree, or something else entirely.
I hope whatever your journey and whatever your season, you see a beautiful life bloom.
More Like This From Beth:
- How Adoption Changed My View of God
- How Infertility Made Me Helpless But Gave Me Freedom
- How to Talk About Adoption