She opened our gift with such timidity.

Her little hands & crooked smile paved the way into the gallon size Ziploc bag that is required by our agency's standards.  

My eyes watched her every move through the computer screen and when her little brown eyes saw our picture - she smiled.

The social worker spoke in Thai to ask her, "who is that?"

And with a smile and tender eyes, she said, "My mom."

My mom.


When I say that word, an image flashes into your mind.

Maybe it's a beautiful image - an image of magic like the picnic she took you on in 4th grade.

Maybe it's a painful image - an image of fighting and loud screams.

Maybe it's the memory of seeing your child for the first time & the euphoric moment of knowing, he is mine. 

Maybe it's an image of loss - if only you could talk to her again.

Or maybe it's an image of procedures & doctor's appointments and moments that seem like the word mother drifts further and further from you. 

Maybe it's months of prayers & tears or months of hopes & dreams. 


I know mothering will be hard. There will be tantrums and hurt feelings. Sleepless nights & worried prayers. 

Yet, I will never forget how I got that title - Mommy.

The journey to my Eden- what a ride. 

But, I got here...

She called me Mama.

And I wonder- what will she feel like when she hears the word Mother years down the road?

Will she think of loss, abandonment, or  pain?


But, I pray she thinks of me. I pray she remembers magic, silliness, &  kind words to daddy. I pray she remembers a million kisses and bedtime stories & many hugs. I pray when the word "mother" comes up - there will be light in her eyes and scars bandaged good with my love. 

Now when I hear the word mother, I see my Eden. My heart explodes at the thought of on my 27th year of life, I get to receive the title of an active mama. The year, Daddy, Eden, & I will be together. The year of mothering

She called me mom.

I've been labeled many things in my twenty-seven years of life,

Then she walks in and all else fades because she calls me mom.


Eden's Mommy