I remember driving when I was pregnant with our first daughter. Especially near the end of my pregnancy, belly huge, I felt fragile, vulnerable, impossibly protective of this little person so dependent on my life for her own.

The day she was born, I sat in the back seat with her on the ride home, watching her every breath, and almost holding my own in my concern over her.

Each time I’ve gotten on an airplane since I’ve become a mother, there is again a breathlessness in me, a prayer that I will be back. It is not about a grandiose sense of self-importance. It is because I know the importance of a mother to a child. I have so much I still long to do for my precious ones. I want to walk this journey of motherhood to completion, to get each and every one of my loved ones launched into adulthood safely.

Today, as I was driving around town, with my packet of meticulously gathered documents, I felt full of the same vulnerability. I winced when people passed me too fast on the freeway. I drove with extra caution. The documents are a pregnancy in a way, a promise of a future. Let me get these delivered. Please let me bring my children home.

At times like these, I am desperately aware of the significance I hold in the lives of these precious children, both the ones across the ocean who I pray will be mine, and the ones I hug and pray over right now. It can be terrifying to be so important to so many. I know that if something did happen to me, God could work that for good in their lives too. But, oh, I want to be there.

Let me be there, Lord. Please let me be there for them.

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  1. I echo this sentiment, on a much smaller scale – as I have only my two little ones – but the feeling you describe is one I’ve come to know myself as a mother.

  2. Beautiful, Mary.

  3. Martina Fahrner says:

    I know these moments, too! Good luck, Mary

  4. Aw, Mary, once again you’ve made me cry. I had so many of the same feelings as I took my trip to Ethiopia and home a couple weeks ago. So many prayers that I would be back home safely for my children. Wow. You caught it perfectly.

  5. Awww…perfectly spoken!

  6. Wow. I cannot believe how well you just put into words what I am feeling.
    I have been toting around my dossier binder and doing all but sleeping with it for fear that something should happen to it. I’ve also been more worried about something happening to either me or my husband, now that we’re getting closer to our children, and I feel they’re out there waiting for us. I wondered if this is how you feel when pregnant, and here you are answering my question! Thanks for always sharing – it is so helpful to hear. 🙂

  7. OH, Mary. This is beautiful. You echoed exactly how we all feel.

  8. Beautiful Mary!!!

  9. I know exactly what you mean! It’s scary being a mama and it takes so much work but it’s so worth it!!

  10. tears over here…oh my mary…you have once again captured the feeling so many women feel. i know i did/do. xoxox

  11. When I was at KINKOS photocopying the last of my carefully procured, verified, notarized, and apostilled documents for my dossier a man came in and SET HIS DAMP BRIEFCASE on top of my documents (I had them spread out on the workspace designated to the copier I was using.) Yes, I bit his head off and spat his ears across the room. I was nearly hysterical when it happened and he kept saying ‘It’s just paper’.

    Ack, I’m having kittens all over again just thinking of it.

    If you want to follow along, I just finished the A Year Ago Today series that shares our first trip to Russia to met our children.

  12. Stacie & Suzanne,

    The other day when my son told me his stomach hurt, and he came and leaned right over my pile of papers, my first thought was, ‘don’t throw up on the dossier!’ Isn’t that pitiful? Thankfully he wasn’t that sick! And I did get those papers sent. But can you imagine having to redo everything because someone was sick on it?? Made me shudder.

  13. You brought back so many memories of those final days of gathering our dossier. I wanted to rent a safe deposit box to keep it all safe! Holding onto those papers knowing what the results would be was almost overwhelming!

  14. Being a mother certainly changes your perspective on things in more ways than you ever could have imagined before you had kids. I often have moments like the ones you described too.

    When we were in the adoption process, we used to refer to it as our “paper pregnancy.”