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"He Has Your Mouth"

While both my kids are precious to me, there is something about my firstborn that changed my life.

His birth brought healing to me.

I was adopted at the age of 6 weeks by my precious mom and dad. I can say with all honesty that they gave me the best life that anyone could ask for. I love them so much.

But, if I were also truly honest - there has always been a piece of me that was missing.

That is, until Noah was born.

The only thing that ever really troubled me about being adopted was that I didn't look like anyone else. That probably doesn't seem like a big deal. I mean, you'd think the rejection issues would be bigger. But for me, even though I was part of a loving family, I still knew I wasn't quite the same as the rest. One of these things is not like the other. That was me.

My brothers (not adopted) were both clearly labeled from a young age as to which side of the family they were like. I knew which one was like mom, and which one was like dad. My parents both came from big families and you could just look at them with all their siblings and you knew they were all related. We'd go visit on family vacations and everyone would talk about who looked like who and even though I knew I was loved and cherished; I also knew I didn't have anyone like me. Nobody would say I had my aunt's eyes, or that my cousin and I were practically twins. I was part of their world, but I knew something was missing. I wasn't a complete reflection of them.

It never really defined me. But it was always there.

Then 15 years ago that all changed. My Noah was born. I didn't really think about it very much while I was pregnant, but I will NEVER forget the first thing that my husband said to me after he was born.

"Shelly, he has your mouth"

Those words struck a chord deep down in my heart. My little heart that while always loved, never really had anyone that truly belonged to it.

Until Noah.

In the whole world of people around me, I finally had someone that was part of me. That changed my life. After everyone went home that night 15 years ago, I just held him and stared at him. Me and my little boy.  I cried a lot. I grieved for a mom that I never knew, who I had often wondered about. Why she didn't want me?  But as I looked at my own little piece of myself wrapped up in that baby, I truly understood the sacrifice that she made for me. I knew that she would have held me and cried over me. And I knew that despite the circumstances of her life, she truly did love me. Because only in true sacrificial love would you be able to give a part of yourself away.

Thank you Noah.

I love being your mom. I've told you and your sister that you are the only two people in the world that I have who are like me. Maybe that's why I hold on so tight to you sometimes. Maybe that is why I don't always want to share you with the world and I want to keep you to myself. Maybe someday I'll meet others like me and more things will heal in my heart. I'd learn more about my story. But for now, I'm grateful to be your mom and I'm so thankful that I can look at you and see me.

That sounds vain, but it's not.

And while I know I have never been alone in my life without love,

I needed so much the love that I see in you,

Reflecting me.

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- James1:12 NLT
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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.