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A mother's blessing.

The car accident that left me paralyzed was a very significant event in my life. I wouldn't say it was a horrible event, and I wouldn't say it was a wonderful one. It was significant. It taught and continues to teach me valuable lessons about myself and life in general.

There is a date, however, that I consider the most significant: of all so far. Along with significant I also add adjectives such as incredible, unforgettable, mesmerizing, transforming, grounding, wonderful, magical, miraculous. ... The list can go on for pages. I became a mother.

Twist of Fate

In actuality, I was chosen to be a mother. The short version of the story is that after looking to adopt in 2009 and coming upon walls and walls of bureaucracy and finding that to adopt a baby I'd pretty much have to pay a lot of money, I gave up. I figured maybe "the plan" was not for me to be anybody's mom. I have plenty of godchildren, and I was satisfied with that.

Mid 2010, I received an email and found out that a friend who resided in Maryland at the time was fighting with the state for custody of his daughter (the birth mother abandoned her at birth). He was looking to move to Florida once he got custody and asked if I'd help him raise his little bundle of joy.

"Of course," I replied instantly.

She Chose Me

Three months later, November 23, 2010, to be exact, I anxiously waited at Fort Lauderdale airport for their arrival. I was going to meet her for the first time, and my heart was bursting with excitement.


The first moment I looked at her, I knew she had chosen me. We locked eyes for a couple of seconds, and time stopped. I lost track of where I was, and in a deeper level I sensed that although I was not her birth mother was her mother. She had chosen me to be her mother.

Although I did not have nine months to prepare for the change that my life would go through with her arrival, it didn't lake me long to figure out this was a lifetime commitment and, ready or not, I needed to step up to the plate.

What do mothers do, I kept asking myself. How do they act? How do they behave? Am I loving her too much? When will I know if I'm spoiling her? I low do I know she'll turn out a I I right? What is the right way?

Most Mothers

It's been over a year, and I do still ask questions, but I have learned that most mothers have doubts, secretly wish for some quiet time, plan out an idealistic future for their children, worry at the sound of a simple sneeze, sleep with one eye open, and are under appreciated. Some mothers also have father roles, weep quietly at the look of their children's sad faces and burst with excitement at the smallest of giggles. Most mothers would give up their own lives for the lives of their offspring, but, most importantly, most mothers love unconditionally.

My daughter has taught me all that. She has taught me that I don't have to be a superhero or an overachiever. As long as I love her for all she is and everything she will be, 1 know we both will be okay. She has taught me that my own mom hides her vulnerabilities behind some fears and regrets, but ultimately, she loves me unconditionally. My daughter has taught me that if I don't love myself at least 10% as much as I love her, then I am not really being the role model want to be for her.

The Lucky One

Being a mother has been the biggest and most honorable blessing in my life. My gratitude to the divine force that brought this angel into my life is infinite.

Perhaps I'd have more time for my writing, meditation, exercise, socializing, if she hadn't chosen me as her mother. But, she did. And, I wouldn't change that for anything else in the world. People often compliment me on my dedication to her, and how lucky she is to have a mot her like me. I simply respond, "I am the lucky one."

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Title Annotation:just for WOMEN
Author:Araujo, Camile
Publication:PN - Paraplegia News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2012
Previous Article:Driver's choice: the days of having to drive a big, bulky wheelchair-accessible van are long gone.
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