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I’m going to let you in on the little secret of adoption that no one can prepare you for: at the end of it all, when that baby is placed in your arms forever, and all the paperwork is over, YOU WILL BE A PARENT. A real, live mom or dad to a REAL, LIVE BABY. This may sound ridiculous, but honestly I didn’t see it coming. I think I was so caught up in the paperwork, the home visits, the fundraising, the paperwork, the fingerprinting and background checking, the PAPERWORK… I sort-of-maybe-for-a-small-second lost sight of the fact that in the end, the finish line is really just the beginning. I mean, we talked and talked and TALKED with social workers, and adoption advocates, and to each other about what kind of parents we wanted to be, how we would raise our child, what kind of values we want him/her to have, but it was all so “out THERE”, you know? All the, “well in theory I will be _______ kind of mom.” None of it was tangible yet; non of it seemed real. But then everything changed.

But then, Vivi was placed in my arms. But then I was kissing her little nose and breathing deep her baby smell. But then she was back home with us. But then she was calling me Mama. But then I was feeding and changing and “mom-ing” my way through life and it was like “oh yeah! THIS was the goal!” I know that may sound crazy, but it’s true. There is a hashtag going around called “#surprisedbymotherhood” where moms post pictures and stories about times in motherhood that surprised them–the good, the bad, and the poopy. Initially for me though, it wasn’t so much “surprised by motherhood” but more like “SURPRISE! It’s motherhood!” Adoption made me a mama, and it’s been the best surprise to date.

-Leah

*Leah is a guest blogger for us. To see Leah’s posts click the “Leah – guest Blogger” tag over on the right.