I’ve always known I was adopted. When I was born, my birth mom was young. She had little family support and, despite opposition, decided to parent me. By the time I was 3, she realized that she couldn’t provide for me the way that I deserved, and at 4, I was adopted. Adoption was always an open discussion in our home, and my adoptive parents are absolutely amazing. I was incredibly blessed. There were only a few times of sorrow in my youth over the pain of not fully understanding how my birth mom could do that to me – just give me up and move on with life. I remember one particular sob-fest on the living room floor when I was about Grade 3 age. But all-in-all, I was content. I love my adopted family fiercely. I’d never really thought about being adopted from my birth mom’s side until I was a mom myself. There’s just some things in life you don’t fully understand until you are a mom. Like the ability to somehow function on so little sleep that it would be considered torture in some war camps. Or the power of a protective instinct that could make you race faster than you ever knew was humanly possible to stop your child from an accident. Or the depth of love that your child creates in you. It was the night my oldest was born that I started looking at things differently. I woke up from a horrible dream of people trying to take my baby from me – happy to discover him sleeping beside me. It terrified me. This precious angel that I’d waited my whole life to meet… gone. Taken from me. I can’t even imagine. But, it was when he was 3½ that I think it hit me the most. Here was this little person, newly and fiercely independent but so dependent on me. How could I, at this exact moment, realize that I would never be able to provide the life he deserved and be willing to separate myself from him forever? My heart broke. Seeing it from the side of my birth mom made me realize so much more the heartache and pain of the decision that she made. What strength she had. What resolution. I lived in the same house she said her last goodbye to me for my whole life. And she never stalked me or interrupted my new life. She let me become who I am today. My birth mom and I were the lucky ones. On my 18th birthday, we both put our names into the agency I was adopted through for a search and were reconnected 6 months later. We met officially a year after that. At my wedding, she walked down the aisle together with my adoptive mom. She met all my sons. We got to know each other and be a part of each other’s lives. She was gentle, wise, brave, strong, positive …. even as she fought breast cancer, even as she passed away. She’s inspired me more than she would have known. I am grateful every day of my life for her sacrifice. My heart breaks for the agony she must have endured. I have a whole new respect for the woman who birthed me. I am thankful for every choice and sacrifice she made for me. It makes me hug my kids closer and thank God that I’m able to provide for them. Sometimes, it really does take a mother’s perspective to appreciate things more. Lisa Marie — Learning Titus 2 blog | twitter | facebook CONGRATULATIONS!!! You found the hidden scavenger hunt contest for our May Insider Newsletter!!! This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered! Congratulations to Danielle T! You’re the lucky winner! How would you like a chance to win an adorable DIY SqwishLand toy? These animals are soft and squishy and can be painted! Once he’s all decorated, log on to www.sqwishland.com and play with him online. All you need is the included special code that he comes with and you’ll have access to all kinds of fun online play in SqwishLand! Now, how do you enter? Simply comment below to let us know whether or not your child will be attending camp this year and if so, what is their one must-have bring-along item? Winner will be chosen by Random.org on the morning of Friday, May 18th and announced both here and on our Facebook page. Good luck to all!