I have a mild obsession with hearing birth and adoption stories. I read stories on blogs, I ask my friends for the long version and how they felt, and I reminisce about the ups and downs, the terror and gratitude and peace I felt when my own daughter joined my family. My two favorite picture book stories of family growth are:
I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis, illustrated by Jane Dyer. Lewis says it best (on her website), "I received so many heartfelt letters from all kinds of families who understood '...Crazy Cakes' was not just a story about adoption, but about falling in love with a child no matter how he or she comes to be part of your family."
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. The illustrations are fascinating, and the poem celebrates the entrance of a soul into a world with a grace that makes anyone tear up.
When I read or hear family growth stories, I imagine that visceral and spiritual moment when a mother or father feels,
I will love you always. I will protect you, and teach you, and delight you, and I will send you out into world with all my love and worry pinned to you.
Not every family's story is happy, and no family says it is easy. Sometimes, a baby comes to the world with challenges, or leaves the world far too soon. A baby needs parents who will love always, but a baby also needs people who pass in and out to give a moment of health, or happiness, or comfort.
In honor of your baby, your mother, your father, and the people who have lifted your burdens, lift the burdens of babies born sick, or too soon, by donating to March of Dimes. I am a volunteer for March of Dimes: March for Babies because the research and work they fund makes a real and tangible difference to the half million babies born prematurely each year, and allows for all babies to have the best chance to go home healthy.
Happy Mother's Day! Thank you.