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To the angel who made me a mom,

There will never be enough words to express how grateful I am for the greatest act of love you have given me. Because of you, you made me a mom. You gave me two of your heartbeats through adoption in under two years and entrusted me to love and raise them as my own.

As I see their curls develop on their toddler and infant heads, I think of you. Because you gave them the curls I always wanted that no perm could ever satisfied for my pre-teen self.

As they get complimented in public on their gorgeous blue eyes, I think of you. Because you gave them the crystal blue eyes I always wanted instead of my boring green eyes.

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As the toddler learns to call me Mama, I deeply love that this life not of my own blood calls me by such an honored name, but at the same time, I deeply hurt knowing it took you breaking your own heart, twice, to give me such an honor.

We both entered this journey questioning, "Why me?" Me, screaming in tears each month at another unwanted cycle that meant I was not yet a mother. You, the surprise of not one, but two lives created whom you felt unprepared to raise. Our deepest pains brought us together on a journey toward healing, though that journey looks completely different for each of us then and now.

As we said goodbye in the hospital the first time around, you whispered through our lingering tear-filled hug, "You are who I trust like none other."

Tears form in my eyes just writing that out all this time later. Out of all the people in the world you could have chosen to mother your two heartbeats, you chose me, a perfect stranger, from a profile book and a quick FaceTime call.

I don't know if I would have had such courage to do the same so quickly. And most days, every day, I try through my imperfections to be the perfect mother that lives up to kind of mother you dreamed of for your two heartbeats.

Though I could never carry a child myself, you allowed me the excitement to live vicariously through your two pregnancies. I'll never forget the day...

Together, we heard their first heartbeats.

Together, found out their sex.

Together, you grabbing my hand to feel your belly kick.

Together, lovingly calling each other our "baby mama."

And ultimately, together, walked around the hospital for two hours holding hands trying to help you dilate through your labor.

Not every adoptive mom gets the privilege of being the first in this world to hold her new babies skin to skin, and you, without asking, extended that grace and beautiful gift to me as I so nervously, after so much longing, finally became a mother.

And though I'm more exhausted than I've ever known possible now raising two babies under two, I don't take it lightly what a privilege it is to be the one they call Mama now on this different path you set them apart for.

It took courage for you to choose life, twice. It took courage for you to set a child apart, twice. It took courage for you to fight through other's opinions and stresses going on in your world to choose this hope-filled path for these two heartbeats you have entrusted me with. Of all people in the world, you chose me, this imperfect perfect stranger who now loves you indescribably like none other. You have given me my two greatest gifts of all.

And as I pray for you each day, I pray that I will always make you proud of the mom you allowed me to become.

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1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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