Every single time I got pregnant, I was convinced it was a girl. Clearly I was so very wrong. During every ultrasound appointment, my husband and I would wait with bated breath to hear the words, “It’s a girl!” And every time, the tech would announce the impending boy birth. Of course I forgot to care at all about gender as soon as I saw that beautiful baby kicking and moving across the screen. “hello,” I would whisper to the tiny human in front of my eyes. Now that I have had the joy of raising each of these boy humans, I can’t imagine our family without each unique personality. I became a boy mom with the first delivery and I stayed a #boymom for thirteen years and three more births.
But then we adopted a daughter.
In the months before we traveled, I dreamed in pink. I saw bows and ridiculously overpriced dresses and planned for the days of dressing alike and playing with dolls. I could play legos and construction site with the best of them, but playing house had been my jam for most of my life. I had plans, people! And, well, you know what God does with those.
Our daughter came with opinions, and trauma, and lots of opinions. One of her most obvious opinions/traumas was anything to do with hair bows, braids, dresses, or dolls. I put up a valiant fight. I pushed, begged, and bribed that girl to bend to my will. She would not. And so I began shopping in the boy section of the store, giving away the adorable tulle skirts and filling her closet with superhero shirts and capes. The only hairstyle she would allow was a sporty ponytail. This would have to be our compromise.
But then something happened. Miraculously, on a camping trip this week, she allowed me to braid her hair. And she looks ADORABLE!!! She even began to fall in love with the way her hair would create waves as the braids came out. And just like that, a faint heartbeat of my braids and dolls dream began to beat. But as I was drying her long beautiful hair tonight she began to talk to me in her sweet soulful voice. “I want to have my hair cut, mom. I want to cut it off short and give it to kids that have cancer,” she said. “But we just started braiding it,” I pleaded. “Don’t you want to keep wearing your cute braids?” “Mom, I just can’t keep my braids if kids with the cancers need hair.”
And that is how I realized that the reality of my daughter is much more precious than the dream I once held. My child has known pain, loss, and grief. “Hold loosely to the things of this world,” she teaches me. “Kindness and generosity are the hope this world is longing for.” “Simple acts of love, like donated hair, are the moments when we truly love our neighbor.” I want to be like my daughter someday. I pray that God will keep teaching me through her. I have so much to learn. I am so very selfish by nature. I am idealistic and easily disappointed. But SHE is the beauty. She listens so closely to the heart of Jesus. I am a grateful girl that God knows better than to serve up my dreams exactly as I request them. His reality is always better. I am learning that slowly.