Nathaniel was born in 1998. Rachael came in 2001. Peyton arrived in 2003.
As my friend Robin likes to say, I made humans with my genitals.
As an adopted child with no way of finding the birth parents I felt profoundly moved the first time I held someone related to me by shared blood.
Nathaniel was a perfect first child. I was lucky to get a happy, sleeping, charming first baby. He soothed me through hard moves, he made me smile on bleak days, he was a thing of joy that made every part of my life better and brighter.
In the months before Rachael was in my arms I watched my stomach grow rounder with her presence.
I would put my hand on the firmness of the new life I was growing and wonder to myself, I was enthralled with every part of Nathaniel. Was it possible to love another person as much? Would I feel unfair to this new baby because the emotion I felt for Nathaniel was beyond words? It consumed me. Did I have enough to give without taking away from my son? Would a second child make me less of a mother to both?
I truly didn't know if I had enough to give two babies.
The doctor laid her on my stomach. I was sweaty, tired and still in pain from pushing her out.
It was the most incredible experience. In that moment I knew that there was no question of being able to love her enough. I was already in love with this little person. As I watched Nathaniel croon to his new baby sister there was no question of being capable of loving them.
There was no doubt about the capacity of my soul to surround this third baby too. She was born, I adored her too.
My heart grew again.
Now they're older. They are becoming the adults they will grow into. I see bit and pieces of inherited personality. I watch unique people emerging.
Can I love them all the same?
When they ask me I'll tell each of them they're my favorite.
But I tell them there's no way I can love them the same.
I love them all equally. I don't love any one more than I love the others but I love them for the very different people they are. THEY aren't the same so how could I love them the same?
They're starting to GET that.
I'm incapable of describing my love for my children in a way that doesn't diminish my feelings to simple words.
I hope they'll understand that.
Maybe they won't until they have children of their own.