When does a woman become a mother? Is it when she conceives for the first time? Is it when she becomes aware of her baby? Is it when she first holds her child in her arms?
I pondered those questions as I was decorating a nursery, taking infant CPR classes, buying car seats and driving a minivan. No baby was growing in my womb, known or unbeknownst to me. I had not see my first child’s face, breathed her name or held her in my arms.
Yet, I felt like a mother.
So, I asked God, “When does a woman become a mother?”
When you said yes to becoming a mother, you became a mother, His silent voice echoed through my heart.
In the past few years, I’ve often said that our first foster daughter, “Ladybug,” is the one who made me a mother. But that’s only true in the physical sense. Spiritually and mentally, I was already a mother before the night I said yes to that phone call from Child Protective Services. I was alone the night I met her and the moment that I held her in my arms for the first time. Where my husband Jason was on tour in Norway it was 3am. He wasn’t aware that we’d gained our first daughter until he woke up several hours later and checked his email. But the moment I became a mother—the moment he became a father—we were together. In love, through tears and with broken hearts as we sat across the dinner table discussing the needs of hurting kids in our community, we said yes together.
I challenge you childless woman who is waiting, preparing, longing: though your arms are still empty, if your heart says yes, claim your motherhood. Whether your first child has not yet been conceived, or if he is waiting in a hard crib on the other side of the world, or if she is being kissed goodnight by another mother tonight—your future is known. God knows. He has already written your story. If the Father has beckoned you and you’ve said yes to becoming a mother, you are a mother.