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Though I may say "my children", they are not my possession.

I have been debating sharing a recent journal entry and decided I just had too. If you have been through a divorce or started a blended family, this will be familiar yet I believe challenging when you read on. It is my hope that everyone who reads will gain and understanding and a greater capacity to love and accept, to understand that hurts also help us grow, and there is beauty in storms of life.

A journal could never contain all of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences. But wanted to take some time this early morning...

Yesterday was Chosen's 5th birthday and Jared's (turning 9) piano recital was also last night. I invited their father and his new wife, their "bonus mom", and their grandmother from his side also came along. We have such a large blended family, but we make it all work for the kiddos (and our own peace). I knew the children were going to be excited to see them, especially because they've been with me and my husband for the last handful of days during their stretch with mom. My daughter, Promise (2), was happy to see daddy at first and proudly walking with him into the building to the piano recital. We all sat together and in the front row- best seats in the house to watch Jared. Promise mostly sat with her "bonus mom" on her lap, who was also sitting next to me. Over and over again, Promise chanted "momma", as she addressed her. Promise clung to her, almost forgetting about me. "she is just excited to see her Amanda", I would remind myself. I'd hear Promise say,"my momma", as she babbled to everyone, meaning her.

Overall it wasn't bothering me, though I had my moments. I also know that saying "momma", is easier to say than her name for my daughter as she hasn't been able to do yet. Even my husbands name, she has formed "La La" as a short nickname almost because she hasn't been able to say his full name. 
Now let me also tell you that my ex husband and I also discussed when we both got remarried that we would leave the choice to the children on the titles they wanted to call their new "bonus" parents. Agreeing that if the children chose they can freely call one "mom" and the other "dad". My daughter has mostly known her father and myself as apart. She has had her in her life since being a baby before they recently got married. My sons were a bit older when we separated (3,5,and 7) 

I am thankful that she is able to say "mom, momma, and mommy". 

I had a few moments where my mind raced thoughts of, "I can do this, I can share". I had a moment of questioning, "would Promise grow up closer to her than me?" "is she softer with her?", "does she take the time for more dress-up play than I do?", as i watched Promise tightly clench a compact mirror pulled from her bonus mom's purse that clearly seemed to be for Promise and made her very joyful. 

If Promise did get off of her lap it was brief, to run to her grandmother, and then back. Not once did she want to come to me. You can imagine the  room left in your mind to start internally examining yourself. And i also kept reminding myself that i will not go there in my head. This is not a competition and will never make it about that. I know who I am and that is a wonderful thing. Of course i know my dear daughter loves me. 

There were times that I was completely unphased by the "momma" ringing in my ears, but I suppose it is a natural thought to also have it sting.

I never heard my sons call her "momma", just my daughter. Once in a while they call my husband "dad". I believe being called "mom" or "dad" is such an honor, a title that is usually earned. Part of hearing them call the inherited parents those titles hurts because, in this big blended family, I may never hear the profound title "mom" uttered from my inherited "bonus daughters" my husband has added to our family. I know how much I love them,as my own. There will never be a pressure to be called mom, it truly is an honor to called this and also an honor just to be part of a child's life. (They are a gift and heritage from the Lord). My bonus daughters didn't grow up with me as this role in their young and impressionable life like my biological children are in hers. There is absolutely nothing I can do about that, though I may longingly wish I could've. 

But here is my biological daughter, and oh how I longed for a daughter in the midst of raising 4 boys (I have a son from a previous relationship too), and a loss of twin girls before I conceived Promise. The only daughter who may ever call me mom, is confidently announcing "momma" to her.
I get it....she is their mother too. I share custody with my ex husband. And she is there for them half the time. I know she loves them.
Mother's day was this week and I bought a card and gift for her from the children.
I've accepted this, it's how it is...
It's been a long road and the journey is far from being's still just beginning.

Once upon a time their bonus mom was a friend of mine, my children only ever called me mom and their father dad.

My thoughts "I can share" stretched to how I can share these children with so many others, so I can share with her too.
Though I may say "my children...", they are not my possession.

They were never meant to plunder all to myself. Daddy God shares them with me- His best work- He let me bring them up, He trusted me- and I want them to know that they are free to LOVE, free to roam, free to change this world and leave their mark, free to not only have a tie to me, BUT because of their tie to me- they can boldly love. In love and freedom to love, they will walk and soar in their purpose and calling. They are a gift to be shared with this world just as I believe Daddy God has shared with me for all the world.

"Open our hearts to the love God instills...God loves you tenderly. What He gives you is not to be kept under lock and key, but to be shared" Mother Teresa


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