{raising my girl tribe}

I’m a girl mom. I have three daughters, all under the age of 5. I am inundated with all things pink, sparkly, and princess and in this moment in my life I wouldn’t change it for anything.

When I was pregnant with my oldest, I thought I was having a boy. David and I didn’t find out the gender until she was born. We had waited for the most magical moment, which didn’t happen quite as I had played it through in my mind, but either way I couldn’t have been more thrilled and surprised I had a baby girl. I immediately did some online shopping for a couple of pink onesies and pajamas so that I could have something other than yellow to put my brand new baby girl in.

Shortly after her first birthday, I found out I was pregnant again and I had convinced myself that I wanted to find out if we were having another girl or a boy. After trying to convince my husband to climb aboard, he reminded me that at our age we don’t get many surprises and wanted this to be a big surprise. So once again, we waited until the birth to find out we were adding a second girl to our little family.

Talk about convenience as far as everything!! Even still, I went to the store within the first week to buy her some new pink onesies and a couple of pink newborn footed pajamas and topped her newborn head with a big bow. 

Things changed during the pregnancy with Bernadette. I was thrilled to find out at 20 weeks her gender and was excited to be welcoming a third girl into our growing family. Our oldest was probably the most excited of all. We told her on Valentine’s Day that she was going to be a big sister and she naturally started referring to the baby as her sister before we even knew. She called it! Or having a sister was all she ever knew so automatically any additional babies would be sisters. That makes the most sense to a 3 year old. Even now she asks if she can have more sisters someday. And each day the number of sisters she wants increases. She has such a special place in her heart for both of her little sisters.

Watching the girls is magical. Ok, not all of the time. A lot of the time I feel like I’m playing referee between the two older ones while feeding the younger one. But, there is something so beautiful and captivating when they play together, nicely, enjoying each other. I sit there and watch and get completely lost in the moment of their pretend play, thankful of course they haven’t asked me to join in at that time. It always comes at some point. And then there is the way the look at each other. I want to bottle up the look in their eyes and keep it forever. It is the most enduring, tender-hearted look I have ever seen.

There is a way they play with Bernadette that causes the same feeling inside of me. They see her for exactly who she is. Their sister. Bernadette Hope. The littlest but bravest member of our tribe. The way they love her unconditionally truly ministers to the deepest part of my heart. The don’t look at her and see “Down Syndrome”. So pure. So innocent. So magical.

I can honestly say that I learn more from them than I ever thought I would have in so many areas. I have heard it said many times before, that your kids are the ones that call you out the most and cause you to take a deeper look inside yourself. They show you things about yourself, a whole lotta ugly, areas that the Lord is using them to expose so He can continue to do His glorious work within you.

When I look at Adelle, I see so much of myself in her. Some of her areas of struggle are like a billboard blaring at me in the brightest of lights exposing the areas of struggle in my own self. After the moments of hard and ugly, she looks into my eyes with her most beautiful clear blue eyes and it all fades into the background as I’m left with the feeling that I can’t even believe that she is the first, the first one to make me a mama. My first daughter.

Two more of the most beautiful and perfect girls followed to join our family, each of them being used to break down my old self, piece by piece by piece. As much as it hurts, I wouldn’t change it. As they grow, God uses them to change me, to be more like who He has created me to be. 

My biggest prayer for them aside from walking with the Lord is that they become strong and brave women one day. And that the two older will fight hard for the younger. The Lord only knows what lays ahead for the three of them, but for now, in between their own fighting of who gets what train to play with, I want to soak in every ounce of their sweetness.

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