Anyone ever play that game? I can’t remember if I have or if I haven’t, but I know how it is played. It is a great get to know someone game. I have also heard it is a good drinking game, not that I have ever played it that way. But the object of the game is to say something that you never have done and then see if someone else actually has done it before. For example, never have I ever eaten a raw egg. And then if someone in the circle has eaten a raw egg before, they either lose a point, drink, or however else you want to play the game. The person with the last piece of candy or the last point wins. For some reason, I was thinking about this game the other day.
Most of you know we waited almost six years to become a family of three. Six long, hard years. I remember the March before our son was born, we had a visit from our sweet friends and their then four children (they have six now). It was after their visit that I realized I may never be a mom. But I was going to be there for them. And for the first time in all of those years of waiting, I was ok with that. Looking back, I know it is exactly where God needed me to be. Being ok with His plans for our lives.
The cliff notes version of our friendship starts close to 13 years ago. We met at church. Back when they only had one child. Oh how fast life changes. We were active in our church nursery and quickly fell in love with their daughter. And then their son. And then their other son. It was an instant friendship. We spent every Sunday with them. We spent more time with them than we did with our own family.
And then their lives changed. Our lives changed. Forever. Their daddy died unexpectedly. I can remember everything about this time in my life. And if I can remember it, can you imagine how they feel? I don’t know what it is like to lose a parent. But my husband does. His daddy died in a car accident when my husband was 9. So, he understood what these kids were going through. He was there for them. We were there for them. And then there was a time when we weren’t there anymore. And it tugged at my heartstrings. I needed to be back by them. I needed to watch them grow up. I needed my kids back. I needed my friend back.
Remember that game I mentioned, never have I ever. I wish I could say never have I ever had to sleep with my best friend who just lost her husband. Or never have I ever had to watch my friend’s children lose their dad. But I can’t. And I did. And it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in this life, so far. It changed them. It changed me.
There is a happy ending to this story. Of course there is. God is writing it. I will save that one for another day!
But my point of sharing this story. Well, there are a lot of them, but mainly because if I were to say never have I ever loved someone else’s children like my own, I would have to drink or lose a point or a piece of candy. Because I have. I have loved someone else’s children like my own. Twice.
First, I love my son who was born to another woman as my own. Never once have I looked at him and thought he wasn’t mine. I never looked at him and thought how could I love you because you were born to another woman. I can’t. I can’t because he is mine. She chose me to be his mom and his mom I will be until my dying day. Never have I looked at him than anything less than the most precious gift that has ever been given to me.
And then I loved these children, all six of them, as if they are mine. I can’t say that about all my friend’s children. I wish I could. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my friend’s children. Just not the same. And certainly not as much as I love my own. It is not an easy thing to love someone else’s children as much as your own. But I can say without a shadow of a doubt, I do. I love them equally as Jackson. Not one less than the other and not one more than the other. Equally. My heart is split into 7 equal pieces.
Can you say that you have loved another woman’s children as your own?