“It seems to be the lament of many adoptive mothers I meet, ‘I didn’t really feel it.’ Somewhere along the line, adoption has become associated with the myth of ‘love at first sight.’ I surely cannot say that no one feels this, but I can say that not everyone does, and not everyone has to. Because the truth is, love is a thing that grows.”
Missionary and author Katie Davis knows something about love and how is grows. She first went to Uganda on a high school mission trip in 2006, and she returned shortly after her graduation to teach kindergarten at an orphanage. From there, her ministry grew, and she founded Amazima Ministries which matches vulnerable Ugandan children with education sponsors, feeds 1,200 children a day in the impoverished community of Masese, and provides a self-sustaining vocational program for Ugandan women who make jewelry.
Perhaps most remarkable, as Katie lived and served in Uganda, she became a foster mother to many of the orphaned and at-risk children in her community. Though she is only 26 years old, she has now legally adopted 13 Ugandan daughters. Katie says of her experience:
“I knew many of my children months or years before I became their mother. When I first met them, I had no idea that this would be a bond we would share. Even when they first moved in and we filled out the foster care papers, I was tentative. I didn’t really feel like a mother, I felt like a stopgap in the system, a temporary solution. Even as we took steps to make their adoptions more permanent, after God had made it clear that we would be a forever family, I fumbled, often feeling more like a babysitter, or on good days, a fun aunt.
Parents who are still feeling this way, be encouraged: you didn’t miss the miracle. The love at first sight moment isn’t really what it is all about, and might not happen for all of us. Some days, love isn’t a feeling, it is a choice.”
In honor of National Adoption Month, we wanted to share Katie’s unique perspective and message of hope for mothers. Whether your children are biological or adopted, whether or not you share Katie’s religious perspective, her words resonate with wisdom for all mothers who may be struggling to feel the confidence, happiness, and connection with their children that they hoped to feel: “I just wanted to tell you, it is ok. You didn’t miss it. You didn’t miss His call and you didn’t miss the miracle. Love is a thing that grows.”
To read the entirety of Katie’s remarkable article on this subject, continue on to her website here.