Our family was made through foster adoption, I think about my children’s biological moms often.

Every day, really.

I don’t see them, but I pray for them. I cry for them. I look at their online profiles and want to plead with them to stop what they’re doing and run towards happiness.

These women–these broken women, these young women–these other women. Women who chose life and then couldn’t find a way to choose their kids over their demons. Women whose arms are empty while mine are full.

They carried these babies, and I am eternally grateful for that.

They got them here, which is something I couldn’t do.

They were there when my sweet children were born, which I wasn’t.

They tried. I am sure they tried.

And though it is a terribly complicated relationship, along with the frustration and anger and confusion born from seeing the ways that their choices affected our children, I also have an intense sympathy and love for them. A love that comes from sadness and longing.

I hope someday we can have contact. That their choices will change.

Until then, each birthday and holiday, every milestone and new school year, I will always be thinking of them.

Hoping peace for them while we celebrate our family.

I wish I could comfort these women, tell them I’m sorry that they lost these babies who were once theirs. I know these kids now, I know the extent of their beauty, and what a loss it must have been.

Maybe better than they do, in a way, because I have nothing numbing my body and brain, clouding my instinct to mother.

It’s a loss I haven’t endured, but spent many months bracing myself for.

But I look at these babies, these brothers and sisters who would never have known each other.

I see a little arm that goes around little shoulder when one senses the other is upset.

I listen to the cars push along the floor, the giggles that come from sharing, and the whines that come from not. The laughter and tears.

I know they are here for big reasons. Even if I will never understand why it had to happen this way- for them or for their birth families or for us- I will never regret this path we are on.

I would never trade this experience for the ability to bear children.

I will always be trying to find the best answers for them.

I will never forget their birth families’ struggles.

And I will never cease to be in awe of how wonderful they are, or that I get the privilege of raising them.