It’s 3:24 a.m., and she’s crying.


I roll out of bed and push my frazzled hair out of my face.

Using a flashlight from my iPhone, I dodge dozens of toys and stuffed Elmos sprawled on the floor.

We’ve got to get rid of some of these, I think to myself for the millionth time.

I shuffle into the kitchen, shake up a bottle and tiptoe quietly into her room.

“Shhhhhhh…It’s okay, baby girl. Momma’s here,” I tell my 5-month old who’s impatiently screaming for something to eat.

I reach into her crib and gently pick her up, praying her big sis stays asleep.

Her head nestles under my neck as she catches her breath and calms down.

Groggy, I take a deep breath, sigh and close my eyes.

God, I’m exhausted. I’m worn. Give me the courage to face this day so early in the morning . . . 

And then it happens.

I lift my heavy eyelids, and my daughter’s dark eyes meet mine.

For a fleeting moment, my tiredness escapes me.

Those beady brown eyes staring up at me were born out of courage and strength; they’re identical to her birth momma’s.

Tears start welling up in the corners of my eyes.

I can’t think about my daughter’s birth mom without emotions overtaking me.

My chin starts quivering as I stroke her curly hair and start remembering…

I remember the phone call when I found out she chose me as her daughter’s momma for a lifetime.

It takes courage to admit you want more for your child than you can provide. It takes courage to choose a life for your child, even if it’s not with you.

I remember the moment my husband and I met her in a small hospital room on a cold winter day; we hugged and wept for hours.

It takes courage to admit adoption is hard and messy, sad and joyous.

I remember the moment she kissed her daughter goodbye and walked out of the hospital with the doors closing behind her.

It takes courage to trust strangers with providing a life filled with everything you wish for your child. It takes courage to lovingly carry a baby for nine months and have faith in a family you’ve chosen for her.

Tears start running down my cheeks as I remember these things.

Suddenly, my silent prayer for courage to get through another early morning of motherhood seems minuscule because our family was born out of it.