Ken and I talked about children before we got married and agreed if the other decided they wanted children we would have them, but we didn’t feel strongly about it either way. We checked in with each other from time to time and never got the itch. We had nieces and nephews on both sides of our families so we had lots of children in our lives and I got to help mother most of them. We have been Auntie and Uncle to all of the kids and their friends.

Hailey is our great niece on my side and we fell in love with her as soon as she was born. Her mom was young, so Hailey spent a lot of time with us. We spent weekends and vacations together, and we brought her to St. Luke’s from the beginning. She came to live with us when she was 12 because her mom had some problems. That was five years ago and we have grown so much together. We are so blessed to have her and she is such a joy in our lives. We have a great Sunday school class and I learned a lot about being a parent over the years watching our friends as their children grew, parenting through the joys and struggles. I learned even more about myself and my need to be in control. I know now more than ever that I am not in control and I have learned to lean on God.

Hailey is now 17 and is such a wonder— strong, smart and resilient. I couldn’t be more proud as a mom if I had given birth to her. On this day people wish me Happy Mother’s Day and I accept that wish knowing that even if I don’t hold the official title I joyfully accept the role and feel like a mother. This was God’s plan for us and I couldn’t be more grateful.

So Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and all the mother figures!