You–who’s lost seven children in miscarriage; who dreams at night of being called Mother and who weeps over Fisher Price commercials.

You–who’s been told her whole life that womanhood is synonymous with motherhood, who’s tried and cried and bled and there’s still no child, just the afterbirth.

You–who has visions of toddlers hanging off her in heaven, whose sole longing is to rock a daughter or son to sleep, who maybe has names and titles and accolades but the cradle in your nursery sits empty… You.

You are seen.
You are heard.
You are loved.

And you are the mother this world needs because your arms are so very wide, and your door, so open, and the streets littered with unwanted children and you see them. You welcome them in and you give them mugs of tea and cookies and you hold them, both of you shaking from a world racked with wrong, and you’re family to each other.

And this is the holiest of callings, friend, this one you are filling, mother of the motherless–you are creating life in the holiest of ways, by spending yourself hour after hour on behalf of those who have nothing and no one.

I’ve fostered children and there is no love greater than that for a child who is not your own, because it takes an effort that wears you thin and a perseverance and a fortitude and a servant’s heart that is determined not to let this young one get hurt. That is determined to fight for someone else’s baby.

You–friend, who’s believed all her life she is not complete because her biological womb has never been filled, this is a lie, because the Holy Spirit fills you to overflowing and you are giving birth to God’s children--they’re all over your living room and couches and walls, they’re your adopted sons and daughters and you didn’t let your sorrow steal you away. You let it grow into something tall and strong and beautiful, a sunflower, that stretches to the sky and provides food and shade for all of the homeless birds.

You are light. You are Love. You are beauty.

And we thank you, mother of the earth. For your selfless devotion. For your timeless affection. For your sacrifice.

You. Are. Woman.

(Dedicated to my friend, Anna)