Posted on September 2, 2009 - by Dawn Ford
Men! All of my life I have been surrounded by men. Disgusting habit wheedling, dirty sock wearing, testosterone pumping creatures. I grew up with three older brothers, had more male cousins than female ones and ended up having, yep-you know it… three boys.
I spent most of my pregnancy months in prayer for a daughter. I ignored all the opinions of the ultrasound techs and doctors who all stated, “Congratulations, it’s a boy!” Bah, humbug. It seemed to me that everyone I knew (at least those I cared to count in my mind) could have daughters. My husband’s sister Lori had two, Nichol and Heather, both blue eyed blondes just like I prayed for. I loved my nieces, but surely God wasn’t listening to me.
My husband didn’t want any more children, but seven years after my middle son Dylan was born, I talked John into trying to have that girl. I vowed if God didn’t give me a daughter then, I knew He was telling me no. Colton was born in September of 2000. God succinctly told me no; there was no more denying it.
Back in the fall of 1994 my sister-in-law Lori died in a horrible car accident. She left behind her then 4 and 6 year old daughters with a father who was unable to take care of them. They ended up in the care of his mother and step-father.
Two years after Lori died, my mother-in-law died leaving us to care for John’s disabled father Ronnie. We stayed in close touch with the girls, keeping them for birthdays, holidays and anytime we were able. We maintained a close relationship with them, and between Ronnie and his granddaughters. Then three years ago John’s dad along with his grandmother died, both a day apart. To make matters worse, their grandfather (their father’s step-dad), whom the girls were very close to, died a few months later.
It was a dark time for all of us, but mostly for the girls, whose lives began to unravel. Their grandmother’s health began to decline and the girls began to rebel. We were finally told some of the incidents that were happening and in a swift moment of decision became the guardians of Heather. Having lived on her own and after making many bad choices, Nichol moved in shortly thereafter. The girls had a tough time fitting into my strict/religious household. I didn’t know if they were going to love me or hate me because I stood firm on what I thought was right. I questioned the reasons why I stepped in to take over for a spirited and headstrong 16 year old, and allowed a wild 18 year old to come live with us.
One afternoon Heather asked if she could call me mom. She was so young when her mom and John’s mom died that she didn’t remember them much, and she and her guardian grandmother had never really seen eye to eye. She told me she knew I was doing what I thought was right for her, even though she fought it. I was the closest thing she would come to having a real mother. I cried.
Now every mother’s day and on my birthday I can count on Heather to call me, give me a card or take me out. She still calls me mom. I do many mother-daughter things with both her and Nichol and am a surrogate grandmother to Nichol’s children Ryan and Olivia.
I know it’s not what I asked for, but it’s what He gave me. It is more precious than gold. My unexpected blessing. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.