This I Believe

Kirsten - Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Entered on September 8, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I Believe in Listening to the Heart

Thirteen years ago I had a dream about a beautiful little girl in a pink party dress. In the dream, she was my daughter and she was Latino. At the time I was seven months pregnant, and I woke up frightened that the child inside me was not my own and that it would not resemble me and my husband. We were both caucasian.

Little did I know that just over a month later a real life nightmare would begin. Just as the nursery was completed and the shower gifts were neatly tucked away, my daughter, Carolyn, arrived into this world, stillborn.

The shock, disillusionment, anger and grief that engulfed me were life changing. My not so perfect marriage ended, and I set out to heal as best I could and to find my way back, holding onto that one secret hope, that someday I would be a Mommy. During this period I threw myself into my work and enjoyed my life of teaching with satisfaction, always thinking, as the clock was ticking, “I’m still young. I’ll meet somebody.”

Well, some Prince Charmings came and went; A Prince Harming or two; and even several Prince Alarmings. And I began to ask myself what it was that I really wanted in my life. And that one thing was not necessarily to be a wife, but absolutely, to a Mommy.

I then remembered the dream so long ago of that beautiful Latino baby and I knew immediately with absolute certainty what that dream was saying to me. I didn’t need a husband. There were already babies living in this world who needed Mommies and who needed homes and who needed unconditional love. It was such a simple equasion. My heart did this math, not my mind.

My second daughter, Arias Angeles, traveled with me from Guatemala to live in the U.S. on December 1, 2004. Now she is a big four years old and when she asks me, “Mommy, did I come from your tummy?” I reply, “No, baby, you came from my heart.”

The transformative qualities of love that this child brings to my life are boundless. She is a miracle. If I had not listened to my heart, I believe that the fears of the unknown: fears of other people’s negativity, fears of single parenting, fears of unending paperwork and preparation, fears of a different skin color, fears of loving someone again, might all have kept me from realizing my heart’s dream, which turned out to be this precious little girl from Guatemala, who calls me Mommy.

I believe we should listen to our hearts. For it is our hearts that speak the greatest truths.