Recently, in family therapy we went over some adoption books and discussed how we will refer to Sheila when talking about her. Our amazing therapist asked them how they know "this Mom" cares about them and loves them.
Smiley: She is kind.
Simon: She makes us dinner. She gives us hugs.
Stella: She tries really hard.
Sarah: She never gives up.
I had tears in my eyes. My whole life I have wanted to be a Mom and the kind of Mom that sets an example for their kids. Their answers gave me confirmation that I'm accomplishing this. My kids see me setting an example of the types of lessons I want them to learn.
I want them to be kind. I want them to be good citizens of their communities. I want them to be affectionate. I want them to believe that they can overcome the crap hand they were dealt at the beginning of their lives to accomplish their dreams by putting forth the effort and keeping at them.
I mark it a win.