I Grew In Mommy’s Heart

We need to remind our kids how special they are, whether they grew in our tummies or our hearts.


Since the day Zoe came home, she and Arella have been best friends. Yes, we have had our fair share of crazy and drama and sisterly tiffs, but for the most part these girls are inseparable.

They love each other as sisters, as best friends. They are a safe place for each other to ask hard questions, and they are always there for each other, constantly building each other up.

The other day the girls were drawing on their dry erase easel in the laundry room with the door closed. The door has slats on it, so I could hear every word they were saying crystal clear.

For a while they were just telling stories about what they were drawing. Babies and mommies are a big part of play right now with the girls, so of course their discussion eventually came around to that topic.

Then out of left field Arella, with a little bit of attitude in her voice, tells Zoe, “I grew in my mommy’s tummy. But YOU didn’t.” My head whipped around to listen closely to rest of the conversation.

Next I heard Zoe trying to defend herself but the words just weren’t coming. She stumbled over phrases like “but babies…” and just got stuck. How is a three-and-a-half-year-old supposed to defend herself against her older, wiser sister of four?

I walked in and whispered in her ear, “Zoe, you didn’t grow in my tummy, but I went to China as fast as I could to get you and bring you home.”

She protested, “But I want to grow in your tummy, too!” I could tell she was close to tears. It reminded me of our conversation a few months ago, the first time it started to get hard for her to grasp.

This time I whispered, “Zoe, you didn’t grow in my tummy. You grew in my heart.

Suddenly, like a flip was switched, she was absolutely beaming.

So I quickly and quietly backed out of the room.

As the door closed, I heard Zoe proudly tell her sister, “Arella, I grew in Mommy’s HEART! Did you grow in her heart?”

Arella replied, “No, I grew in her tummy. That’s pretty cool, Zoe.”

Obviously all children grow in our hearts, adopted, biological, foster, even the surprise ones. Once we know we have a child, that’s when the love begins to grow in our hearts and where it eventually overflows from. We just don’t talk about that angle enough. It was exactly what Zoe needed to hear and know for where she is in her journey right now.

And my dear Spicy Peanut, it is absolutely, 100% true.

  • Brandi
    Posted at 15:13h, 24 June Reply

    Oh my goodness I love this!! Made me cry! Wonderful job Laura, you are such a wonderful Mommy.

    • Laura Wilkinson
      Posted at 19:03h, 24 June Reply

      Ah, thank you Brandi! But seriously this parenting business is a learn-on-the-job type gig. Some days you score big, some days the kids conquer. It’s all about learning from mistakes, forgiveness and perseverance.

  • Kim Bihrer
    Posted at 19:14h, 24 June Reply

    Oh, tears in my eyes reading this sweet post. Those are precious discussions with our adopted children. We had this poem in Keatyn’s bedroom for years and we still have it saved in a box somewhere. 🙂 You start loving them before you even meet them….but the split second they are in your arms— it is LOVE pure and simple. No difference. <3

    • Laura Wilkinson
      Posted at 19:31h, 24 June Reply

      Yes Kim! I completely agree. Love is love.

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