I have heard from a young age that I will not fully understand love until I have a child of my own. This could be completely true, but what I have experienced in the last 3 years of my life, I see as more love than I have ever felt. But this story begins in the most unexpected way, 5 years ago.
At 15, a sophomore in high school, I got a job at a chiropractors office. Little did I know that I would meet and have a relationship with the personification of my own heart. Over the next two years, I worked hard and learned so much. I learned how to be responsible, have a job, save money, talk on the phone, and be an adult. Slowly but surely, this job shaped me into the person I am today.
Now let me tell you about my bosses. They are a couple who own a chiropractic office together, maintain a relationship, and have a beautiful home (and some adorable cats). Over time, I began to learn more about them, since it was just the three of us most of the time. They became the people I trusted the most.
As our relationship grew and the business grew, I became so proud of them and how far they had come. Since I was in high school, I went through drama with boys, friends, and family, which often distracted me from my work. My bosses saw this and took me under their wing. They were patient and loving through everything. They loved me as their own.
In 2013, they found out they were pregnant. And after months of waiting and wondering, a little baby girl was born. Before she was born, I was constantly wanting the baby to be a boy because I swore a girl and I would not get along. But when I heard the news and saw her picture, I was completely filled with joy that I had never experienced.
I held her in my arms, two weeks later and I was astonished by her beauty and tiny body. This was the first time I looked at a child and truly saw the face of God. And the next year, my senior year, I watched this baby every week.Through watching her, I had a roller coaster of emotions. And I created a relationship that cannot be understood by many; one that I have received judgement for.
My family and I considered her 'birth control' because I saw how unprepared I was to have a child. I saw the reality of being a parent and how difficult it can be. But on the other hand, I saw the beauty of a growing child. Being a part of her firsts, like rolling over, crawling, and walking; it was indescribable. Little did anyone know, I used a crying, sleeping, or eating baby as someone I could share anything with. I told her everything, through song, prayer, and stories.
I have continued to watch her grow and become this intelligent, independent, and vivacious little girl. More recently, I have felt this responsibility to become someone she would want to be like one day. My mini-me has made me take a step back and become a woman I would be proud of.
Sure the love I feel for her may not be equivalent to the love of a parent, but this is as close as I can get right now. My heart aches when she hurts. I celebrate her every win. I have her picture plastered everywhere as a reminder of the little girl who has my heart. I would sacrifice anything for a girl that isn't even mine.
This is what I consider true love. This is love that God shows to us. This is love that we need more in the world. This is the love that I never thought I would experience by getting a job.