Thank you so much for sharing your heart. We had over 300 entries and you sure made our job tough. We feel so privileged that every one of you took the time to express your thoughts and emotions through the I’m Glad You Were Born promotion. We hope you were able to take time and read through the entries yourself as we feel, while every story was unique, there are so many of you in similar situations. Moms, in every form of the word, contributed: single moms, young moms, mothers who have struggled to conceive, adoptive parents, moms who are striving through hardships, mommas who are taking care of babies in pain, step moms, new moms, and moms in waiting. The list goes on and on. Each and every child represented are blessed to have parents that value their very existence.
Those chosen are individuals who we feel best articulated the message of this blog event “I’m Glad You Were Born”. They collectively represent voices we heard echoed over and over. We thank you for your patience while we took time to carefully consider each submission. Because of all of you this event was truly a success. We are happy to announce the following winners.
Thanks and Warmest Regards,
The Cotton Babies Team
Gift certificates will be emailed to the winners and can only be redeemed online through the Cotton Babies website. You must either live in the United States or have a shipping address in the United States to be eligible to win.
Runners Up (in no specific order) winners of $10 gift certificate to Cotton Babies
I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but my journey as one began a lot earlier than I expected. When I was 14, my sister gave birth to the most influential human being in my life to date. Jacob. When he was 3 months old, my sister and her husband separated. She and Jacob moved back in with my family, and Jacob became the most important thing in my life. While my sister finished school and recovered from a broken heart, I cared for that little boy. I rocked him, fed him, played with him and I even got up with him sometimes in the night. His parents reconciled 2 years later, and he moved back to our home state with them. My heart was broken to see him go, but it was changed forever. I am so glad that I have him as a nephew and that I was able to have a part in raising him for the first 2 years. He prepared me to be a mother, and taught me love in such a different way. Now I have a son of my own who gets that love lavished on him every day. I feel that my love for my son is even more special because of what I experienced with Jacob. Jacob, I’m glad you were born. I would not be the mother I am today without you.
I’m so glad that you will be born to my best friend. We tried to get pregnant together, but although my daughter is now 14 months old…you are not ready yet. I know that you will come when you are supposed to. I comfort your mother and father as much as I can. I cry for her, hurt for her, and watch as I see the pain in her face, even though she smiles at my sweet child. When you come, you will be loved, cherished and happy to be in the family. You will delight your parents; you will bring unconditional love into their hearts. You will awaken the mother inside of her that has been patiently waiting on your arrival.
My sweet Eden
From the moment I conceived you, I loved you. You were an angel in disguise. You grew in stature and in love and every day I cherished your existence. Because of you, I found true love. You taught me more in the 9 months I carried you than I had learned in the 31 previous years I had lived on this earth. You are and always will be my daughter, my sweet Eden. Because of you, I learned how to fight a good fight. You showed me the finest example of what a true champion was.
From the moment I learned I’d lose you, I fought for you. You were a blessing in disguise. You astounded the doctors and every day you grew in stature and love and every day I cherished your existence. Because of you, I became an advocate for others who didn’t have a say. You taught me more in the 3 months between your diagnosis and your transformation than I will learn again in a lifetime. You are and always will be my daughter, my sweet Eden. Because of you, I learned what an amazing support network I have of family and friends. You showed us how families ought to function in crisis.
From the moment you slipped out of my body and into the waiting arms of a higher power, I ached for you. You were a tiny rosebud, too beautiful for earth. You were the picture of perfection and proved that each day you had grown in stature and in love, and to this day I cherish your existence. Because of you, I became a mother. You taught me just how much a person can change another for the better. You taught me more in the 9 months that I carried you than I could have dreamed possible. You are and always will be my daughter, my sweet Eden. Because of you, I learned how much courage I possessed and how strong I truly was. You showed me that a mother’s love doesn’t ever change, even when her child is no longer of this world.
From the moment I learned that your brothers would be joining our family, I thanked you. You sent me two angels straight from Heaven. Your brothers grew in stature and in love and every day I cherish them. Because of you, I have learned to live in the moment. You taught me that a mother has a heart big enough for all of her children. You are and always will be my daughter, my sweet Eden. Because of you, I found the freedom to laugh at the little things and love in the midst of heartache. You showed me it was ok to move from grief to glory.
I am a mother, because of the gift of you. Thank you for being my sweet Eden!
For my future children, both unborn & born but waiting in the system:
I always hear Moms say that they never knew how much they could love another person. I believe that’s true deep down to my very being, I believe this because every day I get little fleeting glimpses into that divine power of a mother’s love. It comes so quickly, so unexpectedly, that it takes my breath away.
To my unborn children,
I feel my maternal love float by at the quicken of a breeze, I have vivid dreams of you my little love. Dreams so vivid I wake up wondering how it wasn’t possibly real. The desire I have to cradle you in my arms, bring you to my breast to nourish you, to see you sigh in contentment in your sleep is more than I can take sometimes.
To my born and waiting children,
I hope that when I die I will have been a mother to hundreds of children. I want so badly to be the loving, comforting and safe home to the millions of children that wait in the foster care system, and to the thousands of other children who are still suffering the abuse and neglect in their homes now. I want to hold you while you cry, be there when you’re let down time and time again, kiss your boo boos and help you blossom into the bright and happy child you should have always been. Every child needs a place to call home with someone that loves them.
So to both my born and unborn children, Every nail we hammer in to renovate our home for you, every book we read and article we study, every dollar we earn is to done to bring you home, into my waiting arms.
I love you more than you’ll ever know
We created an email address for my daughter, and every so often I send her a message to read in the years to come, this is today’s:
Mother’s day is coming up, and this is my second year at it. How am I doing? Right now you are a bouncy, shrieking with joy, mud puddle splashing mess! You won’t remember apartments lived in, countless diaper changes, block towers, or the endless times you were told ‘no’ to pulling the cable box off of the television. What I hope you remember is laughter. Lightning bugs. Shade trees. Kool-aid grins and Popsicles running down your arms. I hope you remember snow forts, wildflowers, and cuddles on the couch. You won’t remember house construction, or scraped knees, or the many times you ate dirt. I do hope you remember feeling safe, loved, treasured. I’m so glad you were born. You won’t remember tantrums, or immunizations, or early morning nursing sessions. I will remember, though. The agony of labor too soon, the joy of hearing ‘it’s a girl’, and checking clearance racks for the next year’s clothes. I hope you remember the good things, the happy things, the reasons your dad and I gave you life. Strawberries and butterflies, watching the ripples in the bed of the creek, sand in between your toes and skimming rocks. I hope you remember the names of flowers and birds, hawks circling, owls calling out in the night. I hope you remember peace, and stability and joy. I hope family hugs never go out of style and that kisses to your temple are always sweetly cherished. Motherhood is amazing and traumatic, pain and delight, holding tight and letting go. It hits me at this moment that you are the reason I am here. Your sweet smile, your frustrated cry, no one could have shaped you but me. For everything we have shared and will this is my only dream: for you to live, fully and with unfettered joy, is my mother’s day wish for you. You are 18 months old, and I am so glad you were born.
A letter to my son about why I’m glad that he was born.
I am so glad you were born. Before I found out I was pregnant with you, I often thought only of myself. I went to bed and woke up when I wanted to, pursued school goals with reckless abandon (I have the student loans to prove it) and didn’t treat myself very well. When your Dad and I found out that I was pregnant, things had to change. Since you were born your father and I have both finished our degrees, become smarter about silly things like money and security, and even started to eat a little bit better. But wait, there’s more.
Life is better now because you’re in it. You make me go on walks; you’ve got me saying, “Truck!” or “Bus!” every time I drive anywhere. Because the simplest things are often the most fascinating. You add a dimension of responsibility and capability to my life that nothing else could have done. Your constant demands have proven to me how much I have to offer you, and the world around us. You inspire me to do more than I think I can. You need me like no one else has ever, ever needed me before. It scares me, and it overwhelms me with it depth and persistence at times, but it also holds me up.
Because of you, I love your Daddy more, as well. The added challenges you’ve brought to our life, the time constraints and the work and the fear of being a parent, have turned out to be more ways for us to impress each other. You are another thing (although not a “thing” at all) we share. You provide more ways for us to reach out and help each other. You make us watch what we say to each other and think about how we react because we want you to develop healthy, loving relationships one day, too. I loved him before we even knew you would be ours, and love him more and more as I see his expressions on your little face and hear you laugh when he does. You made us a better family.
At the end of the day when I lay you down in your crib and blow one last kiss and shut the door, I have to stifle the urge to run back in and hold you again. But I listen to you from the hallway as you send me one more “Mu-wa!” and say “ban-ket” and “cup!” to yourself as you arrange your bed for the night, I realize that you’re ok. That maybe I need you more than you even need me. And I’m happy when you wake up in the morning because I get to be your Mommy. With everything that brings, I wouldn’t have it any other way. So yes, I’m very, very glad you were born. I love you, Bubbs.
I don’t know who you’ll look like
I don’t know what color your eyes are
I don’t know if you’ll play soccer like your dad
I don’t know if you’ll love to read like me
I don’t know if you will shy away from people
Or be the biggest voice in the room
I don’t know if you want to be a doctor or a teacher or an astronaut
I don’t know if you will prefer dogs or cats
I don’t know what foods will be your favorite
I do know that you have 10 little fingers and 10 little toes
I know that so far you’re average size for your age
I know you have 6 grandparents and 3 great-grandparents
Who all think you hang the moon
I know you have 2 aunts who already fight over who’s the favorite
I know you get excited after you get fed
I know you like to keep your hands near your face
I know your name, my sweet little boy
But I can hardly wait to get to know YOU
I’m so glad you are going to be born
Alana, my first born girl, you were a source of joy in a season of sadness. When it became clear that my Daddy was going to die, your daddy and I decided that we should try to start a family, in the hopes he could see a grandchild before he went to heaven. And guess what? You came 2 months before Grandpa went to heaven. He thought you were so interesting. He would ask everyday if you were doing tricks yet, and even though he couldn’t really hold you, he was delighted by you. When my Daddy died, you were a way for me to keep a piece of him here on earth. You are smart like he was, you are funny like he was, you are stubborn like he was, you like things your way, or no way, JUST like Grandpa. And did you know, that the way you make you sister giggle in the night sometimes, is just what he used to do when he was a kid and lived in the same room with Aunty Susy? Grandpa Charlie was a GREAT story teller, just like you! And he made friends EVERYWHERE he went, just. like. you. I know that he looks down on both of us with Pride. I am so proud of you my big girl. I am so GLAD you were born.
Josephine, my silly second girl. Just when Alana was getting bored with me, you came to save the day. When you were a baby you were always so content, so flexible, so easy to please. You rarely cried, you often laughed and smiled and clapped. You were baby perfection, what every one dreams of. Today, your super power is that you make us laugh even when we are mad, or sad or cranky. You are the most cuddliest kid in the whole house, and I LOVE Saturday mornings because it usually means I get to snuggle you in bed for as long as I want with no time limits. You light up my days with your deep dimpled cheeks, and your booty dance. I love hearing about the world through your eyes, and that way you have to stop to breathe when you are telling me something exciting. Dear one, I am so GLAD you were born.
Charlotte, Charlie, char poo poo, naughty baby, you amazing me with the fearless way you toddle about the world. My third-most baby girl, you have stopped my heart a million times in this short time we have known each other. I find myself gasping when I find you on the back of the couch, or with my kitchen sponge in your mouth, or when you pinch the cat, or when you end up in the filling bath tub with your clothes still on, or when you play in the potty water. There is no holding you back, and no turning my back, you keep me on my feet, that is for sure. It is this tenacious nature that I think helped you stay in mommies tummy for as long as you needed to. Two babies before you didn’t make it anywhere near as long. Before you came mommy was sure her baby making days were over. And then there was you. You terrified me even in the womb, I was so afraid of losing you. I was so afraid my body wouldn’t let you stay. And now you are here, and you won’t let anyone ever forget it for a min. Except at night, when you sleep in strange positions, with sweaty hair and pucker lips. I am so GLAD you were born.
Future baby out there in the world, who may someday get to be part of our family. We think about you almost every day. You sisters ask “when will we adopt a brother?!” And we don’t know yet. But we know you are out there in the universe, maybe even in the world already, and we know God will help us know when the time is right, and we are ready for each other. Future 4th baby, future son, I am so Glad you are, or will be born. I love you already, and you are only an idea.
Before you were born, I thought that I was in charge of my life. I thought I knew what was important. I thought I could control the outcomes. I thought that life was about working hard toward the things that I wanted.
When you came into my life, you taught me a lot.
I am not in charge, God is, and I am thankful for that because there are so many things I would have missed if I were listening to myself alone.
Suddenly, spilled juice on the new carpet, crayon scribbles on the wall, and baby spit-up on that shirt I had to have are unimportant; suddenly, rescuing you from your tumble on the sidewalk and kissing your scraped knees, showing you the moon at night, and knowing you are comfortable and protected are all that is important.
I can’t control the outcomes, but I can love you as if this is the last time I’ll get to show you, I can revel in the wonder of new things with you, I can spend an hour digging up roly polies with you and feel that I have lived this day to the fullest.
Now what I work toward is giving you a world you can learn and love and grow in. And I find that this is more fulfilling than any work I could have imagined. I am so glad you were born, because there are so many things I didn’t know I wanted.
I have postpartum depression. I have begun to see my children more as a burden than a blessing and I let them drive me crazy and scream and cry more than laugh and cuddle. Thank you to all you mothers out there for reminding me how wonderful our children are and how much I need to hold them and love them. My 3 little cuties are the loves of my life, even when I don’t know it. They are each special in their own way and are joys even when I feel lost and forget to enjoy the little things. They are sleeping right now, but I almost want to go crawl into bed with each of them, so that I can hug them and love them and thank them for making this mother’s day, a day about family. thank you all for making me want to be happy again. Happy Mother’s Day!! (I am going to call my dr tomorrow and change my meds!!)
3rd Place – winner of a $25 gift certificate to Cotton Babies
I’m glad that you were born, because watching you explode with delight as you ate toast for the first time taught me to take delight in the ordinary. Even beyond your “firsts,” you engage life with such fervor. The shiny redness of an apple, the rapid flapping of a butterfly’s wings…you view these things with wonder and awe. The very sensation of the grass beneath your feet overwhelms you. You take nothing for granted.
I’m glad you were born, because watching you struggle to accomplish simple tasks with such determination taught me to have faith in my own abilities. You wanted to crawl so desperately, and then to walk, talk, run. Your faith in your abilities showed me I could have faith in my own.
I’m glad you were born, because your social exuberance has forced me to step out of my own shell. You are not like me; you live to be social and approach new people with joy. You were a born conversationalist. I love that I’ve learned as much from you as you have learned from me.
Thank you, my little ones, for coming to me.
2nd Place – winner of a $50 gift certificate to Cotton Babies
To my dear boys, Gabriel and Joshua:
Not a day goes by, my loves, that I do not thank God for bringing you into my life. Having done nothing to deserve your presence in my life, I marvel at the miracle of the two of you. It has been through you that I have learned how to live life. My selfishness has fallen to the wayside, and in its place stands a new woman; a woman who is not wholly unselfish, but who has learned to live at the service of others.
In a way that one can only understand as a parent, I know what it is like to love someone so fiercely that it can hurt. To wish for no harm or ill to ever come upon the children who are in my care. To know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I would suffer in your place if I could, should it ever happen.
Because of you, my dear ones, I have learned how to love others with a real, true love. Throughout my life, I have never had anyone love me with such a pure and innocent love as you do – leading me to learn how to love in the same way.
While it is true that your father and I have seen our share of hardship, I have never wished for our life together to be different. Our true riches lie nestled in our arms, close to hearts: our sons. Each of you are worth more than all the riches in the world, no value can be placed on you, or anyone for that matter.
You see, dear boys, I am glad that you were born because you have made my life what it is today: full of love, happiness, and other non-worldly riches beyond my wildest dreams. I cannot image my life without you, because no matter how things may have played out, my life could never have been as wonderful as it is with you.
I love you with all of my heart,
Grand Prize – winner of a $100 gift certificate to Cotton Babies
To my babies:
Craig: I will always remember the first day I met you. you were in your car seat, in the back of your dads car. Your dad introduced us, and with your four year old grin, you smiled, and said, “hi Shannon!” You then told me a knock knock joke. You welcomed me with open arms. I raised you. I taught you how to read, took care of you when you were sick. Last saturday when I was not feeling well, I woke up to you cleaning the house. You are nine years old now – you have grown so much. I am your stepmom, but you will always be my son.
Savannah: You were only two when I met you. You were very reserved the first year, I had to gain your trust. We had a breaking moment when I put lip gloss on you – a love you have never outgrown. You are seven now, and I can’t beleive what a big girl you are. I still remember changing your diapers, and your little yellow sippy cup. I watched you last week sing and dance on stage with your new dress. I couldn’t have been more proud. I had tears in my eyes. You brought me the sweetest letter home for mothers day. It was so personal, i couldn’t beleive you wrote it. I am your stepmom, but you are my daughter.
Deklan: you are the epitome of “before you were conceived I wanted you”. Your dad and I so desperately wanted another baby. We tried for two years with much aggrivation, and a sad loss. Then you came along. I have loved every minute of being your mommy, and I tell you every day. Nothing is sweeter than when you hug me and say, “love you mommy!” You are almost two, and growing so fast. I watched you count to eleven the other day and tears came to my eyes. You have had 3 surgeries, and 5 hospital stays in 2 years, and I have been by your side every moment and never left. You bring joy and laughter to everyone you meet, your winning personality is infectious. I am your mommy, and you will always be my baby.
Cayden: you were our surprise blessing. I was so elated when I found out you were coming. You are a true mamas boy, and I will never forget the hugs and snuggles we have shared – even though you kick me in the middle of the night! you and Deklan are becoming as thick as theives, it’s amazing to watch. The way you two laugh at each other is enough to turn a bad day into something amazing. I am your mommy, and you will always be my baby.
I am the one thankful this mothers day – thankful that i have all four of you in my life, and I can’t imagine my life without you. I’m so glad all of you were born – you make our family complete.