If I could change one thing, it is this: I so badly wanted to make up for the fact that her birth mother had given her up (even though it was the most loving thing to do in her situation) that I tried too hard to keep my daughter from feeling any lack. I wanted to protect her from any more pain. So I was too overbearing; in some ways I was too easy on her, and in other ways I identified with her too much. Looking back, I believe that I kept her from being more open to me because she didn't want me to feel pain. This is a common over-compensation in adoptive mothers. The fact is that our adoptive children will have a hole in them that we, as parents, cannot fill. We have to accept that and let God work it out.

My daughter is still my heart, my joy, my blessing. I love being with her and sharing woman-stuff. She is a strong, loving, loyal, and courageous woman; a bright and shining star in my life. Now she has her own daughter and the line has gone on. To see your daughter become a mother (especially such a good one) is an incredible blessing. To see your adoptive daughter have a child of her own and see motherhood fill the hole inside her, and complete her, is a joy beyond expressing.

Laurel Dalrymple lives in Cloverdale, California.

This article appears as part of a series on orphans and adoption. Please also see :"Orphan Stories," "Surprised by (a Bundle of) Joy," "On Fathering a Daughter," and "God's Care for the Orphan: An Interview with Jedd Medefind."