As we head into the holiday season for some, I came across this wonderful passage in Birth of an Adoptive, Foster, or Stepmother: Beyond Biological Mothering Attachments by Barbara Waterman.
Waterman begins her book with the beautifully titled chapter,
“When the Child is Delivered to You Rather Than You Delivering the Child”
For those of us who have had children delievered to us, she relates the following passage from The Talmud:
A mother is likened unto a mountain that nourishes the tree at its root but one who mothers another’s child is likened unto water that rises into a cloud and goes a long distance to nourish a lone tree in a desert.
With our large hearts and open souls, how many of us stepmothers have been the water traveling the distance to nourish the soul of a child? We are not biologically connected to our stepchildren, we do not share a history from the beginning, nor the history of genetics, but nevertheless, due to fate, chance, or destiny, we have arrived as nourishment for the lone tree in the desert- the child or children, often lost in the process of divorce, their roots, perhaps torn, and we are brave enough to travel the distances to give of ourselves.