molecular moments

We have a large family portrait that hangs in our living room. I love it so much. It is a beautiful reminder to me of the struggles and decisions Adam and I have participated in over the past five years on our path to create a family. Every time I walk by it, I smile. But this was not always so.When we first brought the children home from Colombia I could not envision that family picture any other way. I could not imagine ever wanting to. It was perfect–just the six of us.

In fact, when I would stare at the portrait trying to imagine more children, my palms would sweat, my heart would race, and my knees would weaken, literally! Knowing that Adam and I always wanted a large family, this was devastating to me. And once again, as with fertility so many times before, I felt like the broken one. Finally, I decided to use the picture as my family readiness gauge. If I ever felt differently when viewing the portrait, which I was quite sure I wouldn’t (being broken and all), then I would allow Adam to use his heart-melting magic on me!

Flash forward one year, September 2009. Adam and I went to London on a business trip. (after five years, I finally got to tag along) Adding to our family was a hot topic on the airplane, and I had lots of time to ponder while staying in the English countryside. One day, while Adam was off working, I sat at our room’s picture window people-watching on the golf course. I had the window open to feel the cool damp breeze…a stark contrast to the Las Vegas summer. While thinking of all things Jane Austen, I caught sight of a little family golfing. The dad was practicing his swing while the mom and pre-teen daughter were chattering on in the background. They seemed to be having a good time. What caught my eye was how much the mom seemed to be enjoying her daughter. As I was thinking about that, the wind picked up and it started to rain. The mom quickly and tenderly took the daughter’s hood pulling it up over her head, smoothing the daughters hairs around her face, all without missing a beat in the conversation. She hugged her tight for a moment, and then went back to her previous stance, as if she had done nothing.

It was one moment in time. And as quickly as it came to that family, it left. But for me, it lingered.It was the moment I had desperately been waiting for. The solitary moment in time picked itself up and made its way through the swirling wind, into my open window, and into my open heart. It stamped itself forever on my mind. In that one supercharged moment, I knew I was ready. I knew that when I saw my family portrait again, I would feel peace about adding to our family. And that is exactly what happened. I can’t explain how I knew, how my heart changed….it just did! In one single moment, it changed.


Greater lessons can be found in these seemingly meaningless mommy moments. Moments that happen a hundred times a day for those of us who mom. We mom without thinking about it. It is just what we do. Even if we are a little slow at getting there, nurturing is our nature. It is our divine right. And we should each treat it as such.

If moments are the molecules that make up our eternity, then these countless mommy moments are paramount to our existence. They not only impact our own forevers, but also the forevers of our children. Hopefully, my personal mommy moments breathe joy and peace and consistency into my own children’s eternity.


  1. love your posts! awesome last statement on the post. hey i do have facebook. add me. i couldnt find u! wendi acklen wood. i dont have ur email either. ive wanted to e- u a couple of times related to some of our posts both on ur blog and mine… thanks! (will u be adopting again?)

  2. Molecular moments… the perfect title. I am sure that your future family photo will be as beautiful and cherished as the one that hangs on your stairs now. Can’t wait to see what unfolds and watch the kids as they continue to grow along with their McFamily!

  3. Rachel, I had no idea you were such a beautiful writer. Thank you for sharing your mommy moment. It has breathed purpose into my day.

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