Baby Rochel, you are a replica of me. I look into your deep eyes and see straight into your soul. Into my soul.

I gaze at you adoringly, my beautiful baby, and I wonder if I was ever this loved, this cherished. I’m sure that I wasn’t.

My formative years were neither kind nor peaceful. My earliest memories include pain and fear and terror. I believe that my parents did their best with the limited tools they had. I have no doubt that they loved me in the way they knew. I have made peace with the journey that my soul chose.

Yet I have looked back at my youth and felt abandoned by my heavenly Father. Was He not witness to my suffering? Was that little, innocent girl not I wonder if I was ever this loved, this cherishedworthy of His refuge?

I love my children with abandon, but that hasn’t always been so. When my older ones were younger, I was afraid to surrender to those feelings. After all, maternal love did nothing to protect me. With a lot of effort and support, I have learned to let go of that which doesn’t serve me. I have learned to trust myself, my intuition, my mother love.

You, my sweet baby, have heightened my awareness. Your arrival has brought me to a much deeper level of sensitivity. In some ways I feel more fragile than ever, but in truth I am strong. I am no longer afraid of my feelings. I embrace the sadness, the pain, the joy. My vital essence regenerates; it reconnects with its source.

Awash with forgiveness and compassion, I find a much more peaceful self. I can push past my comfort zone, take unfamiliar routes, welcome the unknown and unexpected, all without the torment I used to feel.

Baby Rochel, with your special soul, you bring healing. Through parenting you, I feel as though I have a unique opportunity to re-parent my own inner child. The little girl that I once was shares my lap with you and basks I have a unique opportunity to re-parent my own inner childin the nurturing and affection. I am slowly learning to love and cherish myself.

Should G‑d love me the way I love you, my precious child, then I know He felt my pain so acutely, so tremendously. And if He loves me the way I love you, then I know His love is unbounded.

Through your existence, my little girl, I have received an abundance of gifts and blessings. You have given my Father back to me. And you have given my own little girl another opportunity to shine.