I have become one of them.
One of those people.
One of those women.
I'm now one of those people who goes to her child's sporting event with no intentions other than to be a supportive and dutiful parent, but armed with a camera and empty digital card to catch every moment.
And, although she starts out smiling and clapping politely when the other team takes the lead, she eventually will explode with a "YES!" when the other team screws up. And she ultimately will end up trying to shout her child's name in a voice louder than all others.
I have spent countless hours -- years probably -- sitting amongst those women, those dads, grandparents, brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and next door neighbors, wishing I was anywhere else or had at least thought to bring ear plugs.
Now I am one of them.
I am a sports mom.
Go ahead and laugh.
I waited so long for a moment such as this -- watching my 8-year-old daughter score her first game-winning point in her very second volleyball game.
I had to miss her very first game because, well, I was watching other people's children score theirs. It's what I do for a living. Watch other people's children.
I've been watching other people's children for nearly 20 years now.
Tonight though, for the very first time, I got to watch my own.
It was a moment I have waited a lifetime for. It was a moment that I once thought would never happen.
It took us six years to "find" Lora. We tried to have her the traditional way. But when God said "No," we had to go out and find her.
But before we did, I cried a million tears. Waiting. Praying. Aching. Trying not to let myself give up and lose hope.
And in the mean time, I had to watch other people's children play their games and score their points, and sit with a million other parents trying to shout out their child's name above all other voices.
Tonight, it was my turn.
Tonight it was MY child out there on that court. And I shouted MY child's name above all other voices.
And she smiled at me.
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