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Happy Mother’s Day (apostrophe optional, I hear there has been some debate over that lately…whatever). I hope all you mommies out there have a fabulous day.
This day hasn’t always been easy for me.
Mother’s Day by the Numbers:
21 – The number of mother’s days I’ve celebrated as a mom.
3 – The number of people that call me mom.
1 – The number of times I’ve celebrated this day with all of my kids together.
4 – The number of mother’s days I have spent without my kids.
2 – The number of children born to other women who call me mom.
So, I’m a seasoned mom. I’ve been a mother almost half my life. I should feel like I’m great at something I’ve been doing for so long, but I don’t always feel like I really know what I’m doing. I have my days when I think “I’ve so got this” and I have my days when the words “parenting fail” goes through my head a dozen times. I’m winging it.
Today was my first mother’s day as a no kidding mother of three. All of my kids were home, which was beyond awesome. There were cards. There were presents. There was brunch. I didn’t have to clean up any major messes and there weren’t any meltdowns that registered on the Richter scale (although Sissy and I had a tense moment when we road tested the new electric wine opener). Best. Gift. Ever.
The last few Mother’s Days haven’t been filled with joy for me. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve been nice, but the empty place at the table was something that didn’t let me fully appreciate the good things in front of me.
My 2011 and 2012 Mother’s Days were spent waiting for Doodlebug to come home. We were in the very early stages of adoption in 2011 and very close to the end of the process in 2012. Sissy was still in the Midwest, so it was just Hubs and I. In 2013, we had both Sissy and Doodlebug home and we were waiting for final approval from China for Peanut’s adoption. Today, they’re all at home and under one roof and my heart is full. My house is loud and there is a lot more laundry but my heart is full.
There is a quote from Jody Landers that many women who have come to motherhood through adoption can identify with:
“Children born to another woman call me ‘mom’. The depth of that tragedy and the magnitude of that privilege are not lost on me”.
I think about Sissy and the first time I met her every Mother’s Day. She is my first, my special kid that gave me the title of “mom”. Naturally, I think of my mom on Mother’s Day and wish we lived closer so we could celebrate this day together.
But I also think of two other women that I have never set eyes on. I don’t know their names. I don’t know what they look like, but I see their beauty in the shining eyes and the laughter of my boys.
These two women in China who chose life for their children and then chose not to parent them have given me an incredible gift. I don’t know if May 11th is a day to celebrate in China. I don’t know if this is a day that is bittersweet for these two women. Maybe all days are bittersweet…maybe there isn’t a day that goes by where these women don’t wonder if their baby boys are safe. If they are loved.
I wonder if these two birth mothers need peace. If they do, I wish I could provide it. While their choices must have been agonizing, I would like them to find comfort in the fact that these boys have brought me a lot of joy. I can’t put myself in their position, but I am very thankful for these two women and will think of them and celebrate them every Mother’s Day for as long as I live.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mommies out there – most especially to my mom, Sharon, who gave me life and who continues to give me encouragement and inspiration.
Happy Mother’s Day to mommies who are struggling, who are in hard places right now. May you find the grace, wisdom and patience to get ‘er done.
Happy Mother’s Day to mommies who wait. I have met so many ahhh-maze-inggg adoptive mommies who have traveled the same roads to motherhood as I have. It is hard. It is bittersweet. It is rewarding. It is different. It is all of that stuff in ways that most people don’t understand. For those who wait, I hope this is your last Mother’s Day waiting and that you find some way to experience the joy that is in front of you (P.S. you might have to look hard to find it).
For those who are struggling to have children or have lost children…I hope you find peace and hope. I know this day is a struggle for you and hope you find the strength to see it through and the grace not to kick the people who make tacky comments in the shins (although if you do, I’m totally in your corner).
I have had a lot of titles over the years. Job titles. Mrs. President of this or secretary of that. Hall monitor, copier monitor, homework monitor. The one I savor the most is “so and so’s mommy”. As it should be.
All is right with the world over here in Jillville. Blessings to all of you mommies out there.
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