Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thoughts on Motherhood

May is a month for mothers. For 39 years, I've been blessed with an amazing mom. I'd be surprised if there's someone who calls her more than I do. She always says I have a knack for knowing when she's walking in the door...because that's when I'll call. She's been a model of faith and forgiveness. She's struggled with a lot of the things I struggle with. She's my biggest cheerleader. And despite some rough adolescent years, we've come through it and I can honestly say with my whole heart, I love my Mom.

I've also been blessed with other women who have played a strong mothering role. My mother-in-law who raised two pretty wonderful boys (I'm kind of partial to the older one!) and encourages my hobbies. My late aunt who cried with me through the pain of infertility and was the only closer family member who really understood the road we walked leading to adoption. (And though she didn't live to see my girls, I know she's in heaven cheering us on!) My late grandmother who I had the privilege to spend thirteen years with and watch our relationship grow. And my dear Mary Ann, who despite 5 offspring of her own, has welcomed me and my family into her own.

And now I've walked my own road to motherhood. I'm in the trenches right now with sticky kisses and runny noses. Temper tantrums and bedtime snuggles. Sibling squabbles and sisterly hugs. Motherhood didn't come easily to me, and Mother's Day is a day I hold closely to my heart.

For years, I would beg Dan to take me camping so I wouldn't have to face the gushing and glowing over moms at church, or address the awkward, "um, I'm not a mom", when someone tried to give me a carnation. Mother's Day was just downright hard. I think it's made me more sensitive to those around me on Mother's Day. I make a point every year to put a prayer request on the church list for those who are hurting on Mother's Day...those without children, those who have lost a mother, those who have lost a child, those who are estranged from a mother or child...I never knew until I walked my own path just how painful this day could be.

I read a really great article about this before Mother's Day, and encourage you to read it as well.

An open letter to pastors (a non-mom speaks about Mother's Day)

And now, I add to the list of sensitivity those mothers who have chosen to place their children for adoption (and those who haven't.) We celebrate Birth Mother's Day in our home. We don't do much...we buy carnations for our girls' birth moms (two bouquets this year!) and spend time reflecting on the women they are, wondering what we would ask them if we could, and praying for them.

Motherhood is a beautiful thing. One I hope to never take for granted. And through my relationships with the women in my life, I'm learning that family is so much more than DNA. I'm grateful that adoption has given me the chance to be a mother, but I'm also very aware that my blessing began with another woman's loss.

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