Mother's Day is once again upon us. And I just don't know what to do with it. Before we adopted, Mother's Day was a cruel reminder that I wasn't a mother. I would rush home from church so I could cry, because even though the lovely people there assured me I was a mother (I just didn't have kids yet...which, if they'd stopped to think about it, was kinda' the POINT!), I felt like an outcast surrounded by women who could fulfill their calling as mother without outside help. After we adopted, it was hard to forget those pangs of Mother's Days past. I remember feeling so much relief when I finally had a child when Mother's Day rolled around...I finally was a mother! But those feelings of inadequacy, longing, and sorrow would creep back through the years to haunt and mock me, despite my best efforts. Guess that's why I'm human.
After we adopted, I had new pangs to worry about. Every Mother's Day, I mourn for my kids' birthmom's loss. I think of her alone, without her children, aching for them. I hope she has a measure of peace, but we always say an extra special prayer on Mother's Day, just in case. It weighs heavily on me that our joy came about through her sorrow. And that is something I hope and strive to never forget. So, strike two against Mother's Day.
Now, Mother's Day has a whole new element of sorrow, deeper and fresher than the rest. My mom died three weeks before Mother's Day last year. And now...it's a reminder that my mom isn't here anymore. (Not that I need a reminder; I'm always acutely aware of her absence, especially since we were so close.) Mother's Day has become a day I painfully grin while my children celebrate me, their mother, while I desperately miss my own mother.
There has to be a point in there somewhere, right? Maybe it's this: Whether you're a biological mom, a birthmom, foster mom, adoptive mom, or a woman wishing and longing to be a mom...don't wait to honor the women in your life. Don't wait for others to honor you in order to feel validated. I am grateful that I celebrated my mom always, not just once a year. She never had to receive my cards or gifts, because I told her almost every day how much I loved her. There was never any doubt of our love and devotion, and we didn't need Mother's Day to tell each other how much we adored each other. Life is oh, so desperately short. Too short to wait to say the words in your heart. Too short to wait to hear them from someone else. Give love, receive love, and go confidently through life knowing you won't regret showing that love. I know I haven't.
Each of us is surrounding by outstanding women in our lives. Look around...you know it's true. Tell them how wonderful they are. Tell yourself how wonderful you are. Not because you're a mother. But because you are a loyal friend; a loving wife; a doting aunt; an understanding sister; a Child of God.
P.S. I try not to write about my mom on this blog too much. It is painful for me and probably uncomfortable for you. But the further I travel in this adoption journey, the more I realize (and am grateful) that my mom shaped me as a mother in so many ways I never imagined. And it only seems fitting that my grief would mark this leg of my journey and interweave itself into the tapestry that is my life--all aspects of my life, even adoption. So pardon me if my sorrow comes to the surface more often than you would like. But...really...it IS my blog, after all. *wink*