Thursday, May 10, 2018

Reflections on Mother's Day

Mother's Day is this weekend.  You probably knew that if you've watched any tv (jewelry commercials) or been to Target (massive card display).  Or just if you are a person who looks at the calendar from time to time.

I like Mother's Day.  I feel like it's one of two days a year (along with my birthday) that I get to be fairly selfish.  I get to sleep in and have Matt (and Luke) bring me breakfast (although, never in bed, that seems like a recipe for disaster, having a 5 year old think it's ok to eat in bed).  I don't have to do any extra work (besides all the normal Mom work, of course).  And I get presents.  It's pretty nice.

But I haven't always liked Mother's Day.  There were many years it was a very very hard day.  All those years we were silently trying to get pregnant, being asked that day, more than usual, when we were going to have kids.  Why didn't we have kids?  You know, you should really have kids.

I was happy to celebrate my own Mom and Matt's Mom, seeing as they are the reasons we exist.  But it was a day that always ended in tears.  A lot of tears.  It was so hard to see so many other Moms being celebrated when that's all I wanted to be.  It seemed to come so easy for everyone else but it wasn't for us.  And those years of waiting were so so hard.

Even now, I love being celebrated.  It's pretty nice.  But I still feel like a bit of a fake at this whole Mom thing.  So much of the praise is directed at growing a human, for the labor and delivery and nursing and being pregnant.  And I didn't have that.

I don't need convinced I am a real Mom.  I've changed enough diapers, fed so many bottles at 3am, been puked on, dragged kids to doctor appointments, and been in the trenches of this Mom thing.  I know I am a Mom.

But I still feel a little bit like I skipped out on some of the hard stuff.

I think about the boys' birth mothers every day but even more around Mother's Day.  They grew these tiny precious humans.  They felt their kicks from the inside.  The endured the weigh gain and the body changes.  They went through labor.  They gave the boys their eyes or their nose or their hairline.

But then they gave them to us.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." - John 15:13

But the second greatest gift has to be giving your baby to a stranger, in hopes of giving them a better life.  

It's a great honor to be chosen to parent these boys we didn't grow.  That we had no connection to until their Mamas gave us one.  And while we are the ones raising them, feeding bottles at 3am, wondering if we will ever sleep through the night again...they deserve so much praise and celebration on Mother's Day too.  

I didn't grow these babies but I'll get to watch them grow up.  I didn't give them my eyes or nose or hair but I'll give them a home and a family.  I didn't give them life but I'll get to watch them live it.

I may have not carried them inside me but I carried the weight of adoption stress and longing.  

It's not the journey to motherhood I thought I would have but it's the one I've lived.  And while I'm very happy to be celebrated on Sunday (or any day, I'm pretty open to any day), I'll also be thinking of their first mothers.  And be so grateful that they gave life to these boys.  And that they then gave them to us.

That's the best gift I'll ever receive. 

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