I eagerly anticipated celebrating my first Mother’s Day only two short months after the birth of my son. I held my squalling baby, along with unshed pregnancy pounds, for a picture commemorating my first Mother’s Day (please don’t comment on what I’m wearing…). I remember how I felt: euphoria in becoming a mother, chockfull of idealistic beliefs about motherhood and what it embodied, and concern (okay…and contentment, since I loved nursing) that my son would take nothing but my breast.
I took extended leave from my job and embraced nurturing my infant son, working hard to get him to take a bottle. I looked forward to having more children.
Ensuing Mother’s Days arrived shadowed by secondary infertility, its accompanying stresses and the loss of a baby—the loss of a dream. Great sorrow wove in with the joy of parenting our son. And the unanswered prayer, “Would we be blessed again?” was ever-present.
Although adoption was always part of our plan we did not expect that we would become adoptive parents because of loss, but because we chose to adopt. We grieved and we moved forward; intent on building our family with love, compassion, dedication, and commitment. We adopted, following our hearts—not once or twice, but three times.
The journey, the scope, of parenting children who have been adopted evolves as they move through developmental stages. Of course, each child varies considerably from the other, as is true in any family. Kids arrive with prewired temperaments, regardless of how they become part of the family.
But there are always those events, triggers, which can remind parents and children about adoption. One such trigger is Mother’s Day. Up to this point, there has been no “fall-out” among my kiddos, but I feel sadness intertwine with the profound joy and gratitude of being their mother. Three other women carried my children, nurtured them in their wombs and brought them forth into this world only to face the painful decision to relinquish.
On this Mother’s Day I quietly share with my children’s birth mothers, thanking these remarkable women whose invisible features reside in my children’s faces and I pray for their health, peace, happiness, and self-love. We all see the same moon. I think of them when I see it and send love and best wishes. Happy Mother’s Day!