Those two words have always been important to me. I know we still have two days until Mother’s Day, but today is my mom’s birthday and well, I wanted to do this today.
As a child, when we are at school, we prepare for this day in many ways. We put our little hands on colored paper with a poem or we plant a flower in a paper cup. Make noodle art or even dare I say a picture of our “Moms”. As we grow we start to miss the meaning and opt for a card, or mumble it to them as we rush out the door with friends. And sometimes when it is too late, we realize just how important this woman is or the role they played in making us who we are.
My mother, who is still very much alive, taught me so many life lessons. Ones that she may have not known it at the time, but have stayed with me forever. After my parents divorced, she fell apart. But then it kicked in. That “I need to be strong for my children” drive most all mothers have. She always gave and went without so that we could be happy and have what we needed. She made mistakes along the way, but hey, we are all only human and that’s how we learn and teach our own children. She cut the strings with me early, (well, I yanked them free) and let me learn on my own from my mistakes. And so created in more than one way…Who I am.
I can remember early on when playing with my dolls, the one thing I had wanted to be was a mom. There was one time as a teen I had prayed to be a mom and then a few times I had prayed that I wasn't. But I was blessed in a way. I have been able to experience becoming a mother in two different ways. I had trouble getting pregnant, well, staying pregnant, hence why I never was able to be a teen mom. (Again, in some ways great, in one way bad but that’s not what this is about) When it finally happened, I was 26. I remember feeling her move for the first time and thinking “Oh my God, I will never be the same again.” And then as my pregnancy got harder and I had problems and was put on bed rest, I thought of how I didn’t care if I lived through this, as long as my child was safe and would live. And as it was, on December 4, 1997 my first child was born. I can’t explain the feelings. I held the most beautiful baby girl in my arms and could not believe I had done this. I had made it through and now I am a mother. Something that became only all too real the first night home as I walked this child trying to make her go back to sleep if only for an hour so I could. I finally said out loud, “When is your mother coming to get you.” Reality slap, I was her mother and I was there and I would lose more than one night’s sleep for this child if need be just so she could feel safe and loved.
Then after trying to have another child years later and suffering miscarriages, it was that baby girl who came to me and played a song called “I want a Mom” from the Rug Rats movie. I had thought of adoption before and had tried to talk to my husband but this made it all the more real for me. And so, we started the process. On April 29th, 2008, we got that long awaited call. Five months later we boarded a plane to China and on September 16, 2008, my deliver room was a small conference room in China, where I became a mother again to a scared little girl who sucked her thumbs so bad, they were bleeding. It took a few days for her to be sure but one afternoon 3 days later as I rocked her in my arms listening to a play list I had made for bed for her, she lifted her head and looked at me, finally making eye contact. She let out a sigh and then putting her little head on my shoulder, fell fast asleep. Later that day, I got the first smile out of her.
Now as her birthday falls on Mother’s day this year, I think of the woman who gave her life. Who made the choice to leave her for us to find. Who I am sure thinks of her and wonders how she is. Someday I wish I could meet her and thank her for the gift she has given me that I could not give myself. I hope someday to tell this woman how much a miracle this little girl is and how she has touched so many lives. I want them to be able to meet and see that the choice she made as hard as it way, was the right one and that the little girl she wanted a better life for, had grown into the most amazing woman. I know this first hand, because, I am watching it with my oldest and now my youngest.
But there is one more person I forgot. The little girl I was asked to care for. I know our time is getting shorter and soon she will be going back. But for a year now, I have been her “Mommy” too. And as I get ready to let her go back to her real mother, I pray the she will remember me and the love I had for her as well. I will always pray for her safety and honestly as hard as this year has been, I will always look at her time with me as a blessing.
So Happy Mother’s Day to all the MOM’s out there. The ones who give so much to a child or children and love them unconditionally, kiss the boo boos and calm the fears. Make the difficult choices so that their children can have what then need in life. Enjoy your day and count those little blessings no matter how much at times you may be pulling your hair out or breaking up fights. In the end, they are still the sweet little faces we kiss good night and that God for blessing us with.
Peace, Love, and Hope~JC