Sorry I have been away for a while. Honestly things have been so nuts with moving and what not, I haven't felt truly inspired to write. As you can tell by the crazy diversity of posts here, I only write when I feel inspired. It works better for me but it's also hard because those are usually the most open posts emotionally speaking.
This is one of those posts.
Mother's Day is coming up.
Mother's Day comes with a lot of painful, tearful, gut wrenching baggage for me. It used to be a day that I dreaded all year. It used to be yet one more very painful reminder of what I didn't, and couldn't, have. It was quietly sobbing at home in the bathroom after yet another church service where I couldn't stand up. It was calling my sister and mother and wishing them a Happy Mother's Day and trying not to hear the pity in their voice. It was listening to other moms talking about how they couldn't wait to just take a break and have a day away from their kids on Mother's Day...and then trying not to judge and die a little on the inside as I sit in my empty house without squeals of laughter to fill it. It was a retched reminder of what was already known to be missing in my life. Mother's Day was one of those days where I just wanted to crawl back in to bed and wake up the next day.
With all that being said, I do love to celebrate Mother's Day now that I am a mother. I saw an article asking pastors to be more aware of the pain of the childless by force and asking them to be more sensitive. I totally get that...but at the same time, as a mother of three....I want that time to stand. I want to be acknowledged. Motherhood is it's own challenge and, while it hurt like hell to not have that for so long, it deserves a day to be recognized and celebrated.
Mother's Day, for me, is like celebrating the victory over a glorious battle or war. That is because becoming a mother was a battle for me...a long intense, emotionally draining, exhausting battle. Nothing has been easy for me to become a mother. No step was simple. I didn't just get to decide to become a mother. I had to work tooth and nail to earn the right to be called mom. I had to put myself out there for the world to see and judge. I had to fight with every fiber of my being and then step back and hope like hell that everything would fall into place. I had no control and I wanted to give up more times than I can count. I had to endure so much pain to even have the chance to be a mother.
Mother's Day is a day for me to remember....
I remember going through infertility and walking into Babies R' Us to buy a baby gift for a friend with a knot in my throat, feeling like I was an impostor for being there.
I remember holding back my jealousy and tears when my sister called and told me she had her first baby and I heard that sweet newborn cry in the background.
I remember how going to church was so hard because all you saw were happy families all around you.
I remember sitting outside that fertility clinic with my head on the steering wheel...sobbing until there were no tears left and asking my Grandma in heaven to please help me keep going on.
I remember being so freaking pissed off at God...
I remember all that hope...that whole month where you just "knew" that this was it...then the heart stopping pain that followed yet another negative test. I remember calling my mom and the pain in her voice as well because she couldn't fix it for me.
I remember that moment...that moment when I knew I would never ever be pregnant or have a child biologically. I remember the grieving that we went through...the silent tears and pain of not only your personal loss but then to see your spouse in pain as well.
I remember all the stress of starting the adoption process....(all three times) I remember how daunting everything felt...how it can feel like all your insecurities and weaknesses are on display.
I remember reading all those books about adoption and being so scared to death that our child would hate us that we almost quit the whole process.
I remember walking out of orientation that first time and being so emotionally exhausted that we could barely make it home.
I remember rocking myself back and forth and sobbing uncontrollably the day we were told to turn around...that the parents changed their mind and would be parenting their child.
I remember how cold and lonely the house felt that next day...
I remember driving three hours with red-rimmed eyes and hoping that this time would be different and we would make it there without being turned away.
I remember driving back home with the child we had always wanted and calling my sister because after all those years of preparation, I didn't even know how to make a bottle.
I remember wanting a second child so badly and yet being so being terrified to start the adoption process again...so terrified to get hurt again.
I remember shaking as we and prepared to call a mom who was thinking about placing with us and hoping like hell I wouldn't screw up.
I remember watching another mother's soul get crushed as she handed over her newborn child to me...all because she wanted him to have more than she felt she could give. I remember being in awe for the second time of that amount of love...
I remember informing Brewerman that there was no way my 2 day old child and his social worker were flying with out me as we waited for our fingerprints to go through and I was buying a one-way ticket no matter what it costs whether he liked it or not. I remember Brewerman immediately agreeing and paying the outrageous one-way ticket without a second thought. I remember falling in love all over again with that man at that moment.
I remember sitting in another town with Lil'Dude and waiting on the phone call that our fingerprints went through and we could pick up my child. I remember being so worried that he thought his mommy abandoned him.
I remember choking back tears when we learned about a little girl that needed us. I remember forcing myself not to drive there right then and get her.
I remember lying in the hotel room at 2am wide awake and praying for a little girl I barely knew. I remember being so worried that she wouldn't like us that I couldn't eat or sleep.
I remember calling the social worker and being a mess after that first meeting and having her talk me down from a ledge as we drove away from that little girl. I remember how wrong that felt...to be driving away from her.
I remember watching as a little girl got to pick out a dress that would be all hers...watching her eyes light up with joy...because she felt pretty for the first time in a long time.
I vividly remember the first time that each of my children called me mommy.
I remember each and every moment where we finally knew we would be parents again. I remember each day that we took placement of our children, and I remember how exhilarating it was. I remember how lucky I felt to be a mom again.
I remember the responsibility I felt after placement of each child. The huge weight that each of us mothers have, to raise our children to the best of their ability.
I remember my back being sore those first few weeks after placement of all three of my kids...that specific lower back pain that only us moms know...from carrying around our children.
I remember walking up to my room one night...and seeing legos...dolls...and a few books scattered on the floor...and just smiling.
Once I became a mother, the challenges didn't stop there. I am a parent to a child that has some serious struggles with ADHD. I have three children that were adopted, one at the age of two, and each have very distinct stories. I am a white mother with two black children and one white. I am a mother who lives 5 hours away from their extended family. I am a mother who works full time. Everything surrounding Mother's Day comes with such emotions for me because Motherhood itself comes with such emotions....such strong emotions of love, pain, exhaustion, hope, worry, pride...
I am a mother.
After all that....I am who I always wanted to be...a mother. Not a better mother, not a worse mother, just a mother.
I am a mother to three amazing children. Every second of every pain is worth it when I feel the joy that comes when I think of how perfect my family is.
Mother's day is a celebration alright...but it's also a time to remember the fight, the intense battle that it took to become what my family is right now...to get the pleasure and honor of having the three best children in the entire universe call me Mom.