So this is my “first” Mother’s Day and I have to say I have some mixed feelings about that.
First of all, there is the elated feeling that is primarily coursing through me. I am mother. Hear me roar. Not only do I have a daughter, I am rejoicing in the bond that we are creating and relieved that I can celebrate our first Mother’s Day together as mother and daughter. It was a hard and long fight home but we made it!
I am also a little perturbed.
I feel like I have been a mom for years now. Remember our story?
Mother’s Day 2010, Matthew gave me a journal to write letters to Annie, a baby we had never met and didn’t even exist yet. We were in the process of doing our preliminary work to adopt from Taiwan thinking we would be parents before the year was out. I skipped Mother’s Day that year. I stayed home and slept.
March of 2011 we had our first miscarriage. I became a mom. I didn’t have my baby for very long and I didn’t ever get to celebrate our little one’s life but I became a mom to a little baby I won’t meet on this side of eternity. Did that mean that in church that Mother’s Day I stood up to receive my flower for being a mom? No. It didn’t. No one would have understood. No one knew we had lost that precious little life.
We were also in the process of trying to adopt a little boy domestically that Mother’s Day. We were living with his extended family and taking care of him full time. I had two reasons to stand up Mother’s Day 2011 but I didn’t.
Mother’s Day 2012..during 2011 we had two Taiwanese adoptions fail and were right at the end of completing Mary Alice’s adoption, we were exhausted! We had just made travel plans to go to Taiwan to pick up our girl. My husband was the pastor at a small church and they did the same mother’s recognition. I wasn’t sure what to do so I stayed seated even though I was a mother in my heart and weeks away from being a mother on paper. So sweetly an older lady caught my attention and motioned for me to stand. I received flowers that year for being the newest mother. As kind and sweet as it was I felt like a fake. I wasn’t mothering. The baby I was claiming to be the mother to didn’t even know I existed.
What about Mother’s Day 2013? My husband is now the youth pastor at another church. I am sure they will somehow celebrate and recognize the mothers in the congregation. You know what’s funny? I probably won’t even be in there. I think I am working in the nursery this Mother’s Day. You know what else? It doesn’t bother me. I don’t need to stand up in church to feel like a mother. I am a mother.
Also, to look around the room at all the women seated, for whatever reason, might just break my heart to pieces. I don’t even know if I could stand this Mother’s Day. I would want to sit in solidarity with all the women who can’t stand but so desperately want to.
If you are that woman, if you are the woman I have been every year before this one, I mourn with you. As I hold my daughter close this Sunday, I will mourn for the woman I have been and the woman that you currently are. I will also celebrate the blessing of my daughter, the precious little one who made me a momma. It will be a bittersweet day me.
I don’t know that the pain of infertility, the pain of yearning to be a mother, will ever leave me regardless of the number of children calling me Momma. I think that a part of my heart will feel a twinge of pain every Mother’s Day. I think part of me will wish that nobody was asked to stand on Mother’s Day.