Sunday, May 11, 2014

BITTERSWEET MOTHER'S DAY

In case you have your head underneath a rock or have eschewed social media entirely, let me just tell you that today is Mother's Day.  Last year at this time, we had just brought the babies home from the hospital and were trying to make our new way in the world as a family of six.  Also, we were getting almost no sleep, since we were feeding them at 10, 1, 4, and 7 around the clock.  That was pretty brutal.

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This year for me, the day has been full of sweet joys.  We dedicated the twins at church today, which I decided deserves its own blog post, maybe later today.  I just got back from a girl's weekend away with many of my best friends, and after a couple of days out of the action, it has been great to see everybody again.  The kiddos were all really precious as we headed out to lunch and made John and I smile at each other and shake our heads at just how wonderful it can be at times.  There are truly precious moments to cherish.

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Our church service today included a video about a woman who gave her first child up for adoption 14 years ago.  Gran Gran was sitting next to me, because she had come for the dedication, and we clutched each other's arms and cried together.  After the service, I had another beautiful woman talk to me and explain that she was a birth mother who also gave up her child.  She thanked me for adopting William and Violet and said what an encouragement it is to see a family loving on their adopted children.  I hugged her as tears filled both of our eyes.

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About a month ago, I wrote a blog post about The Other Mother.  (For more writing along this line, you can read this beautiful post by another adoptive mom friend.)  There will always be two of us for William and Violet.  That is just a reality that we will always walk a tight rope of emotion with.  This is nobody's first choice for their child - children are meant to live with their birth parents.  But, that is not the way the world works, and for a myriad of reasons, children become precious treasured gifts for other parents.

So today, I have received sweet gifts from my children.  (Way to go, Teachers!)

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(Bella's teacher explained that she started crying when asked the questions.  So - that's what I got.)
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(Violet got the award for clearest footprint on the first shot, according to her teachers.)

But today, there are many women who grieve.  Women who have lost children or mothers.  Women who haven't been able to conceive.  Women who have miscarried.  Women whose children have somehow lost their way.  It's bittersweet, and now that my eyes are open, I cannot deny these realities.

I'm caught in the middle - embracing the joy of my own precious people and understanding the pain that surrounds and brushes up against me.  It's bittersweet Mother's Day.  And that's okay.

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