Wednesday, May 16, 2018

AT THE SWIRLING CENTER

This past weekend was the Mother's Day hullabaloo that I have come to mostly dislike. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I've written about my conflictions before, and so I won't go all the way into those.  But it is challenging.  We're supposed to be celebrating one of the foundational relationships we have in our lives - that of mother and child - wherever you might happen to fall on that spectrum.  However, there are a million ways to fall in a painful place and only a few sweet spots.

Truthfully, I land on a lot of the sweet spots.  I have a wonderful mother, a great mother-in-law, and even a fantastic bonus mother gained through our adoption.  Seriously, the women we have been gifted in these roles are treasures, and I do not take them for granted.  And I am a mother four times over with precious children who love to celebrate me and woke me up with Mother's Day balloons in bed.  I clearly have a lot of Mother's Day blessings, and this is not lost on me.

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But ever since adopting, Mother's Day is just hard.  I was not, nor can I ever be, the first mom for two of my children.  I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about William and Violet's biological mother.  We have an entire family built around the children she has birthed, and she sits at the swirling center.  She's the missing piece - a large hole in the family puzzle that does not feel complete without her.  Sometimes, the unfairness of it all swirls around me, and I sink into feelings that are too big to contain.

When I put my Mother's Day and her Mother's Day up to the light, the differences are staggering.  I'm the one with the children to hug.  I'm doing the hard work, but I am reaping the sweet rewards.  She and I have made divergent choices, along the way, some of which have led to where we both sit in this story.  But the raw ingredients we started with also had a lot to do with where we have ended up.  I was handed practically a winning hand, and she was not.  Neither of us can take credit or blame for the cards we were dealt.  There are obvious consequences to the ways we have each played our hands, but the decks were stacked in such opposite directions to begin with that it makes comparison feel a bit moot.

As I look forward to the years ahead, my heart continues to shred into tiny pieces when I think of her.  Her heartache, her wishing, her pain.  Years pass, and instead of it getting easier, the waters get deeper with things she has missed and opportunities she will never have in our kids' lives.  I have so many questions for God about why it is the way it is.  From my finite perspective, I cannot understand the whys or hows or whats of our stories, especially hers.

I want to write different endings.  I want to see redemption here on earth.  I want the beauty from ashes, but the fire is still burning hot, and I don't know when it will be extinguished.  So I pray, and I ask God to envelope her in his grace and remind her of his love that she has seen in action for her whole life.  I fall on his grace and mercy and remind myself that he loves her more than any of us ever could, and he sees her.  She is not alone.

For now, I'll go on raising our children - savoring the sweet moments that come with hands on either side of my face and kisses and the "Mommy, I Love Yous" that fall out of their mouths so quickly.  They are such beautiful children that we share, and I hate that she misses that.

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