Happy belated Mother’s Day.
“A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of that tragedy and the magnitude of that priviledge are not lost on me.” -Jody Landers
I know Mother’s Day is a hard holiday for a lot of women. Some struggle because of a loss…loss of a mother, loss of a child. Some struggle because of an absence felt in their lives…the absence of the love they should have been given as a child, or perhaps the absence of a child of their own to receive the abundance of love that they so long to give. Like so many holidays it can bring a heartache of loss and disappointment, or simply a mourning for times gone past. There are expectations and intense emotions connected with the day regardless of what your life story is.
Our life story makes Mother’s day a mixed bag of emotions as well. As we celebrate our family and the blessing of gaining two sons through adoption I can’t help but mourn for the women who lost so much. I wonder if they have come to realize the full consequence of their choices. I wonder if they lie awake at night, regretting the path they took that led them to have their children taken away. I wonder if they are dealing with heartbreak this Mother’s Day as they wonder where their child is this night and what woman is receiving the sticky kisses that should have been theirs.
My heart breaks for the women that bore my sons. I know that the choices they made led them to this point, but I also know that so much of their story is hidden from my eyes. There is so much that I don’t know about the women who have blessed me so abundantly. I don’t know what hurts they lived through to pass those hurts onto their child. I don’t know what emptiness they must have felt to be driven into the arms of such a hurtful man. I don’t know anything about fear so paralyzing that it keeps you from stepping in between the abuser and your innocent child. I don’t know what it must feel like to feel so trapped, so alone, so helpless…
I can not judge the women who bore my sons because,
although I hate what they allowed,
I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around what they must have suffered to allow their child to suffer so.
Who might I have become had I not been blessed by this life I’ve lived? What type of mother would I have become if I had not had such a glorious example in my own mother? At her hands I learned the lessons of self-care, unconditional love, sacrifice for the ones you care about, faith in someone bigger than myself. She showed me what a mother looks like. She showed me how to love.
I have lived a life of privilege..
I have had the privilege of being raised by loving and encouraging parents.
I have had the privilege of never going to bed hungry.
I have had the privilege of being a citizen of a free country.
I have had the privilege of knowing Christ from an early age, learning to pray to Him, and hope in Him.
I have never faced the moral dilemma of having to choose whether to sell my soul, body, and dignity or watch my children go hungry.
I have always had the privilege of clean water and a roof over my head.
I have never known paralyzing fear,
or demoralizing abuse at the hands of an abusive man.
Who is to say what I might have become had I not lived a life of such abundant blessings…
There, but for the grace of God, go I.
Like so many other women who face Mother’s Day with sadness, or dread, or fear, or regret…
I wonder today about the mothers who bore my sons.
And I pray for them.
And I give thanks for their sacrifice.
It may not have been a deliberate act of love or sacrifice,
but it is a sacrifice none the less.
I am forever connected to these faceless women whom I have never met.
I hold the babies that have their eyes and their lips and mannerisms. I dry the tears made by the life lived before I arrived. I tend to the wounds that happened under their care, wounds that perhaps they were unable to prevent or care for themselves.
We share a child, these women and I.
She gave my child life…
and now he is my life.
Today I pray for her,
and all the other women whose tears fall freely on this holiest of days.