Sigh. I can’t figure out all the angles surrounding this day in my own head. As I start to list and categorize all of my thoughts surrounding the day, let me say this first:
My knee-jerk instinctual thoughts regarding Mother’s Day go straight to my mom.
My mom loves me. I don’t know if she always likes me or understands me, but I know she loves me.
How do I know?
She has been there with me, for me, in spite of me, because of me . . . she has been there.
And, she loves and supports the people who I love and support–my husband and kids.
And, she sends me newspaper articles about family life, teenagers, drinking too much caffeine, how to clean my house better, adoption issues, money stuff, music stuff . . . .
And, she listens to me.
And, I talk a lot–but she still listens.
And, she sacrifices for me still.
And, she fed me, bathed me, changed my diaper, clothed me
And, she disciplined me, grounded me, made me do chores, made me practice my piano.
And, she drove me to dance lessons, piano lessons, theatre rehearsals, 4-H meetings
And, she worried and still worries about me.
And, she loves me.
My mom raised me. I love her and I am thankful to be her daughter.
Will Naika say such things? I do think she is feeling a little tender towards me–perhaps seeing and believing that I will take care of her. I wonder if one day, when she is older, if she will count me as her mom–the one who raised her. And, I realize that I am writing that history now. I must do all of the above listed things that my mom did for me in order to “achieve” such status. Can I? Can I do it well? I don’t know. I am just going to rest on the saying that I am “doing the best I can with what I have in this time” for now.
There is such a pull for an adoptee–no denying it–we have two moms. Naika and I have one mom who we resemble physically, genetically, and probably in more ways than we know because they have now become strangers of sorts to us. And we have another mom who fulfills the roll of mom beyond the tummy. Thank God for both. It takes a mom who carries a baby in a tummy and a mom who cares for the baby’s needs for their lifetime beyond the tummy to produce a human being. It takes both. And Naika and I have both. Thank God. In a perfect world (haha), Naika and I would love/need the privilege of time with both mommies–time with our birthmoms to fill in the genetic blanks, and neverending connection to the moms who have raised us. Yes, that is an adoptee’s plea.
How can I honor my birthmom, who I also love, but from a distance since she cannot bring herself to allow me into her life. Last year, Mother’s Day stirred some depression into me. Just for a couple of days, I felt that low low inescapable feeling of sadness and loss. I missed my birthmom. I am one of her children biologically, and I wanted to be able to pick up the phone, call my birthmom, and tell her Happy Mother’s Day–just like a “normal” child might like to do. But I couldn’t. Her other children she carried in her tummy could. But not me. I couldn’t send her flowers without upsetting her, couldn’t write her an email because I don’t know her email address, . . . My hands were tied as if I had a restraining order. I just wanted her to know that I love her even without knowing her, and I wanted to tell her Happy Mother’s Day. But I am too much–too upsetting–connected to too many memories . . ??? I don’t know. I am still guessing.
This Mother’s Day, I don’t know if I will go to that place or not. I feel a little differently, although just writing about last mother’s day above draws my heart close to hers–admittedly. But, over the last year, the people who actually know me and love me have made themselves very obvious to me. And, the people who are choosing not to know me have also made themselves very obvious to me. I am a little more exhausted from trying to know people who don’t want to know me this year. It still makes me sad. But not everything can be fixed. And so, my sense of thankfulness for my mom and those around me seems to overshadow my sense of loss of my birthmom and those around her right now.
Yet–I feel tears well up because of what I stated in Angle #2–I have two moms. I have been asked to let go of one–to “focus” only on one. Could you do that? If you were Naika, a Haitian little girl in a white family, could you deny the fact that you have two moms and just talk yourself into forgetting about the other one? I would never ask Naika to do that. Never.
How is Naika feeling about her birthmom this weekend, and how can I help her honor her birthmom?
Status quo for territory that is uncharted for me: We plant a flower in honor of her birthmom and mine every Mother’s Day. This, we will do again. And we will pray for both of them.
My heart is tender towards the hurting: the ones who have lost their moms to death and the ones who long to be a mom but have yet to bring home a child.
The day, may it be far far away, that I cannot call my mom–I can’t imagine. I remember one Christmas time when my parents were here visiting, and I was in the kitchen. I absentmindedly wanted to call my mom to tell my mom (haha) that my mom and dad were here! 🙂 It was just a fleeting thought, and I laughed and told my mom what had just crossed my mind. But I realized–anytime something good, bad, boring,–anything happens, I call my mom. She cares the most about what I have to say. I hurt deeply for those who are in the place on Mother’s Day weekend where they can’t call their moms because they have already left this earth. You have experienced loss. May you experience comfort this weekend.
And the dear friends of mine who (like my mom for ten years before adopting me) are facing infertility. I am highly uneducated in the right and wrongs things to say regarding this issue, so my words will be few. They may hurt this weekend. I know hurt and most of us do–from one source of pain or another. I am aware of their hurt.
And sigh, Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂