Perspective is a funny thing, isn't it? I was thinking back to seven Mother's Days ago today. Ryan had given me a combo blender/food processor and I needed to take a walk after opening it. In my head, I kept hearing Father of the Bride dialogue "give the little mom a blender, what's that say, I belong in a kitchen?" playing in my head. I was in the BA (before adoption) phase of my life, with 2 little ones, breastfeeding and pulling a lot of night shifts. I spent a couple hours a most days of the week at the Y, did artsy projects (before this Pinterest business) during the long afternoon naps my two children took and had a fairly regular date night with my husband. And I was a pouting about the food processor.
Then God hit me flat on the head with adoption. My life now is full of brain teasers like what is this black, plastic-like substance stuck inside the bathroom sink drain or why don't I have any flip flops that match? I am challenged by seeing how many errands I can run while using just a whoopee cushion for entertaining the entourage. Nap times are in the backseat of the mini van while waiting in the carpool line and the last artsy project I had my hand in was keeping Etienne from gluing a school poster to the place mat. That old food processor? Makes me look really good on Monday morning when I dump some frozen fruit and yogurt in it. That is perspective.
Mother's Day has evolved into this totally emotional, bittersweet day of gratitude for me. I look at my Rwandan boys and my heart swells into my throat. There are two other women out there, somewhere in the land of a thousand hills, that I can't ever share today with.
I know, I know that Etienne's giant eyes and long lashes were there on the day he was born. His birth mom had to walk away from those. That thought breaks me. She had to let him go. No matter if her actions were done out of fear, necessity or love. She had to let him go without knowing that he had a lifetime of family and love waiting for him. What kind of woman has to make that choice? That is perspective.
There is no doubt in my mind that Ezekiel was a snuggly baby. The kind that finds the crook of your arm and just nestles down in it. In my mind's eye, I know that Zeke's birth mom must have had a sacred moment with him buried into her. And she had to give that up. She had to let him come home to me.
There aren't many days that I don't think about what I would tell these two birth moms. Sometimes it's the little things like how E's muscles look like art because they are so sculpted or that Zeke smiles with his eyes. Other days, I want to tell them that my heart literally hurts when I think of their loss. Most of the time I want them to know that I am trying despite all my mess ups. I am doing my best to get up, to wipe all of our tears, to pray my heart out, to believe and hope and start all over again the next morning. It isn't pretty but it is real love. As real as if I birthed them myself.
So this Mother's Day I am grateful for perspective. Grateful that I was born into a home and a lifetime of parents that could give me everything I needed. That is so much bigger than most of us ever realize. I am grateful that I have four children that call me mama/mom/mommy. Grateful that I never had to face a decision to walk away from that honor of being mommy.