This photo was when I first became a full blown mom. E was placed into my arms a few moments before this shot.
I had a lovely Mothers Day. The best part: E came through my bedroom door when I woke up saying excitedly, "Happy Moder Day!" It was precious. Then Chris came through with a tray of blueberry pancakes and coffee. They curled up next to me in bed and handed me the sweetest card they had made together. Chris had drawn an airplane on the front and when I asked what that was about, he said, "That's Mothers Day." I love my husband. That's how I became a mom, isn't it? By getting on an airplane. Sure, there was a year and a half of other things including mounds of paperwork, but that airplane got me to motherhood. I love that card.
Our day was filled with church, brunch with Chris's family (we celebrated with my mom on Friday), a shopping trip for me during E's nap, and Chinese takeout for dinner.
In the evening we lit a candle while we had dessert. We lit it for E's birthmommy. If I can be honest, it made me uncomfortable and I wasn't sure of what to say and it made me a little jealous and I know E didn't understand. But at the same time it was a blessing to me. Let me explain.
I've read that Mothers Day and Fathers Day (and many other holidays as well) can be complicated and difficult for children with complex histories like E. Because as he gets older I think he might think of his birthmom on Mothers Day. He might feel sad, he might miss her, he might not know how to feel. I want him to know he can tell us that stuff. I don't want him to ever feel that he has to hide his thoughts and feelings about his birthmom. I don't want him to worry about hurting my feelings or ruining "my" day or anything like that.
One of the most profound things I've learned in my studying of adoptive parenting is that we can't pretend that our children's lives began on the day we got them.
AND here's what I learned as I sat watching that candle burn. As E happily chomped down his frozen yogurt and my worries and discomfort began to fade, my mind cleared enough for me to realize that I am so thankful for and to E's birthmommy. I wouldn't have my son without her. She gave life to E. There is no him without her. I found myself thanking God for her and praying for her if she is alive. I prayed that the Lord would provide for her and that she would somehow have a peace about E.
So every Mothers Day we plan to light a candle in honor of our children's birthmoms and we'll do the same things for their birthdads on Fathers Day. We'll do this to help our children heal, to help them celebrate their birthfamilies. We'll do this to honor those that gave our children life. And I think this will remind us just how beautifully complex our little family is.