“‘If you knew how great is a mother’s love’, Wendy told them triumphantly, ‘you would have no fear'”. -From Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Every mother has a story, and every mother has her own journey. My journey to becoming a Mother starts at my own two mother’s journeys. When I was almost one, I was given up for adoption by my Biological Mother. She realized, at 21 years old, that she was not ready to become a Mother and that she felt I deserved better and more than she could provide. She drove me to the Department of Social Services in Brockton, Massachusetts and surrendered me. My Mom (who didn’t know she was my Mom yet!), had a heartbreaking journey of infertility with my Dad (more on his amazingness for a Father’s Day post!). At only 24 years of age and after 6 years of marriage, they began the process to qualify to adopt through the state of Massachusetts.
That month, October 1983, had 300 couples awaiting children to adopt who had already completed their dossiers. My parents were one week into the course and were writing their autobiographies when my social worker asked them into her office. “Listen. Sometimes you need to throw away the paperwork and go with your gut. This baby (meaning ME!) was meant for you.” On November 22, 1983 my parents took me home, and almost one year later, October 18, 1984 my adoption was finalized and my parents became my forever family. My Mom “officially” became my Mom that day, but in my mind she was long before that court date.
I am forever grateful to my Birthmother for facing the toughest decision she would ever have to make and for believing in me- that I had an important purpose to serve and also that I was always so happy and she didn’t want that to change (and it hasn’t!). I am grateful to my social workers and the 2 foster families I had before my parents took me home. I am grateful to all of the people who played a role in my placement. I am grateful to God for keeping me in the palm of His hand, protecting and guiding me with love towards safety and a loving family. I am grateful to my Mom, who has been there for me for every tear and every triumph, believing in me, loving me, guiding me and being present with her fierce love for me.
My becoming a Mother myself is a tribute to all that I have been given. I know very well that my life could have gone very differently, with more scenarios than I can even fathom. I know firsthand that not every child in the Foster Care system gets as lucky as I did.
My first daughter, Isla Rose, was conceived and born with complete ease. Everly Belle (whose name means “Beautiful, wished-for child) came after 18 months of failed fertility treatments (including two full rounds of IVF!) for a completely unexplained infertility. In hindsight I can explain it perfectly- I walked the paths of both of the women who have given me more than I could ever repay. God gave me the opportunity to heal my past and create a new path and a new future with my two girls.
Isla and Everly, here is what I know. You’re too young to understand this, but someday you will. Someday I want you to know that a Mother’s love is so great, and so deep, that it could endure the greatest earthly pain and grief- willingly. It is so complete and so full that it seeks you at all times, despite all obstacles. Someday, I will tell you the story of the depths of my love for you. I will tell you about how I faced some of my greatest fears, and found that there are no limits and no bounds to my love for you. I will tell you with certainty that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to ensure your well being, to have you with me, to give you everything you need to live and to grow and to thrive, even if it makes me tired, or sick, or terrified, or risks my very life. I will tell you about how difficult it may be for you to understand this until you have children of your own- that I gained a whole new level of love, respect and appreciation for your Mimi and also a true understanding and forgiveness for my Biological Mother that I didn’t have before. I will tell you that many mother’s hearts went into your coming into this world, and that we would do it all over again just to have you near.
Girls, may you never fear, may you know how Great is my love for you, and may the broken road I travelled to get to you bless our special and unique relationships.
Wishing all of the wonderful Mothers in my life a glorious Mother’s Day filled with Love.
Maternity Photos: With Isla: Amanda Rusin, With Everly: Lisa O’Brien Photography