Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day & The Wide Spectrum of Motherhood

 Last year I came across these words of compassion written by a non-mom to pastors on Mother's Day:

"To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you.
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you.
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you.
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you.
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you.
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you.
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you.
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you.
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience.
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst.
To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day.
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be.
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths.
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you.
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you.
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart.
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you.
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you."

As one who has personally dreaded going to church on Mother's Day in the past- especially if all of the mothers were asked to stand and be recognized, I greatly appreciated the sensitivity and inclusiveness of Amy Young's words.

Yesterday I expressed thanks for my daughter's birthmother and her tremendous selflessness which has given my husband and I the chance to be parents. 

Today I am typing on my laptop with one hand while the other hand is holding a little boy snuggled up to me and I know for a fact that this Mother's Day is going to be particularly painful for this little boy's mother who lost custody of her children last year and who has had to watch me take over her role of mother to them as their foster mom.  

Regardless of the fact that the reason our foster son and daughter were placed in our care is a direct result of their parent's choices, I still acknowledge and respect the role they have in their children's lives and I recognize that they have experienced and will continue to experience the loss of their children. 

I am ever mindful of the fact that the children in our home belonged/belong to other parents.  The difference is that in the case of our daughter's birthmother she chose to place her daughter with us whereas our foster children were removed from their parent's care by court order and sent to live with strangers obviously without the consent of their parents.

I think the best way to honor both our daughter's birthmother and our foster children's birthparents is to not only recognize their loss but to love and treat the children in our care with the same tenderness they hold these children in their hearts.

This Mother's Day I'm also thinking of the {former foster} children I once held in my arms but continue to hold in my heart.

1 comment:

Melia said...

This is a very beautiful post. Brings tears to my eyes because I have been some of those women described and know others who walk the paths I have not. Celebration, sadness, grief, joy. All rolled up into beautiful words.