Monday, January 13, 2014

Their Other Mothers...

When people ask me how many children I have, I tell them "three."  I am the forever mom of three amazing young people...  I have a beautiful, loving, compassionate, kind 20-year-old honorary daughter, and I have my boys, my Monkey and Bug, who bring me more joy and laughter and feelings of "mama bear" protectiveness than I ever thought possible.  Every day I look at my children in wonder and thank God for bringing them into my life in such an amazing way.  I am their "Mom," their "Mommy," and their "Mama."

My children have all come to me in different ways, but the one thing they all have in common is that I am not their only mother.  It sometimes surprises me how many times a day I find myself thinking of my children's birth moms and the different emotions those thoughts can trigger in me.  While feelings of anger and frustration sometimes come to the surface when I think of what ultimately brought my children to me, the most frequent emotions that I feel when thinking of my children's first moms are gratitude and sorrow.  Gratitude that they chose life for their children...  Plain and simple, but so unbelievably monumental.  And sorrow for my kids...  Sorrow for their birth mothers...  Just sadness in general that my children don't have the kind of relationships with their first moms that they were meant to have.

I think the passing of Monkey's birth mom late last year has made me even more cognizant of the connections that my children have to their first mothers (whether they ever had a relationship with them or not).  I love my children with everything that I am, and I want more than anything for them to be able to have healthy, safe, loving relationships with the women who gave them life.  Knowing that Monkey no longer has that chance breaks my heart.  I witnessed firsthand how much Monkey's mother loved him.  I saw her struggle to fight addictions, illness, and depression.  I saw her overcome.  I saw her relapse.  But through it all, I saw her love her baby, even if it was from afar.

I think of my children's first moms every time they do something that makes me laugh.  I think of their other mothers as I rock my boys to sleep or have deep, late night conversations with Heaven.  I think of the women who gave my children life every time they meet a milestone, every time I nurse them through an illness, every time they come to me for advice or comfort...  I think of those women every time I hear one of my kids call me "Mama," Mommy," or "Mom," and the bittersweet feelings of gratitude mixed with sorrow bubble up within me once again.

I am the forever mom of three amazing young people...  But I am not their only mother.  I pray every day that I am mindful of that and of the connection that my children will always have with their first moms.


Foster Mom - R said...


Anonymous said...

My aunt, an adoptive mom, told me that the birth mother will be "ever present" in our lives, and this has been very true. I don't want her to come back, I don't believe she should parent this little girl, but I also worry about her, want the best for her, and love her. She is a part of our family without being physically present. We are both a mother to Jo Jo, in different ways, and that is something truly special.

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