You know… I had already planned out my post for Mother’s Day this year. (The post I shared on Friday.) Never had I imagined that I would suddenly find myself to be a mother this Mother’s Day.
For the past seven long years, we have hoped and yearned and ached and fought and surrendered and prayed and hoped some more for this thing… this elusive, unattainable thing… Month after month, for 84 months we were again and again denied access to that exclusive club of parenthood. After all that time, you start to become comfortable with that deep soul aching pain, with the gnawing reality of your empty heart and arms, with perpetually being feeling alone and separate and excluded.
As the girl who has blogged her inner truths with honesty here… in a way my infertility has come to define me. There are people who know me exclusively because of our journey with infertility. This journey has driven my choices and actions. It’s helped grow my relationship with Jesus. It’s given me new passions and new directions with my life. It’s helped me find some of the most amazing friends. It’s given me the heart to reach others and start a support group at our church… So this struggle, although painful, has made me into the woman that I am today… which is why it has and continues to define me.
So after all this time to finally be a mother… And to have become a mother so suddenly (literally less than 24 hours between getting the call and holding our little girl)… it feels wholly unreal and confusing… I’m not entirely sure how to feel or act. And honestly, there are many days that this still feels surreal to me… like a dream… like I might wake up and roll over and she won’t be there. And truthfully, I had started to become comfortable in this new life… a life without children… it was not the life I wanted, but it was the life I thought God had planned for me. And even though God made His presence so incredibly apparent through every step of our journey, I’m still learning to accept that God granted our miracle after seven long years of waiting.
But the truth is I think Mother’s Day will always be bittersweet for me. Because becoming this little girl’s mommy has been my greatest joy and blessing but that gift comes at a great cost. I will never be able to celebrate Mother’s Day without thinking of my daughter’s first mom. The mom who made the greatest sacrifice and most painful decision I can ever imagine. She loves this little girl! She carried this little girl inside her and kept her safe. And then she brought her into this world and just hours after giving birth, placed her into the arms of strangers. Strangers she chose, but strangers nonetheless.
And you know, our society and even those you work with when you’re adopting, paint this picture of what to expect from your potential birth mom. But our daughter’s first mom looks nothing like that picture. She is loving and kind and thoughtful and smart and so, so strong. And her face lights up with joy when she talks about her girls. She is a good, good mom and I’m so grateful I got a chance to meet her! But my heart breaks for her… that she has this little piece of her heart living in someone else’s home, recognizing someone else’s voice, holding someone else’s finger, growing into a person away from her… I can’t imagine that pain… I can only sympathize as one who’s heart has known the ache of longing for a child.
So yes… It’s been wonderful to celebrate my first Mother’s Day and I’m so grateful to be a mother this year. I’m so happy to have our beautiful daughter in our arms and to shower her with affection. But as a fellow infertile friend put it – I’m only a month into “recovery” from our seven-year struggle and I’m still adjusting… still gradually shifting from what has been years of seeking acceptance of the life I had… to fully embracing the gift we’ve been granted. So if you don’t see me diving head first into mommy groups and playdates, if you see me off on the edges clinging to my little girl instead of mingling with the group – just know I’ll get there. I just need a little time to adjust to this new world we’ve been denied access to for so long. That and soaking up every minute we can as a family of three!