As Mother's Day approaches, I think of all the mothers my children have had...birth mothers, foster mothers, and, ultimately, me. In legal terms, I am called surrogate parent (legal title), foster mother, pre-adoptive mother and, by those who matter most, Mama. It is so easy to pretend I am the one and only, but that doesn't acknowledge the women who also, at some point, were mother to my babies. It was a bumpy path these two souls have taken to find their way home.
We operate under many assumptions to get through our day: driver's will stop at a red light, the guy in front of you at the bank doesn't have a gun, there will always be more food at the grocery store, and mothers will take care of their children. While any of these assumptions can fail us, sometimes the latter just is not possible, not to the degree we'd hope. These women, these birth mothers, who gave their children life perhaps without thinking of what that life would be like - it is so easy to judge them (believe me). How could they bring a life into this world addicted to drugs, without a home, in an abusive environment? How could they insist they have rights to this child when they are unable to hug her, or talk to him without screaming? In my frustration, I have bellowed these rants myself, only to feel worse afterwards. On Mother's Day, please take a moment to think of these women.
Please send a small thought of lovingkindness to those who have had a life filled with so much pain. It is easy to love our friends, but maybe we can love these women for letting me become Mama. Or maybe we should love them just because they need it.
Thank you Restituta, for bringing us Benny and letting him go with love. You cared enough to meet with us, hug us, and give us your blessing. It was the greatest gift you could have given us all.
Thank you Erica, for bringing us Desi and showing your love by fighting for her. We know this has been so hard for you but we see you are ready to start letting go. This will be your greatest gift and you will not be forgotten.