A Bittersweet Day


Mothers Day has come and gone.  It was a huge improvement over last year’s very special day which I detailed in a semi-rant post called My New Mother’s Day.  The other night Ryan questioned how exactly I wanted my day to look – men need specifics – and I jokingly replied that my deepest desire was to take a bath for as long as I wanted, without one single person asking or telling me anything through the door (but then that would make me NOT a mother, right?).

My day was good – peaceful, solid, void of any huge pains or heartaches, good.

But – this day is also a constant reminder of a gigantic ache for three of my children and that makes it bittersweet as their mom. As a family we attempt to not dwell in the agony of the past. There is a difference between honoring where you come from or choosing to wallow in the pain of what the past has handed you. Ryan and I do our best to model joy in the life we have and not allow ourselves to use the past as a crutch. Bad things did happen to all of us, but we move forward in praise for what we have been given – recognizing that this life is fleeting – and honoring God’s faithfulness through our thankfulness.

My biological children embraced Mother’s Day with all the joy and giddiness it held and showered me with 500 billion homemade cards and pictures.  Two of my adopted kids were also excited for what the day represented and fully participated; however, I’m sure they also have moments of pain and confusion but their angst wasn’t as obvious as one of the kids.

This particular child was not into this day at all.

This child was angry and had been angry for a week leading up to the day.  I noticed a tenseness every time a commercial came on T.V about Mothers Day.  The other kids would run to make me some thrown together picture declaring their love or they would hurry outside to pick another beautiful bunch of weeds, and this child would sit quietly, not meeting my eyes, not saying a word, just silently aching for the loss, and I didn’t know how to make it better.

I can’t make it better and that is incredibly difficult as a mom. My mama heart wants to be enough – so much so that the loss won’t hurt and in numerous ways, I know I’m a good mom for all of them, but it doesn’t erase the ache and how this day is a blatant reminder of that pain.  As a mom I want to take away the agony, take away the void, maybe even erase the memories because then it won’t hurt so much, but I can’t.  I can’t because at times I even question God’s decision in the matter.  Being a biological mother, I have a difficult time understanding how the best choice for my children would be another woman raising them.  It doesn’t seem like the best choice but then God’s ways are not our ways, and he doesn’t owe us any explanations.  It only makes sense in that his ways are so much higher than we can comprehend, and I don’t believe that our comfort and well-being are exactly the end all be all to His ultimate plan or purpose here on Earth.  I believe that his ultimate plan and purpose probably looks much more like an adoption than a biological conception, a choice to love others as ourselves, rather than a inborn, feel good instinct toward one another; a choice to love God and choose his ways over our sinful nature that wants to have things our own way.

This child and I got into it the night before Mother’s Day, as we do occasionally, both of us having a black and white tendency that needs to be right and both of us having mouths to match that desire. There was outright disobedience –  something that has never occurred before.  We talked and aired our frustrations and mourned and reaffirmed our love for one another, and I held my child and offered reassurance of my love and that I would keep trying to be the best mom I can possibly be.

And isn’t that all we can do for our children?  Those of our wombs and those of our hearts?  Just be the best we can possibly be for each individually and collectively, relying completely on God’s grace and mercy in their lives and in our lives as we repeatedly stumble and pick ourselves back up.  Praying that somehow all the pain and the loss and the aches will be gone one day, and it will all make perfect sense when we come to the end of our races here on earth and come face to face with the one who orchestrated it all, our Abba father who has graciously adopted each one of us into his eternal family.


These were the beautiful flowers I had waiting for me the next morning – from anonymous child.

Just keep livin!

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