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MOTHER’S DAY 2013
Yesterday, my daughter Sandy, who lives just around the corner from my husband Monte and I, stopped by.
“You’ll have to get to bed early tonight,” she said.
“Oh,” I said.
“Yes, we have an 8:00 morning reservation for breakfast. It’s the only time I could get.”
As the day passed I thought about mothers and Mother’s Day.
With sadness I recalled my activities the first week of May. We were in the Buffalo, New York, area trying to be supportive of our surrogate daughter, Kathleen, who had just lost her 19-year-old niece. While Laken was driving home her car was T-boned by a tri-axle truck. The accident appeared to be no fault of Laken’s—the roadways and an allegedly speeding truck were the cause of the loss of what was to be—no, was—a positive person who had much to contribute to society. Laken’s last act was to donate her organs so others might benefit. That was the type person she was.
Today, so soon after the accident, must be unbearable to Laken’s mother. I cannot imagine how she will make it through the day, even with the tremendous support system she has, which includes her husband and son.
And I think of my sister who lost her son and many years later feels pain, especially on Mother’s Day.
I think back to my 1969 and 1970s Mother’s Days, days which were personally so painful that I stayed home from church, unable to rejoice in motherhood due to infertility problems.
In 1970 I worked doing adoption home studies in a neighboring county. During April I assisted in delivering a 5 pound baby girl to a couple. My supervisor and I went to the hospital to pick the baby up, and I left the maternity ward in a wheel chair with the infant in my arms.
“Congratulations. What a beautiful baby,” someone said to me as I was wheeled to the hospital exit.
“She’s not mine,” I snapped, at which my supervisor admonished me.
We drove to the adoptive family’s home, me with infant on my lap (it was prior to seat belt times). When we arrived at the baby’s new home my supervisor and I were invited into the house, where the new mother was anxiously awaiting. Instead of handing the baby over gently I almost threw her into the arms of the mother. However, I don’t think anyone noticed that action.
Little did I know then that, a month later, seven days after that year’s May 10th Mother’s Day, a 4 pound 11 ounce baby girl would be born. This baby was to be ours, to be our daughter Sandy.
Sandy’s arrival made my May 9, 1971, Mother’s Day joyful. Shortly after that Mother’s Day, we discovered that the stomach flu I had was morning sickness. Our son, Nolan, was born January 18, 1972.
Our family was complete. Years later surrogate children would come into the fold, but Mother’s Days became a celebration from 1971 on.
There were other special Mother’s Days. I had a friend in one community we lived in who was experiencing infertility issues. She created a Mother’s Day escape for herself and other infertile women and couples by designing a weekend conference at Jumonville, a United Methodist campground in Southwestern Pennsylvania. A tree was planted one year on which each woman tied a ribbon of hope for a resolution to their infertility. As this mother completed an international adoption she discovered she herself was expecting. She now has two daughters who are close to being the productive citizens of the future.
This Mother’s Day I think about Linda and several other bio-mothers who released their children for adoption while under our care as pregnant foster children planning to have other parents raise their newborn. I think about their pain in releasing their newborns to an unknown destiny, of being separated from their child possibly forever, and of their yearning to know what happened to their children.
On the flip side, I think about the children released for adoption, yearning to know who their bio-mothers are, yearning to know their personal story—this yearning not a reflection on the adoptive parent but a need to know their biological identity.
My mind wandered further. In January 2011 and February 2012 I was contacted by two sisters, both released for infant adoption by my mother. I wonder about her secret, kept to the grave, and I wonder if Mother’s Day brought her a special pain. I wonder about these sisters and their meeting their bio-mother only through their sibling’s eyes.
I too miss my Mother who passed away on January 3, 1998. We had just reached the point where she felt free to share information about her life. Unfortunately, she passed on before we could touch on some questions I truly wanted to ask. These answers were carried to her grave, as was her story of my siblings she released for adoption.
As I consider the sadness and the joys of past and present Mother’s Days I must not fail to mention more of my joy, the arrival of my grandchildren in 1997, 2004, and 2006.
For all the mothers who experience only sadness on this holiday, whatever the reason, may God bless you and relieve you of your sufferings.
For all the mothers who rejoice this day Hallelujah.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.