Mother’s Day has always been a very hard day at our home. Foster and adoptive children typically struggle during holidays. Can you imagine how hard it is to have a holiday that focuses on the fact that your birth parent isn’t with you?
Well, that has been mine for years. It has been a hectic, ugly, wish it never happened kinda day. While everyone around talks about their wonderful dinners,perfect gifts and how much their family loves them. My Mother’s Day has been an argument, fighting, angry, don’t want this day to come.
A few years ago, my Grandma passed away. They had the funeral over Mother’s Day weekend and i was thrilled. I had decided I didn’t want to celebrate Mother’s Day any more. After that time, I didn’t bring it up. I didn’t get excited. I even skipped church a couple of “those” Sundays because I didn’t want to hear everyone talking about how wonderful their day had been. I couldn’t even be happy for them because my day had been horrible.
So, I gave up on my children celebrating “my” day.
This year (today as a matter of fact), I came home to a balloon arch, and two planted flower pots. My children made me a huge sign and hung it in my bedroom. One child got up early and cleaned up the main parts of the house. Two boys bought me roses. Most of the children made me cards. It was awesome.
I didn’t even expect any of it. I was more than pleasantly surprised. There were more gifts and love shared today than ever before on this day.
Also, my expectations changed and that helped. I guess I always wanted my children to say amazing things about me. I wanted to hear how they appreciated all of the things I have put up with. I wanted them to acknowledge my sacrifice for their happiness. I wanted to here about me, me ,me.
I have reflected on this attitude for quite some time now. I have realized how on Mother’s Day I have wanted the outward expression of love. I didn’t realize how my attitude was hindering the thoughtful, genuine expression of love I was seeking.
I didn’t realize that I am influencing my children for good but, they don’t need to recognize me or it.
Humility can be tricky. I never thought I was a prideful person. I never thought I was boastful. I thought I was being humble and I believe I was except on that day.
I guess what I am realizing is I wanted to make a difference in children lives. I wanted to give children a safe place to stay for as long as they needed it. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t always been enjoyable. I have made so many mistakes. I have held grudges. I have let children trigger the worst in me at times.
What I have come to understand is I don’t need a special day for people to tell me how good they think I am. Instead I have begun focusing on who I am. I have focused on my children and what is best for them. I am working towards being a better person because that is who my children need.’
Accolades are nice but the real measure of a mom is the amount of love she has for her children. It is the countless hours spent listening, driving kids to and from work, taking them to therapy, sitting at their games, watching their plays, hugging them, eating dinner together, creating boundaries and fully opening my heart to them and for them.
Fostering and adopting children isn’t the easiest thing I have ever done. However, because these particular kiddos have come into my life I have grown immeasurably. I have a lot of work still to do. I have a lot of growth to accomplish. I am so glad Heavenly Father has guided me to this path. I am so glad He has influenced my growth and learning. I am so grateful for His continued trust in my abilities. I am thankful for His partnership in my life.
Mother’s Day is just another day. It doesn’t define me anymore. It doesn’t dictate how my day goes. I do. Just like I do every day of the year. It doesn’t matter if I struggle with infertility. It doesn’t matter if tragedy has struck my family. It doesn’t matter if I know or don’t know my birth family.
I am enough.
I am loved.
I am strong.
I am who Heavenly Father needs me to be.
I am where I belong.
I am me and no one (especially a superficial holiday) gets to define me anymore.
Happy Mother’s Day to all who feel inadequate, unsure, heartbroken and unloved. Your day will come. Please find your worth. Understand your value. Find your place and don’t allow anyone to take it from you.