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I have been blessed to have a loving, caring mother all 28 years of my life. My mom loves me unconditionally and is no doubt my biggest fan. She believes in me and encourages me. She taught me how to be a mom. On this Mother’s Day, as all my other Mother’s Days, I think of my gratitude and indebtedness to her. However, I also am thinking about the many others who don’t feel happy today.

 Last year was a really hard Mother’s Day for me. It happened to fall the day before the court date which potentially decided our future. We had fallen in love with three beautiful foster children, and their birth mother’s rights were set to be determined the falling day. I longed to be their forever mother, but that longing couldn’t make me a mother. It was completely out of my control. I am so grateful that those three children did become my forever children, and that today we celebrate our first Mother’s Day together. I have loved getting their hand made cards and crafts.

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Six years ago, we lived in Honduras at a boys’IMG_0380 orphanage. There was a big celebration at the local school. I was the sole white face in the crowd, but I proudly represented “Mom” for nearly 30 boys. A year later, we took in a teenage boy whose family was homeless. Once again, I found myself being Mom for a child not my own. While I believe that all these boys were grateful for someone to come home to, it didn’t take away their pain of not being with their mothers.

Mother’s Day is such a special day to honor our moms and to be honored as a mom, but it’s not a joyful day for everyone. It’s a hard day for so many that have experienced loss or unfulfilled longing. I am sure that as my family celebrates, my children’s minds won’t be far from their birth mothers, nor will they be far from hers. Today, in the midst of my celebrating, I want to be mindful of all the motherless children and the childless mothers.

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