Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Honor of Sharing Mother's Day with Birth Mamas

It felt so good to slow all the way down today. Daddy worked at the annual neighborhood Help-A-House project and we played memory, read books, did a little crafting and unpacking. (But just a little.) I wore multiple layers and knee socks and watched in horror as my tan chipped off before my eyes in teeny, tiny icicles.

But who needs a tan with a heart this full?

We sat around the dinner table together eating our new favorite comfort food. (We stir-fried in fresh broccoli, sliced carrots, red cabbage and extra green onions. Also, we subbed veg oil for canola and red pepper flakes for the chili oil.)  In honor of tomorrow, conversation turned to all the other mamas - the birth moms, the foster moms. As usual, it's fascinating to see how each of them processes things so differently.


Silas: Did my Korea Mommy used to boss me?


Silas (later): Then you came all the way to Korea to get me! To be my boss!


Me: Siley, what do you think your birth mommy looks like?
Silas: She looks Korea. Like Sunny. (Sunny is the owner of our fave Korean restaurant.)


Me: What do you love the best about Shosh?
Ruby: (grinning) That she's almost the same as me. We have almost the same curly hair.
Me: Do you think she loves you?
Ruby: Yes!
Me: You're right. Why does she love you so much?
Ruby: Because I'm her girl!
(She then launched into a lengthy tribute to the "silliness" of her birth mom's husband. It's just the way she rolls and I can't get enough of her random insights and short-circuit thought connections.)


Calvin: So I really have FOUR moms.
Me and Daddy: ???
Calvin: Well, you know how God says He is like our Mom and our Dad? So - four!

Every year since I've become a Mama, just when I think I can't possibly feel any more love for all our people, a bit more slips in, right about now.

I think of our birth moms all the time. I will them to see how well their boys are doing, how happy and smart they are. I'm grateful every minute that Ruby's doesn't have to wonder about those things. But this time of year is different. It's more. To me, this day is theirs. I don't know that they would see it the same way, but I find no alternative. They are a tender and powerful part of the stories of my children, and even of mine. They have much to teach me about obedience and trust. They're beautiful, and I don't need a picture to prove it.

This year, there's a new one wedged in to my heart in a whole different way. She's somewhere out there, in Chicago or who-knows-where. She brought our tallest son into the world nineteen years ago and I wish she could have stuck around for everything that happened next. I hope she'll be back. Like all the others, I hope she somehow knows he's well-loved today. I hope her heart isn't hurting tonight.

Each story is different and my questions could fill a palace, if I let them. But I don't ask because it simply does not matter. What we know for sure is that God made a way for these Littles. He took sorrow and tears and shaped them into something lovely and eternal. He breathed a living bloom into a place where there was desperation. He gave courage where many could never have imagined it possible. He did all of that, so I plead and believe that He'll finish this work, that He'll heal all of the hurts, every one.

We pray for them extra, tonight. We purposely wind conversation around to them because we know our kids won't ever forget, but we also want them to remember that we've always been right here, helping them hold on to the thread that connects their heart to ours, and to one more.