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.



28 comments:

  1. Thank you for this tonight. This is my first mother's day with my daughter who came to us via the beautiful gift of adoption. My mind is on her birthmom and wanting to honor her.
    I also believe God will finish the work. Amen, sister!

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  2. You are really some kind of special Shannon. Your children are so blessed to have you in their lives. Hope you have the happiest of Mothers Days. xo

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  3. Yes you are a amazing!! You are a wonderful Momma!!! Happy Mothers Day to you!!

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  4. I dreamed of baby girl's birth mama last night. She is weighing heavy on my heart. I'm thinking tomorrow may be a rough day for her and I'm sending extra prayers her way.

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  5. "He breathed a living bloom into a place where there was desperation."

    Whoa. Just whoa.

    And thanks.

    And happy day of mothers.

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  6. A beautiful piece, Shannan. Happy Mother's Day!

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  7. Beautiful and so full of love.

    Happy Mother's Day Shannan ~ FlowerLady

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  8. Dang girl. It's too early for me to be boo-hooing like this. Thanks for the beautiful. Happy Mother's Day to you!

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  9. Happy Mother's Day Shannon! Thank you for blessing me with your words everyday and sharing your heart with so many.

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  10. So tender and sweet! You have such a way of touching hearts through your words-simply beautiful!!

    Happy Mother's Day to one AMAZING MAMA!!

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  11. You write like no one else...so deep and so heartfelt that one can't help but either cry, laugh, or smile big-or even better, all three at once.

    Happy Mama's Day.

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  12. That's some sweet writing. I chuckled out loud with the Silas conversation.

    Happy Momma's Day to you.

    -Angie

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  13. Thank you for helping your kids love their birth moms and for building relationships where you can, and for always praying for their hearts to be comforted. I am the wife of a man who was adopted during a different time, whose birth mom was shamed and who carried the guilt every day of not knowing what happened to her baby. I am the cousin of a woman who chose adoption for her baby, and even though she knows how loved he is, it is heartbreaking seeing her struggle. Much love to the beauty and pain in the lives of all involved.

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  15. Wow! As an adult adopted child (from when it was less acceptable) thank you for allowing your children to have positive feelings toward their birth mothers. How much pain I've suffered from thinking I came from "trash". You rock, my dear!

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  16. Beautiful pic of you and Ruby!

    Silas makes me laugh so hard. Love his obsession with his perception of your bossiness/a.k.a...parenting.

    Calvin just sounds so thoughtful and genuine.

    Can't wait to be a mommy one day!

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  17. Well, you know I love this. Squeezing my brown eyed boy extra tight tonight, for her.

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  18. so deeply gracious, here...beautiful

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  19. I can't handle Silas. I just.
    This is a tender, lovely post but I'm afraid I'm walking away with his comments seared into the happy part of my brain. I blame you for that. And thanks. Because it's AWESOMENESS
    I am sorry though, I couldn't focus on the rest...it was truly precious and I feel guilty for doing a disservice. I'll blame you AND Silas for that, on second thought.

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  20. Every post you write intrigues me a little more. Beautiful photo of you and Ruby. I agree with other readers on your positive conversation about the kids' birth parents -- what a rare gem of a mother they've found! By the way, your selflessness and thoughtfulness astounds me. "To me this day is theirs. I don't know that they would see it the same way, but I find no alternative." and "...I hope she somehow knows he's well-loved today. I hope her heart isn't hurting tonight." Beautiful, thought-provoking words, Shannan. Happy Mother's Day. :)

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  21. I just love your outlook Shanny girl. I hope you had a wonderful day with your rowdy trio!

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  22. Oh Silas. You crack me flat up.
    Glad your day was wonderful, Farmgirl!

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  23. we love our birth mom, too, even though we'll never know her.
    we pray for her often and always speak in the highest regard about her true bravery.

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  24. So lovely, Shannon. You are somethin' else, girl. Such a beautiful mama.

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  25. shannan. me too.
    love these words. xo

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  26. From one adoptive mother to another, Happy Mother's Day ... a bit belated, but still filled with meaning. Those who've never adopted have no idea all of the emotions that spill out on special days, on ordinary days, and even the best of words can't truly explain. But we know. And it's nice to have kindred spirits all around.

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  27. Whoa...Its an fantastic statement piece...:)
    You are wonderful mom
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