More than a Mom: Happy Mother's Day!
My life has never been a particularly easy one. I've faced things during the last thirty years that I would never wish on anyone, and I have walked through my own personal fire on more than one occasion. I have known pain and I have known a grief so intense that I still wonder at the fact that I made it through each and every day to become the woman I am today.
I know, beyond a doubt, that I wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for my mother.
She isn't perfect: she makes many of the same mistakes that all mothers do. We argue sometimes when we disagree about how I should parent my daughter and I know that she sometimes becomes frustrated with me for not having learned some of the required lessons earlier on in life (I was too busy not getting burned).
My Family Chose Me
When I was a young child, I was one of those "lucky" little girls. I knew from the time that I was old enough to speak that I had been adopted. I knew that this meant that my parents had chosen me. Of all the other little girls in foster care who needed loving parents, my parents had chosen me. My mother always made an effort to ensure that I didn't feel as though I had been "thrown out" by another family, but that instead I knew how important I was to the family that had adopted me.
I believe that it takes a special effort to be an adoptive parent. I know that there are many adoptive parents here on Hubpages and some of them might disagree with me (particularly those who also have biological children of their own), but I know my parents. I know that they went to Association meetings every couple of months and that they had to struggle to ensure that we felt included with our extended family. They had to answer our questions when the other adopted children at our school fussed about having been unwanted by their parents, and ultimately adoptive parents have to answer the questions that will come about "why?"
Putting Insecurity Aside
One of the most wonderful things about my mother was her ability to put her personal insecurities aside for my sister and me. As an adoptive mother, she knew that one day we would want more information about the women who gave birth to us. What she had (unidentifying information), she kept close to her until she felt that I was old enough to handle the information, and then she spoon-fed it to me a little bit at a time.
Many adoptive parents are insecure, seeming to feel that if their child finds his or her biological parents that they (the adoptive parent) will be rejected. Not only is this rarely the case, this mentality can be harmful to the adopted child.
My mother wasn't like that. She was secure in herself and she trusted me. As a teenager and young adult, with the life that I have led, I needed her confidence in me during that period of time and it means the world to me that she was willing to put that level of trust in me!
Books about Adoption
I Appreciate my Mother -- But it Hasn't Always Been That Way
I appreciate my mother, though it hasn't always been that way. Due, I feel, so some of the struggles I have had in my life I went through a period of time where I felt that I was "entitled" to everything, from money to a roof over my head. I was an adult at the time and expecting and demanding more from my mother than she had to give. Even so, she struggled with me, struggled to help me to find happiness, and cried with me when I simply could not. My sorrow was her sorrow, and when I was hurting she hurt too.
It took me more than twelve years to really understand my mother as the parent of an adult child. It took me so long to understand the ways she tried to support me. When she withdrew I felt rejected, but I understand now that her withdrawal was her effort to help me to understand my own personal responsibilities. It took me ten years and more to really finally begin to understand.
Two weeks ago, for the first time, I told my mother "thank you" and really meant it. I could tell her, in honesty, that I appreciated her. I could face her, ashamed of myself for my past behavior, and know that though she might have been angry at the time (and was) she would forgive me.
Two weeks later I realize that we both learned something from the experience. Three days ago, when I called her with a problem I needed to get off my chest, she was more understanding than she has been in years, more accepting, and more gentle with me.
Like any relationship, ours is a two-way street. I love my mother intensely and have as much of a responsibility to her to work on our relationship as she has to me.
Happy Mother's Day Mom!
Through everything that we have been through, I love you, Mom. I have said some things in my adolescence that I regret now, and I want you to know that regardless of whether or not you are the woman who gave birth to me, you are my mother. You raised me and supported me and comforted me when I needed to be comforted. You are the mother who sang me to sleep at night and fell asleep reading Peter Pan ("And John said.. wowoo wowoo woo wowoo"). You are the mother who bandaged my skinned knees and who reassured me when I tore my chin open on my sister's bike.
You made the best decisions for me that you could. I consider myself lucky to be your daughter. Thank you for everything, Mom!
My Other Mother's Day Hubs
- Do You Think of Me? A Mother's Day Tribute
A tribute to the woman who gave birth to me 30 years ago in 2009. A message from a grateful daughter given up for adoption.