What does Mother’s Day mean to me... WOW! That should be a simple question right? Sure, if I don’t put much thought or effort into it, I could tell you what a blessing it’s been to have incredible women in my life who have helped shaped me into the mom I am today. I could even write a book doting on our son and what a gift it is to be his Mama. Don’t get me wrong, God’s hand has been all over my journey to Motherhood from the day I was born, and I will forever give Him the praise.
I will first give Him the glory and thank Him for awakening my mind, opening my eyes, and preparing my heart for the broken mess that is Motherhood by means of adoption. Everyone’s story is so different, but I can shed some light on ours.
My husband and I married later in life. I was a week from turning 32, and he had just turned 44. So we knew we wanted to start trying to grow our family right away. Long story short, after 4 years of trying the "old fashioned way" - visiting specialists, and seeking the Lord, we realized we had a lot of work to do one way or the other. After all, what is Motherhood... a lot of work!
It was in October of 2018 that the Lord unified my husband and I on how He wanted us to start our family. I had known for a while we would pursue adoption. My husband struggled with the thought that a child could connect with someone in a loving maternal or paternal way that was not genetically a part of them. I honestly thought it was kind of silly because we both grew up in divorced and remarried families. To me, it wasn’t ideal but it was more love. The love of two dads and two moms.
Looking back on some of the things I thought, or even said, about adoption out of ignorance I am embarrassed.
Over the next year, we allowed our Savior to do a major work in both of our hearts. We asked Him to prepare and shape us to be the best parents and support system we could be for our future children and their biological parents. In this season, the Lord did a lot of work in our perception of parenthood. For as long as I can remember, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was a wife and mom! Simple right? What I didn’t know was what it takes to be a Mom!
The Lord made it very clear to us that this time of waiting was meant to shape us. I know it sounds strange, but He increased our patience, our compassion, and showed us the kind of parents He wants us to be verses what the world says about parenthood. During this season of refinement, we realized there is no way to be a healthy parent without Jesus.
My husband and I both worked in full time ministry at our local church before the Lord called me to stay home with our sweet boy. So, we were (and he still is) definitely immersed daily in the incredible teaching of so many who have gone before us and have unlimited time to spend in our Bible. One book that profoundly impacted my life through our journey was Lost Women of The Bible by Carolyn Curtis James. The premise of the book is that all women lose their way because of sin, but there is so much more richness to learn from the season you are in if you just dig a little deeper.
The book shared the stories of women like Eve, Sarah, Hannah, and even Noah’s wife! Since the Lord was preparing me for motherhood, I was drawn to what they were doing and how it impacted their kids. I thought to myself "there was no way Sara could have allowed Issac to almost sacrifice her son on an alter if she wasn’t relying so heavily on God to be a good mother." Not to mention Mrs. Noah, I think we could all sympathize with her in this season, locked in a ship to keep her family safe for 40 days and 40 nights with her husband (who the whole world thought was crazy), all those wild boys they had, and soooo many animals! We have so much to learn from those who have gone before us!
While leaning into the Lord now more than ever, reading books and scripture - I could never leave our community. Community is key! Surrounding yourself with other women in the same season as you, not to commiserate, but to celebrate one another! I have so many friends who have embraced the gift of staying home with their kids as their new ministry field. They are sharing what they are learning with other women, and I for one, am grateful!
So you see, Motherhood is not simple! It takes work to be a good Mom.
To answer the question of what Mother's Day means to me... Mother’s Day is a day that I will always use to reflect on the journey God took us on to get here. To thank Him for His guidance, to repent of what I did not know, to revive His grace, and to receive the love and celebration of others... none of which are super simple in my flesh.
I will use this day to acknowledge the incredible Mama’s around me that Lord has placed in my life to help build me up as a Mom. I will pray for the Moms in waiting, the ones who have lost children, and for the ones who didn’t plan on finding themselves where they're having to make a tough decision.
The good news is no matter what season you are in, Jesus covers it all! Where we fall short, He comes in and fills the gaps if we let Him. After all, He loves them so much more than we ever could.