And finally, Orlando and Ro-Ro, my first foster sons gave me reason to celebrate being a mommy. I was determined to get to church that morning. I wore the exhaustion like eye shadow and blush on my face. The energy and the struggle to get those two out the door wasn't going to stop me. (looking back, I think God must have chuckled knowing the two that would be mine down the road)
I had to go, because for years I sat while the Mom's around stood on Mother's Day and were honored and my heart ached clear down to my toes and I cried buckets and caught the tears before they ever fell---before I stopped going to church on Mother's Day because it was too painful.
I remember standing that Sunday morning and waiting for the magic to sweep over me. It didn't. And the afternoon was as difficult as the morning and I left my reason for celebrating and collapsed in my own mommas arms that first celebratory day asking- "is this what I've waited for" it wasn't the grandness I had built motherhood to be in my years of waiting.
It would be a few years before I would again stand on Sunday morning, when they left our home I felt like I had been stripped of the honor and no kids under roof meant I wasn't a mom. Or so I thought.
Then came Shayne. Blessed beyond measure.
|April 26 1995|
|May 10 2014|
And we fostered again. And in a short time I went from mom of one to mom of four and I loved it. And somehow I felt "more" of a mom because I was outnumbered.
And then Randy left our home and I felt like I had failed as a mom because I couldn't fix him. And then there were three. And I was trying to figure out when I'd be satisfied and feel complete. The ache in my heart lingered.
And I watched friends around me bear children over and over again. I watched friends adopt from China and Tennessee. And I was jealous. And we said yes to multiple phone calls for baby siblings and they never came. And my heart ached.
And I watched friends and family who's hearts also ached clear down to their toes for the empty arms that long desperate and hard to hold life. And I felt guilty for wanting more when they had none and sad for them blessed to have mine all mixed up together.
And all the time being Mom was getting harder and harder. And the little brown faces were getting bigger and bigger and the struggles louder and the words meaner and my sweet Shayne was growing up and moving on and I can't rock him on my hip anymore but I knew still I wasn't done mothering and for a while this year I didn't want it anymore because it.was. hard. and.scary.and.exhausting.and.thankless. and no amount of standing up on a Sunday morning could stop the hurting in my heart when I looked at my children's hurts that I couldn't fix. And I felt shame for thinking it. And I didn't want Mother's Day to come because I felt like an impostor.
But it came.
I'd love to tell you it was peaceful and perfect and nobody got mad and nobody cried. But that ain't my reality.
But it was good.
We went to church- 20 minutes late because my boys wouldn't cooperate and there was no breakfast in bed. There was no breakfast. And how happy I was that Happy Mother's Day's were abundant but Pastor Jake never asked all the Mommas to stand. He didn't even preach a special Momma message but instead preached about Jesus' dying on the cross to bear up all that shame and disgrace and sin of yelling and failing and heart ache that goes clear down to our toes because we are all sinners and he did that dying for me. And you. And all the Mommas who try and fail, and are scared because it's way harder than they thought and all the women who carry those empty arms just waiting for life to fill. And I thought about Mommy T. and how I despise her for what she did to my boys but am grateful to her for giving them life and wondering how her heart is today and not knowing how to make sense of the mixed up feeling I have about this woman who failed and does she know Jesus died for that and for her too?
So my family celebrated the day with giving me presents of heart and time and Chocolate Strawberries and a new bike with a cupholder and a watch and homemade bracelets that broke too soon. And we piled up at Kabuki and the boys caught shrimp in their mouths and were silenced by the Chef and it was good.
And I got to hug my own Momma and sweet Mom-in-law and can't help but wonder if I'll get to hug her next year. I got to chat with Mom B. and tell her I love her and miss her. And come home to the Bestie and her girl who's been mine since she was tiny 'cause she let me share her and my new daughter to be who I already love.
|Teri, Kristen, Me, Kendall & Emily|
May 11 2014
|me with my boys May 11 2014|
And my boys stopped bickering ever so often and kissed me lots and told me they loved me before throwing a fit at bedtime.
And my man just keeps loving me through all the ups and downs when I'm succeeding at this thing called motherhood and when I'm not.
And I know I'll never be done and for all of this I am thankful and blessed.
Happy Monday after Mother's Day, y'all!
If you are one of those gals with the aching heart down to your toes, I wish I could make it better for you. In meaning well we can quote verses and say all the right things and it won't make the hurt stop. Just know that you are loved and prayed for and never forgotten.