Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother's Day Comes and Goes

I have always struggled with Mother's Day. First, I'm a birth mother and have been for a long time so the day has it's own history of tremendously sad days while other years are beautiful days that only real peace can produce. This year, was by far the best. It was not necessarily what anyone did or gave me. It was not the flowers and homemade cards, although those were a definite highlight! It was not any monumental thing that happened, it was a culmination of a year of discovery that I never would have thought could happen in my lifetime.

Writing The Best For You was a gigantic labor of love. I had that book in me for over 15 years and I knew what I wanted to say but not HOW I should say it. I thought long and hard about how it should read, how it should look. Then I had my own boys. My whole world changed and I came to the realization that children are a true gift from God. I always knew that, but once you begin to care for one...hold it in your arms as they cry...hold them in your arms as they laugh...they are a miracle to say the least. With this epiphany I had to rethink some things about the book. More years passed and I could not really wrap my head around how to convey the journey that I had been through, after is forever evolving and everyday is a new challenge. So once I finally wrote it, the words actually flowed out of my fingers and with little editing I had the perfect manuscript that was both informative yet compassionate. Now ... the illustrations were a whole other bear! I do not consider myself an artist so this undertaking of putting what was in my head onto that paper, well, let's just say that I eventually went out and bought the very best eraser that I could find, pure white. It was a year and a half later that I was finally satisfied with the final outcome and ready to share it with the world. So I sent it out, but ...
 Others were not so happy to see the book and I got the feeling that people were scared of this kind of voice, this kind of honest point of view directed at children regarding such a sensitive subject. Of course some are going to say that it is too much for kids, they do not understand the complicated web that is adoption. They could not see that this book, whether it is the story of that particular child or not, could help anyone understand a little better the real life reasons a woman might choose adoption for her child. I know it is a touchy subject for some, but I also believe and advocate for those little voices who have so many questions about themselves. I think they want some honesty for a change, I know I like honesty as a character trait. So I said thank you very much to the doubters and just moved on. I decided that I was the only one who was going to get this book where it needed to be, so I self published two weeks after my 39th Birthday. It was a dream come true! It was an accomplishment that was so personally satisfying to me. It had been years since I had just done something for me, something that I had been wanting to do for over a decade was finally a reality in my warm little hands.

What has followed has been nothing short of amazing! I have been contacted by so many who read my words, find comfort in what I have to say and tell me they feel they have found someone who understands the complications of this particular heartbreak. My voice has been able to make those that feel so alone and helpless hear a positive story that has been growing strong for two decades, and continues to get better. But the best part of releasing my book is the love I have received from my children, all of them, and my husband. What support I have, what love surrounds me, what encouragement I receive from them. Every step of the way they have been behind me, pushing me up the hill that is self marketing, reminding me that I am the best mom ever (words from Bodde and Chase directly), smiles and hugs when they read a review of the book and endless bragging that I am now an author.

My daughter has told me time and time again that she is so very proud of me and thinks I am the strongest person she has ever known. And in releasing the book, well, it was the opening to my twin sons finding me then reaching out to me to say..."Hey, we think you are pretty great." What a wonderful feeling to hear your adopted children say these things, it is enough to make my heart skip a beat as a perm a-smile spreads from ear to ear. This book was originally written just for my children whom I placed as they embarked on pinnacle points in their lives. I did not want any more time go by without them knowing just how hard it was to let them go, how much I thought about them on a daily basis, how much I really loved them but just could not care for them when I was younger. What I wrote for them opened up a flood of thoughts that has turned into a blog with followers, a fan page that grows everyday with more who just want to connect to others who share a sisterhood like no other, and an abundance of new friends. I have been so very blessed this past year and I thank all of you for hearing me, listening to what I have to say. I thought about it all on Sunday, then I smelled my flowers and smiled.

So this past Mother's Day was a very sweet reminder that no matter what kind of mother you may be, there is something to be said for just embracing who you are and loving the woman you've become.


Betsy ( said...

Wow! I love reading your posts. It's such a brave thing you did. And now to have a relationship with those children is even more amazing!! Happy Belated Mother's Day Kelsey!

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Thank you Zen Moma! It is a pretty incredible story and journey that keeps me amazed with each passing year. It shows just how much adoption has changed to allow the opportunities to keep an open and honest relationship between adoptee & birth parent. I was so very fortunate to have chosen understanding parents who have allowed me to be a part of their lives, even if it was from afar. There is something to be said for communication in adoption, to be honest and respectful of such a matter of the heart.

Thanks for reading, and a Happy Belated Mother's Day to you!!