I was quite fortunate in my adoptions, I will admit that. My story is different from any other I have read, and I am reminded often that I had great people around me to support in my choices. I am not talking about professionals helping me, but rather everyday people I knew and saw frequently who would either purposely or inadvertently give me that little something to keep pushing myself to heal. And in that support system I had a goliath advantage over everything and everyone else: my mother.
I grew up living alone with my mother from the age of three due to my parents divorce and my father’s moving out of state. She was a very strong woman whom had the heart of a lion coupled with the tenacity of a bull and charm so sweet you would never even know that she might be telling you off. She was raised by hard working Midwesterners who felt family values and morals were just as important to teach children as reading, writing and arithmetic. My mother had sass to spare, yet could make you feel that you were the only person on Earth in the way she listened to another’s woes. Admired, loved and always prepared with an impeccable sense of humor my mother was a force of life that people were drawn to.
So telling her I was pregnant was not something I thought twice about. I have heard other birth mothers tell of how frightened they were to tell their mothers they were pregnant, but for me it was not that way. Of course I was nervous when I came to sit with her that evening, wondering just what would lie ahead after I told her the situation. Who wouldn’t be nervous? And I did take a deep breath when I worked up the courage to utter the words “Mom, I’m pregnant”, feeling like the entire moment was happening in super slow motion. But I was never scared of what she would say or how she would react. I was coming to her as a daughter who needed a mother’s ear to work through a difficult situation that would not only affect me … but affect my entire family.
“Well, what are we going to do?”
Those were the words she responded with: "Well, what are we going to do?" Not what are you going to do. Not what am I going to do. But rather what are we, meaning the two of us, going to do. In that one sentence I could feel the weight lift a little, and my heart found calm in her loving verbal embrace. A smile was all I could repay her with, as I still had to vocalize what my thoughts were on adoption and the options I wanted to look into as soon as I possibly could. From the moment she found out, she was nothing but accepting of the situation and my feelings. I cannot fathom what might have been going through her head, probably a million things and a million reasons why a break down would have been acceptable at that moment. Stoic and strong, she listened and talked with me long into the night to help me figure out what was the next step, what would the future be like (both adoption and raising the child) and how I was going to live life without my child if that is what I chose.
She was a rock that I could anchor anytime I needed to be grounded. Neither of us could have known that we would go through adoption twice, and I am sure that neither of us could have known how much these events would enrich our relationship. I relied on her for strength, and she relied on me for inspiration which culminated into a bond much more than the normal mother/daughter relationship. There is no word in the English Dictionary that can begin to describe our relationship, nor would I ever want to find one that would try. In life there are moments that need no words, but rely heavily on actions to demonstrate how one person loves another. That was my mother. Her actions spoke more than words ever could.
She was my first love, my first friend, my first teacher, my first confidant and the first Hero I ever admired. In her constant support and encouragement I persevered through the tough times and learned from her the grace I needed to live life as I am… no excuses to anyone and accepting of what life throws my way. The lessons I learned from her have lived on long after she left this Earth and that is a true testament to her rich, kind loving soul. She lives on in me, and I can only hope to be as amazing as she was in her life.
Today she would have been 67 years old, and I bet she would have been a FIESTY Golden Girl! Happy Birthday Mom, and thank you for continuing to watch out for me and guide me through my days....may heaven have a GRAND party for you today. I love and miss you!