As a child I loved to play with baby dolls. I wanted to be a mother. I loved babies. By the time I was a teen, doctors told me I’d never bear children. I have a genetic disorder called Turner’s Syndrome. I never gave up hope though. I believed in miracles. When I was a young, married, woman we looked into fertility treatment. It hadn’t advanced to the point of in vitro fertilization yet. And, since I didn’t have any eggs, fertility drugs would have no effect. So we looked into adoption. I was so desperate for a child that I asked how to speed up the process. A 2 year waiting list sounded like an eternity. I asked about adopting an older child. They told me that a couple should adopt a newborn as their first child. At the time I thought that was odd and wondered why. I could love a child of any age!
Fast-forward, new husband who has children. Two of his children were teens. The youngest was 6. They didn’t need another mother. They had a mother who loved them. Children need to know how important they are to the parents who raised them from an infant. I was perfectly fine being a step-mom. I would never compete with their mom for her place in their lives. The children have always been very kind to me. Mother’s Day is the Sunday before my birthday. I remember the first Mother’s Day that I got a card and gift from our oldest child (daughter). She came in and put the gift bag on the counter. I thanked her for the early birthday gift. She said, “That’s for Mother’s Day.” I don’t know if she noticed my eyes tear up. But I was really touched. My natural “motherly instincts” didn’t come until my first grandchild though (this same daughter’s daughter). I didn’t even realize it until I experienced the growth and development of a child from the time she was an infant. About the time she was 6 I realized that I’d been more of a 2nd dad to my husband’s children – hahaha – those poor kids!
I think the spirit of an infant awakens the spirit of a mother; and probably a father but I can’t speak to that. I don’t think it matters how that child comes to be part of your family. Race doesn’t even matter. I know several mixed race adoptive families. God creates families in many different ways.
Fast-forward again and I’m the grandmother of almost 7 beautiful children. The oldest is almost 17 and the youngest (from the same mother) is almost born. Not bearing children was hard on me until I loved our teenagers. That made me wonder if I could have survived the heartbreak of my own children becoming independent. The thought of those years still brings a lump to my throat.
Today, Mother’s Day 2012, I am grateful, not only, for my own mother whose love, support and example I still depend on. I am also grateful to the mother of my children for giving them birth and a loving relationship. I am grateful to the mothers of my grandchildren for the loving sacrifices they make each day to raise their children and love their husbands. I am grateful for my mother-in-law for accepting me into her family and teaching me about her son. 🙂 And I am grateful for my husband. Without him I would never have had a family of my own.
Although no one has ever called me “Mom”, I will always be called “Grandma” by (at least) 7 beautiful children.
I hope your version of Mother’s Day is as great as mine!
I’m spending mine on the beach with my wonderful in-laws! 🙂