If you are someone who has never experienced infertility, you probably think of Mother's Day as a holiday to celebrate all of the mothers you know. Maybe you yourself are a mom and the day is all about celebrating who you are. Your day might be filled with hugs, kisses, handmade cards, flowers, and maybe even breakfast in bed.
For someone who is waiting for "The Call" or is dealing with infertility, the day is very different. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this coming Sunday.
We're planning on spending part of the day with my mom. She's a really great mom - she loves us so much and is always there for us. She has always encouraged my sisters and me to do the things that we love. She encouraged us to be creative and to use our imaginations. As kids, she taught us how to be really good and kind people. She taught me how to think of how my actions are going to affect other people. She made sure that we knew how to be compassionate and understanding toward others. So part of Sunday will be spent honoring my mom and who she is and what she means to all of us.
On Sunday, we'll be thinking about Steve's mom, too. She isn't nearby, so we won't get to see her, but I know we'll talk. She is one of the most generous people I know. She has been so great about checking in on us through all of this. She was worried about us (like my mom) when our In-Vitros didn't work.
She was worried about us when we needed to decide what our next step was going to be. But since we made the decision to adopt, she has been very supportive by asking us questions about what's going on and by making sure that we're going okay. Part of Sunday will be spent celebrating who Steve's mom is, too.
So, we'll be thinking of both of our moms, but I'll also be thinking of my friends that are still waiting to hold their babies for the first time. Mother's Day can be so hard for people who are dealing with infertility. Think about it...how difficult is it to be in church and be asked to stand if you are a mother when you are infertile? How hard is it to see racks and racks of greeting cards and dozens of commercials all related to babies and Mother's Day when you are infertile? I admire all of the women whose blogs I read online. All of the women who have been down this same path. I am really thankful to have been able to write about how I have been feeling along the way and have you leave me comments of concern and support. I think sometimes people forget about those of us who are waiting to become mothers. I think that in our hearts, we are already mothers and this is a day to celebrate that as well.
I said that I have mixed emotions about the day. I do. Part of me is sad. I wish that Steve and I were already parents. We have married for close to 10 years. We're ready. We've been ready. We have been trying to start our family for 3 years. We've been through so much emotionally over the past 3 years. The excitement in the beginning when we decided to start trying...the disappointment when I would find out that I wasn't pregnant...the emptiness I felt when each IUI and each IVF didn't work. Last year's Mother's Day was shortly after our first IVF didn't work. I remember that I just tried to keep myself from getting upset by focusing on my mom and Steve's mom. I remember thinking that it could have been my first Mother's Day had our IVF worked.
Here we are another year later...and we're adopting. I have to say, I do feel more hopeful than I ever did before that this will be the way we begin our family. I feel hopeful when I answer the question, "Do you have any kids yet?" with "not yet, but we're adopting." Powerful words for me. They offer me comfort. I had always thought that I would get pregnant and have a baby (or two..) Steve and I had talked about how we would get to see our baby's ultrasound and feel our baby's first kicks. We talked about how our baby might have his pretty blue eyes and my dimples (and hopefully not our poor vision!) But ultimately, we know that being someone's parent isn't about having similar features. It's about so much more. I won't be getting the ultrasounds, but an expectant mom who chooses us will. Maybe we'll even be fortunate enough to be there for the appointment or to see a copy of the ultrasound. We won't get to feel the baby's first kicks, but maybe we'll get to be a part of our child's birthparents' lives - that would be an even bigger gift.
Yesterday our little local paper ran an article called, "My Hero." The authors were looking for readers to write in about why their mom is their hero. Here are some of the answers:
"She always gives us hugs and kisses when we come home from school..."
"She reads to us every night..."
"She gives me ice cream..."
"She makes me feel like the most important person in the world..."
"She's taught me everything I know about loving life, being happy, loving people..."
"She always makes special time for me..."
"She's taught me to appreciate life and not to take things for granted..."
"The one thing she isn't is a quitter because she never gives up on me. My mom's my hero because she never stops trying..."
This is what a mom is. This is what a parent is. I'm so glad that we decided to adopt. I really can't wait to be a mom.