Friday, May 7, 2010

My thoughts this Mother's Day.....

This Mother's Day I am thinking about.....birth mothers. Or "first mothers" as I like to call them. Ava brought this little Mother's Day craft and card yesterday. I have to tell you how my brain thinks as an adoptive mother. When I saw this, my immediate reaction was, Aw, how sweet!

And then my second thought was a thought of sadness for her first mother who has missed out on so many sweet moments, including this one. 
I do not know much about Ava's first mother but I know that her abandonment had everything to do with her believing she could not raise a handicapped child.

I imagine it must have been devastating for Ava's mother to leave the hospital without the child she carried for 9 months.  She must have felt terribly sad and guilty. There must still be an incredible void in her heart at times, especially on holidays and on February 20th, Ava's birthday.

I often wonder how things might have been different for that mother if her doctor had congratulated her on her beautiful baby girl, and had given her hope and resources to make her believe that she could raise her own child.

What if her husband would have put his arms around her and promised that he would help her, and insisted that their daughter belonged with them, not in an orphanage?

What if her society had accepted children with disabilities and had offered acceptance and resources and support to empower her to raise her own child.

Adoption is a wonderful, beautiful gift to a child who needs a family. I will always be an adoption advocate. As much as I love adoption, however, every one that takes always only because of a great tragedy and loss for at least two people, a mother and a child.

 These are the mothers I am thinking of this Mother's Day......

......Mothers like 13 year old Renise, a child slave in Haiti, whose story I watched on 60 Minutes. John and I were moved so deeply that we felt compelled contact the producers to find out how we could send her a love package. I will never view adoption the same way.....Click here to read Renise's story. I am pretty sure you will need a tissue or maybe two.
Our family is very happy to be involved in supporting a couple of different orphan care and family preservation programs. There are many organizations working to keep families together through tough situations. If you are an adoptive parent please consider being a part of these as well. There are programs like World Vision, who just announced their new micro-finance program, Global Orphan Outreach, Women for Women International, Children's Hope Chest. Even Reece's Rainbow through  Connecting the Rainbow, which is a program to help first mothers overseas raise their own children with disabilities by providing education, support and resources. Man, I love that!

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, adoptive and "first" alike!


Shelly said...

I am not an adoptive mother but hope to be someday! But love the way you put "first" mothers :) I am more than postitive you will have a wonderful mothers day and i will do the same. And as always i'm praying for Joseph to come home!! :)

Molly said...

I love this post. There are so many women to hold in our prayers this weekend. This whole week we have had visits with our mommas. It's been wonderful, but I also know it has to be so hard at the same time. On one hand to be able to see this shared child and know they are doing well and happy and loved is quite comforting, but to also know that they are living a full life completely away from you has to be oh-so hard.

Thanks for this post and for constantly reminding people that adoption IS INCREDIBLE, but also comes with great loss...even if it was the mothers choice to place.

soontobemomof9 said...

Beautiful! My heart is sad for my childrens birthmothers... each holiday, each birthday, each "1st" in their lives, ... God will bring beauty from the ashes and it is so beautiful. But the tragedy of a broken bond, often with unresolved pain and guilt, leaves me feelign very sad too!

Ursula said...

We have a daughter w/DS we adopted in August. Molly told me about you and your blog. It's an open adoption. Our daughter was planned and is loved by them, they just couldn't meet her needs. For mom's day I wrote her a poem:

There are these moments –
When her weight rests against my chest
And I feel the lullaby of her breath
When her deep brown eyes twinkle
And I marvel at the mysteries they hold
When she smiles at me
And my heart bursts with delight
And I think of you –
All you have lost
All you have given
For all that I’ve gained
All I can say is
Thank you,
Thank you,
Thank you
For the Joy of this inexhaustible gift.

Charissa said...

Ursula, thanks for sharing that beautiful poem. If you have a blog I would love to read about your little sweetie!

Justine said...

I feel the same way about Tim's first mother.

Janny said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. This Mother's Day I am thinking not only of my daughter's first mother but also of the foster family that is currently caring for the little girl that I hope to be adopting later this year. All mothers need to be recognized on this and all days of our children's lives. Happy Mother's Day.

jennifer... said...

Good post, Charissa.

Bethany said...

Great post Charissa. Funny how I don't think about Nika's birth mother much, I think because it stresses me out. We tried to reach out to her while we were in Russia - the social worker had contact with her and they had a meeting. We asked for a picture, she declined. Hard for me to wrap my mind around how her entire extended family -- all of whom had to sign away their rights to Nika (Russian law?) -- felt they couldn't deal with her. I have this great need to prove to them how awesome she is, not sure why. I struggle with this and it stresses me out to think about it. LOL. Sorry for that little tangent. Anyway, it moves me to see the "me" and "mom" thing ... why doesn't it seem that real until I see it on paper ... like you/I are their mom?! :)

Stefanie and Bill said...

Hi Charissa! Just checking in on you! I hope you had a wonderful Mothers Day! I completely was thinking of you because there is a little girl in V's groupa with DS and she is a little piece of work! I tell ya! One minute she waves to me and the next she sticks her tongue out at me!! She is super high functioning and a cutie. Can't wait for you to travel for Joseph!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post Charissa...and a beautiful poem by Ursula. Happy Belated Mother's Day to you, Marlita, Regina and Lisa...and definitely to your mom, Roberta and your grandmother Marelle who are model moms and great mentors in my eyes.

Aunt Sharon

Ursula said...

I don't have a blog for work related privacy reasons (I work part time w/some very mentally ill veterans and don't want them to find me or my kids on internet - but if you email me I'd love to add you to my shutterfly site and show you some pictures of our Ms. Joy.

kirsten said...

Always an amazing post...crying w/ your sweet amazing heart Charissa.