Adoption · Musings & Personal

Foster-Adopt Mothers’ Days

Six years ago, the impact of Mother’s Day took on additional meaning, almost as much as the first year I celebrated it as a mother.

It was the first Mother’s Day I spent with my daughter, Paige; my daughter who has another mother.

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Each Mother’s Day I am grateful for Ruth’s mistakes, which gave me the two little girls who give me hugs, and gray hair…

God forgive me, I am grateful.

Each Mother’s Day I feel bittersweet. I am sad Ruth made such horrible mistakes that she will never get the hugs or the gray hairs, the result of these two little people.

God help me, my heart breaks.

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I can recall each Mother’s Day since then with perfect clarity: 

2009:  We celebrated our first Mother’s Day with Paige. Ruth was living in a residential treatment center. I passed on a Mother’s Day card, irritated but not surprised one for our rather unique circumstance didn’t exist.

2010: We simultaneously celebrated Paige’s adoption and Mother’s Day. We had Paige’s dedication and a huge adoption party at our church. Ruth and David were in jail.

2011: We celebrated our first Mother’s Day with both Paige and Payten being legally ours. Ruth was checking into another rehab program, and the last I heard from her for over a year was a brief Happy Mother’s Day Facebook message.

2012: I hadn’t had contact with Ruth in over a year. I thought not being in her life was the kick she needed to sober up once and for all; I still didn’t understand that anything I did or didn’t do had anything to do with her sobriety. I was burned out on motherhood and asked for a day of isolation. Andrew took the kids to his parents’ house so I could have some peace and quiet. I had a wonderful day, complete with facial and massage, gift certificates to a restaurant, and lots of time to recharge my introverted batteries.

I also sat on the couch and watched a movie, cried for Ruth and wrote her a poem.

We had no contact on Mother’s Day; however, around this time she was hopping in and out of rehab and the hospital. We got in touch a short time later but, as always happened, she fell off the face of the earth. I wrote her off – I couldn’t keep putting myself through the pain.

2013: I received a card from her about a month before Mother’s Day. We exchanged a couple of emails, and then she stopped responding. On Mother’s Day itself, I don’t know what she did. I didn’t care what she did. I was merely praying my first baby, my four-legged fuzzy baby, would miraculously recover from cancer. We put him down on Memorial Day weekend.

2014: I was celebrating my recovery from atrial fibrillation, which had kept me inactive the prior month because of extreme shortness of breath and fatigue. I was simultaneously mourning the upcoming one-year anniversary of losing my first baby, Clyde. I hadn’t heard from Ruth since the year before. I had no clue where she was or what she was doing as I’d asked her mother not to talk about her.

2015: I’ve had a wonderful day – I slept in, had my favorite coffee and bagel, and had a quiet day working on my memoir while my husband cleaned the house and kept the kids occupied so I could concentrate. I don’t know what she is doing; however, she commented on a mutual friend’s Facebook post, so I know she’s around.

Mother’s Day means different things to different people:

  • Perhaps your child is a cat, like my first baby.
  • Perhaps you’re mourning the loss of your mother.
  • Perhaps your children bring you breakfast in bed, complete with flowers and rudimentary but beautiful artwork.
  • Perhaps you spend it without your children because of the mistakes you’ve made.

But those mistakes do not make do not make women like Ruth less of a mother.

Nor does it reduce the love they have for their children. 

I am both blessed and cursed to be able to place a name and face to my daughters’ other mother.

I am sure she feels the same way.

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I love you, Ruthie.

5 thoughts on “Foster-Adopt Mothers’ Days

  1. This is a very powerful post. We are going through something similar with our 7 year old Mary, who the lawyer and case worker just filed a TPR for. Hopefully our little girl will be freed for adoption in the next few months, but it doesn’t take away the fact that her biological mother is important to us and our family, and we worry about her way to much when she falls off the face of the planet. I wish we were able to know where she is, so we can send her her mothers day card from Mary and one from us as well. We wanted so much to be able to keep the avenues of communication open, but she is making that incredibly difficult..so we too, slowly, have given up on her…and poor Mary hasn’t heard from her mom in over 3 months…it’s terrible how crappy the illness of addiction is…thanks for sharing this…

    Liked by 2 people

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