Monday, May 12, 2014


Last week in Relief Society I mentioned giving birth to my children. The comment that followed left me feeling reprimanded for bringing up one of my motherhood blessings when there are others who haven't experienced what I have. Yesterday was Mother's Day; and there are plenty of people who have a hard time with that 'holiday' because of tender feelings.  

Everyone's motherhood journey begins the same; we are born to a mother. I love my mom and I'm grateful for her example of goodness. I wish I could remember more about her, I wish that I could talk to her, hug her, say thank you to her. But, cancer shut down her body and her spirit left us. I was twenty.  Mother's Day became bittersweet. I got married three years later and missed her like nothing else. The next four years I experienced the monthly cycle of hoping to be pregnant and then being disappointed. Four years. I waited and prayed. I watched as my friends and sister and sister-in-laws got pregnant. I worried. I cried. I pleaded. Finally, we were pregnant. I was thrilled. Ten weeks into it, I miscarried.

My body healed, but my spirit was wounded. In less than a year, we were pregnant again. I held my breath, figuratively, through the next nine months as my body swelled and hope and joy competed with my fear. He came a week early. I went natural. Why? Who knows? I didn't regret it though. I wanted to experience everything fully. I wanted to have my body say it was time. Time to push. The exhilaration matched the pain when I saw him for the first time. Although nursing was difficult for me at first as my skin cracked and bled and I had infections, it was worth hanging in there. I nursed Cody until I was pregnant with Josh. I nursed Josh and Nathan as long as they would let me. 

I was okay with Mother's Day again. At least until Josh died. You don't know how awful that is until it happens to you and you feel such compassion when you hear of it happening to someone else. It's been six years and the whole week before Mother's Day I am still weepy.  Having our first born, Cody, away on a mission is hard too, but at least he was able to send me flowers and we skyped!

In the spirit world Josh has helped me become a mother all over again. Instead of preparing the home with a nursery room, we were getting it ready for inspection and licensing. Instead of taking birthing classes, we took foster care training classes. There was a lot of anxiety and prayer. It didn't take nine months. It took almost four years to transition from being a foster mom to being an adoptive mom. It's not the same as being a birth mom. It was more laborious to adopt my three girls then it was to carry and give birth to my biological boys. Maybe when you adopt children as babies, it's different. But adopting foster children can be traumatic for the family. 

I'm not a perfect mom. I pray at night with regret. I start again in the morning. 'Look for the good. Be grateful. Don't be too hard on yourself.' That's my pep talk. Then I have magical motherhood moments. Giggles. Singing and Dancing. Holding hands and hugs. And tears. I came home from a date with Enos on Friday and Natasha started crying. I held her and asked, "What is wrong, what happened?"  She said through her sobs, "I just missed you so much. I wanted to be with you."  

I imagine those will be the words I will say to my mom and my son when I finally get the chance. The sorrow of separation is the bitter part of motherhood for me now. I believe in life after death and eternal relationships and the resurrection and because of Jesus Christ, sadness comes, but hope overcomes it.

In Relief Society last week, I wondered if the sister who made the comment would prefer to have given birth to her children instead of adopting them as babies IF she had to experience one of them passing away as a child. But before she concluded, she shared that it had been difficult but she is finally finding peace in accepting her motherhood journey even though it was void of the birthing experience. 

Joy and sorrow are integral parts of the motherhood journey. I will take mine over anyone else's only because I know it is a gift from a loving Heavenly Father.

Elder Cody sent me flowers for Mother's Day;
with Natasha, my littlest one.

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