Happy Mother's Day!

My mom, Toni, and me at Mary Poppins in Chicago.

My mom, Toni, and me at Mary Poppins in Chicago.

Thayer and I meeting for the first time.

Thayer and I meeting for the first time.

As Mother's Day approaches, I'm becoming particularly emotional.

I’ve been experiencing a roller coaster ride of feelings as I lament my motherhood journey, and those who impacted my role as a mother, in the days leading up to the big day in which we celebrate moms.

The anticipation of the day brings back a plethora of memories to a time when I longed to be a mom and wasn't.

When my uterus refused to cooperate as I waited for and dreamt of the children I had names chosen for that never materialized.

To Ainsley Cate or Olivia Ashton and Camden Robert or Brady Ellis: I grieve pregnancies that never transpired and all of the experiences we were denied.

That I never got to see your heart beat on an ultrasound monitor and that no one will ever say, “He (or she) has your beautiful blue eyes.”

I mourn that my belly was too incapable to house a fetus.

That I never got to experience a contraction, a push, and or feel you kick the inside of my rib cage or spine, or any of the other crevices I hear woman grumble about.

That I never got to hear your first wail as you entered this big, scary world that I hoped to show you can be as equally beautiful and wonderful.

And I reflect on our adoption journey and all of its ebbs and flows.

How the process and paper work made me feel like a criminal. How helpless I felt over a situation that I had so little control.

How I never believed I would be granted the opportunity to be a mom and how two years and three months felt like an eternity.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I rejoice in thoughts of unexpected phone calls on inconvenient days when grades were due and evaluations conducted.

I delight in memories of life-changing news that blared its way through telephone lines hundreds of miles away, the seemingly endless drive to Indianapolis, and being gently handed a miraculous 7 pound and 14 ounce bundle that for so long I had prayed.

I celebrate being Thayer’s mommy, and the special bond that we share.

That we pay each other in kisses for favors we’d do for each other anyway, the manner in which he snuggles into me and the sweet scent of Johnson’s baby lotion that floods my nostrils when he is near.

I cherish the small moments of him being little and the emergence of his developing intelligence and super-silly sense of humor.

That he only stops moving long enough to catch an episode (or five) of Paw Patrol and that we count the stairs, all thirteen, as we journey to bed each and every night.

I am grateful that, for the time being anyway, his Daddy and I are his world and that he invites us to portray “Catboy” and "Owlette” to his “Gecko” as we act out scenes from his other favorite show, PJ Masks.

I stare intently at his face for a glimpse of the woman who blessed me with this opportunity.

The traces of her in his lashes and smile are undeniable.

I am saddened by the thought of her missing so many of the minute details and moments of his life that make him, well, him.

Countless times over the past two years an enormous wave of guilt has overcome me as I wish she could know how amazingly incredible he is on the level that I do.

An on these days leading up to celebrating mothers, how can I not contemplate my own mother and how incredibly lucky I have been to have her as mine.

Forty-five years of memories of her caring, her cheering me on, and of her loving me in all my imperfect glory astounds me.

The epitome of what every mother should be, she has always put her kids first.

I recant when she was a stay-at-home mom when we needed her to be, a Girl Scout leader, a room mom, and dressed as Santa for class parties.

How she went back to work when I needed braces, and stayed at a job she absolutely despised for years so my brother and I could attend college, an opportunity she was not afforded.

But, most of all, how she has loved me unconditionally, through learning disabilities, and when I was afraid of the dark.

Through five years of panic attacks when, often, she could be found driving me, in her minivan, around the streets of my hometown in an effort to calm the intensive fear I felt to the core of my being.

And as the day approaches, I lament these women, and others, who have influenced my motherhood journey, and reflect on this stream of emotions, both a blessing and a curse, that have led to me where I am today and wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day!

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