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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dear Mom...

Dear Mom...Where does one even start?  How can you sum up an entire life's sacrifice, love and care? Surely you cannot express it all in a card, a meal or a gift.  No amount of "thank you" will fully capture what it means to give of yourself sacrificially to little ones, who turn into teenagers, who turn into adults, who then have little ones of their own.  But...on this day of which we express our gratitude, love and thanks for mothers I will try and capture what "mom" means to me.

Dear Mom...this year has been an awesome one.  We have been blessed to experience some incredible fun things together as mother and daughter.  Things that we only once talked and dreamed about. For me, the highlight really was our trip to Hawaii!  Gone in a minute...but the memories will last forever.  You always are a great support and help, but this year you have really been there for me in more ways than just "watching the kids," (which you have done many times and I am very thankful).  But other things come to mind, like picking me up (so to speak) in February and helping me think clearly. For doing ALL my laundry at the laundromat and getting hit on by the weird guy who wanted to know if you were available?  Love it!  For moving back to Vancouver to be closer...for all the little things (they don't go unnoticed).  For talking and praying with me through the skin cancer scare, and celebrating when we got the "good news". 

Dear Mom...thank you for always being my sounding board and my supporter.  I need a sounding board to work out this little thing called LIFE!  Thank you for loving my little munchkins.

Mother's day will ALWAYS remain a bittersweet day for me. Joy and pain, life and death, happiness and grief.  There is not one without the other in this day.  It is impossible to erase so many years of pain and longing to be a mother.  Last year I wrote about my pain surrounding Mother's Day, you can read about it here .
Mother's day is also a reminder of the three babies that I lost.  A reminder of the mother I will never get to be to them.  Whose faces I have never seen, whose scent I have never smelled, whose perfect baby bodies I have never rocked.  All of those firsts (smiling, rolling over, giggling, crawling, first steps, first foods, first everything) will remain a scar over my worn heart.     

Mother's day is also about redemption.  In the midst of my grief, God was weaving together all of our lives, a story, a family.  Luke and Grace were chosen in a divine nature to be a part of our family. Through my grief and tragedy, through their pain and loss, HE took brokenness and stitched us back together in a new and different way.  Through adoption, I was redeemed from "barren" to "mother", they were redeemed from "orphan" to "son" and "daughter".  A type of holy exchange that, I, in my humanness could never accomplish.      

Children born to another woman call me “Mom.” The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me. ~Jody Landers
Mother's day is also about the miracle.  This spirited, blond haired, blue eyed, smarty pants, Nyhoff clone, 3 year old with a sense of humor and personality plus.  My living, breathing, everyday miracle!  I believe all my kids to be a miracle, but this is the baby the doctor said would never be, the baby the doctor told me wouldn't survive so "why prolong the inevitable" (meaning miscarriage).  I have never prayed so hard for something than I did that first 12 weeks of her pregnancy.  At the end of the 12 weeks the doctor declared from his mouth my baby "was a miracle!"   I claimed it and didn't look back.  A continuous reminder that NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE!
For me, becoming a mother was very difficult.  My road down life's journey being a mother is marked with what I can imagine most mother's lives are marked with: difficultly, happiness, joy, worry, grief, hope, incredible love.  The "official" moment I became a mother was not in hospital after 16 hours of labor.  It came in 2nd floor court room on Franklin Street, surrounded by friends and family.  It came after an 18 month long labor of fighting for him, jumping through hoops, visitation and welcoming DCFS into our home.  I became a mother next to a lawyer and in front of judge (not a doctor).  Yet...the finality of what occurred in the court room was no different from the outcome of a hospital room.  "Do you promise to care for Luke as if he was born to you?" the judge asked us both.  "Yes and yes!"  He signed the court papers.  BOOM.  I was a mom!
Two Mother's Days later, same floor, another courtroom, more promises made before lawyers, judges and the such.  More papers signed...Mom again.  This time to miss Grace. 
My hospital initiation into motherhood finally came.  An unbelievable experience that I will never forget.  It forever changed how I view so many things.  It healed some areas of my life and intensified the sorrow in others. 
Being "mom" to these 3 blessings, is an undertaking that I take extremely seriously.  I won't is difficult, but it is also rewarding.  Each with their own set of special needs, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, their own dreams and hopes.  My job to train, to guide, to give them every opportunity possible to succeed in this crazy life. 
Some weeks I feel like I am just "holding on" for the ride.  Between therapies, medical appointments and making sure they each get what they need I am exhausted!  It leaves little time for much anything else, but it is a privilege to serve, give and pour myself into them. 
On days I feel down, I consider the alternative.  The life they could be living if I weren't their mom.  The life they were born in to (poverty, homelessness, addiction, hunger, neglect).  I am privileged to be their mom, blessed to help them become who they are going to be.  Wiping the tears, wiping the hands, wiping down the dirt that they accumulate in the world.  Building their character, building their faith, building their confidence, building them up.  Job of mom. 

Many think I am amazing to do what I do.  I don't consider myself to be anything amazing.  I do what I do because I am mom.  I do what I do because I have an amazing support system, cheering section and encouragers.  They got my back!  I am so thankful for these two ladies in the below picture.  They lift me up, they can speak truth and know what I need when I need it! 
My babies, my blessings.  Mom and children with a beautiful story of pain to redemption, grief to restoration ,being woven together in story that was created for us.  
My aunt sent me this great link today and I thought I would join the encouragement of the many ways we can become mom. :) 
Dear Weary Mom Link-Up | Thursdays at

Encouragement and blessings!


Stacey Thacker said...

Happy Mothers Day! What a sweet blessing.

Carissa said...

Thank you so much! I feel incredibly blessed to be chosen to be their mommy :)


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