Monday, May 12, 2014

the cost of motherhood...

Okay, I'll just say it.  Mother's Day is hard for me.

I thought with all the chaos of moving that I'd fly on through it, obliviously unaffected this year.

Ummm, nope.

From the outside, it may not make sense why Mother's Day would be difficult for me emotionally.  After all, my mother is still living.  And I'm now a mother of two children myself.  I have alot of amazing examples of moms around me.

But for me, Mother's Day always takes me back to the journey towards motherhood.  It's not just enough to celebrate the fact that I am a mother, but I can never forget the story of how I became one. 

My journey towards motherhood was a very bumpy one, indeed, wrought with tears, loneliness, and failure.  Failed in vitro cycles. Marc giving me shots in my abdomen round the clock, all in the hopes that I, too, could one day send out the invite to the baby shower like everyone else was doing around me.

Yet month after month, treatment after treatment, there was failure.  Followed by despair.  Why couldn't my body do that which it was created to do?

Through this time, I felt the awkwardness of other moms around me as they tried to think of conversation starters other than the typical subjects of motherhood.  It was as if that's all they knew to talk about.  (and to be fair, now that I am a mom, I understand where they were coming from!)   There I stood, as the outsider.  The one who didn't fit in.  As everyone else's lives moved forward with children and family, mine seemed forever suspended in time.

To me, the infertile woman, Mother's Day felt like a slap in the face.  Haha, Amy, look what you CAN'T be!  See where you fail!  I would feel the sting of isolation at churches when they would hand out a flower to every other woman who was able to cross this threshold of womanhood and rise to be a "mother."

It wasn't fair.  How come it came so easy for everyone else?  Why was I the one facing the daily blood draws and ultrasounds, the calculated measurements of eggs and linings, and STILL nothing?  Why did these women gloat or complain about the timing of their conceptions- did they somehow think THEY had control?  

Motherhood looked more like the worldwide exclusive club to which I would never carry an invitation.

And then, you know what came next.

In the Lord's timing, he brought a young woman named Megan into our life who was also experiencing deep pain of her own.  And in the moment of Caroline's birth and adoption, Megan and I both simultaneously came into motherhood.  Yet Megan's loss suddenly became my undeserving gain, her sorrow became my joy.  Her flesh and blood became my beloved daughter.  (Suddenly that didn't seem so fair, either.  What is Mother's Day like for those precious birth mamas who made the gut-wrenching decision to give their babies a "better" life than they could at that time?)

Adopting IS joyful.  It IS beautiful and redemptive and oh so amazing.  You guys know, I could spend HOURS singing the praise of adoption.  But if you have sat beside a weeping young lady as she literally passes her two-day old baby girl into your arms, you would know and understand why I can't take motherhood lightly.  

It came at such a cost.

Ultimately, I had nothing to do with becoming a mom.  Everything I had tried towards that end failed.  I didn't carry my children, nor did I birth them.  Someone else did that on my behalf.  Someone else endured the pain, so that I could experience the joy and miracle of new life.  (If that isn't a picture of the Gospel, I don't know what is!)

God brought both of us, Megan and I, through very different, yet very painful, circumstances and united us together baby-side as birthmother and adoptive mother.  It still blows me away.

Becoming a mom was anything but easy for me, and nothing but costly for her.

This is what Mother's Day means to me.