This Mother’s Day, I am a mother. As I write this sentence I have to pause, because it is a lot to take in.
For me, the journey to motherhood has been long and arduous. Many Mother’s Days passed where I felt sad, adrift. And, at times, I didn’t believe it would ever happen for me. Yet here I am, in the sisterhood of Mamas.
I’ve spent many hours thinking about I would feel, what I would say, when—at long last—I finally became a mom. And now that am, what I find myself thinking about are other mothers: my own mom; my sister and Big Papa’s mama—both adoptive moms; moms I’m close to, especially adoptive mamas who have walked my path; and, women I know who are still on the journey, particularly those who’ve experienced loss, like I have, to get to this place.
Today, I am also thinking about my daughter’s birth mother. Without her loss, I would not be celebrating this day. Even though we’ve never met, we will always be connected to each other through this little girl.
Baby Bird’s nannies are in my thoughts too. They were her Mamas for nearly one year. I will never forget their kindness, and how well they cared for her.
And there is another Mama I am thinking about today. She lives in Armenia and soon will become a mother herself, for the second time. This Mother’s Day, I am wearing earrings she gave me, earrings I admired, earrings she took out of her own ears and handed to me.
I am humbled by these gifts, my earrings, and my child. I look at them, at her and remember the land where my daughter was born, the mountains, the way the air smells, the people, the food, her rich heritage, the first time our eyes met, our story of coming together as a family, and how our joy in becoming a family means there will always be another family who lives with loss.
My daughter, too, will always carry this loss, even as she thrives with our love, and with us. As an adoptive mother, these two emotions—love and loss—will be forever entwined in my heart.
On my first Mother’s Day, I proudly wear these earrings, gifted to me by an Armenian mother, and made by an Armenia woman from the city near where my daughter was born.
I hope to wear these earrings each Mother’s Day from this day forward. And one day, if I am blessed to be alive when my daughter becomes a mother herself, I will pass them on to her. I will pass them on and retell the story of who wore them first, of where they came from…of where she came from, who she was born to and who raised her. I will make sure she knows that becoming a mother—no matter how you get there—is the mother of all journeys.