Happy Mother’s Day! This weekend, we celebrate a holiday that was created to praise the name (and work) of mothers. A woman in the early 1900s petitioned for a day to be added to the calendar just for this cause. Anna Jarvis desired to uphold her own mother for her many sacrifices to their family in creating Mother’s Day. The irony in her history is that Anna Jarvis remained childless her entire life, so in the holiday she solicited for, she was never a recipient of its label.
However, on Mother’s Day and Birth Mother’s Day, we can show our appreciation to more than just our biological moms. In the past, I have been grateful to the mom who gave birth to me, the grandmothers I had who were also amazing mothers, the women who were second and third mothers to me when needed, mothers whom I tried to pattern my own mothering after, and even the women who have been like mothers to my own girls when our family relied on their help. Mother’s Day has always held a special place in my heart because I was blessed with the cream of the crop when it came to mothers.
In our family, we see Mother’s Day through a new perspective since starting our adoption journey last year. Because of health concerns after having our first daughter, I was told we would not be able to have any more biological children, and to alleviate any pain, I would have a hysterectomy. Through prayer and encouragement from our friends and family, we were excited about the story God was writing and how he had led us to adoption. Now all we needed to do was make it public and ask for support and prayers from those around us.
On Mother’s Day 2017, our pastor asked my husband and I to share our plans for adoption with our congregation and why we felt God had called us to bring another baby into our family. I had written a few notes of what to share with our friends at church, we began a fundraiser selling t-shirts to raise funds, and I had a hysterectomy scheduled for a couple weeks later, all before my announcement that Sunday in May. The reaction to our announcement on Mother’s Day transcended any idea we could have had about how people would rally around us and offer their elation for our family. That day, Mother’s Day became reminiscent for my husband and I of the new life we would be embracing, an image for hope. The very next day, after taking an eighty-eight-cent home pregnancy test, we learned we were now on route to adoption and pregnancy. That Mother’s Day will always live in infamy. However, our path since a year ago on Mother’s Day has taken us up and down some winding roads.
We have celebrated the birth of our second daughter, all the while still presenting our profile to expectant moms for an adopted baby to join our family as well. We believe in God’s timing and plan for our family. Even though a year ago we made our original adoption announcement and have not brought home our baby yet, we will celebrate this Mother’s Day with a new angle. Last year, we thought reveling in the possibilities as prospective adoptive parents was the way to celebrate Mother’s Day. However, our view has changed.
The adoption process allows us to see intimate details about prospective birth mothers on a regular basis. Whether we are able to present our profile to a potential birth mother or not, we are invited into her life’s specifics and the brave choice she has made to allow her baby to be adopted. We have been presented with several potential adoption situations, and on this Mother’s Day, I am grateful for the choice each of these women is making: a choice to give their baby life in what may seem to be their darkest days. Our family has decided to celebrate their choice this year as we pray over each potential birth mother whose details we get to read and whose story we may or may not be a part of. We pray in thankfulness for their courage and their selflessness as they make an adoptive plan for their baby. Our family may never meet these mothers, but we celebrate them this year as we pray for them and the birth mom who will one day be entrusting us with her child.
Jill is a 31-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for eight years and has 4-year-old and 3-month-old daughters. Jill and her husband are currently in the adoption process to bring another baby into their home. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish and obtained her Master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports, and eating good food.