Where do babies come from?
They come from mothers. And love. They come from passion. And sometimes by accident. Or surprise.
They come after lengthy planning. And tears shed. They come unexpected. On their own time. And God’s.
They come welcomed by two smiling parents. Or held by lonesome, crying women.
Though some do… not all babies come wrapped up nicely in blankets and bows. Or applauded when they arrive.
Sometimes, they come by storks with CPS badges and business cards. Or by minivans, held in the cradle of an ill-fitted car seat. With a square of paper holding a medicaid number, a name, and a birthday that was months, or even years ago.
That’s how we found you. The stork brought you up our driveway in her arms as we watched anxiously through the window. And suddenly, you were here. Sitting on our couch with a blank look on your face, and ours.
I suppose that’s how most babies happen. No matter what… one second they aren’t here in our world and the next… they are. Maybe crying, or staring, content, or angry. They sort of just appear. And suddenly, you’re a parent. Suddenly there is a little being who needs you.
And that’s how I became a mom for the first time, too.
Maybe our baby came with half a pack of diapers and a small bag of too-big clothes. But one second before our doorbell rang, we weren’t parents. Then we were.
We had so many questions and no idea where to begin. Though, perhaps most parents feel the same at some point. Perhaps most parents experience the same uncertainty, the same suddenness.
It took surprisingly little time for me to feel like a mom. The second time I ever buckled you into your car seat, I closed the door and looked at Jen and knew I was forever going to be different. That we were parents now. That we could never go back to how we were before, even if you didn’t stay with us forever.
It took slightly longer for me to feel like your mom. And still… I don’t know if I should. But you look at me, and call me “mama” and so that’s who I am now.
I don’t know what it’s like for traditional mothers. I don’t know when they stop being their old selves and begin to embody a mom. But I also struggle… knowing sometimes the title means very little compared to the actions. And what makes a mother a “mom,” anyhow?
So I think about my own mom. The love, the caring, the way she looks at me, hugs me, listens to me. And I try to be like her. And I try to be like me, too. The me who has been trusted to care for you, provide for you, love you.
Not everyday as a parent is easy. And “Mother’s Day” this year is a strange concept for me. Because I was never a mother before and now I am. Even if you came into my life untraditionally. Even if we don’t share DNA, a last name, or even the promise of ‘forever.’ And even if we don’t always know each other, you will forever be my first kid. The one who made me a mom for the first time on this first Mother’s Day. And nothing that happens will ever change that.
And in case I never get to say it again… I love it. I love being your mom. Thank you for your hugs, and sweetness. For all the laughs, and smiles. For running to me to make things better. For trusting me to care for you in the ways you need to be cared for. For teaching me the innocent love from a child. And for giving me a new name to answer to.
Wishing you a very happy and loving Mother’s Day. Whatever kind of mom you are, however your children came to be yours. For those longing to be mothers, for those who are mothers without children, and for those who are mother-figures. It all matters.
Much love to all of you. ❤