Monday, May 5, 2008

And That Has Made All The Difference (The Joy Of Adoption)

For years Mother’s Day made me cry. More than just cry. I would hide in the corner and sob. Fine introduction to what I love best about Mother’s Day wouldn’t you say? But the truth is I’m an infertile. And for infertiles, Mother’s Day can be the toughest day of the year.

We look around at our friends and sisters with a jealousy that hits us to the core. We wallow in a silent self pity that only a few can understand. That is what Mother’s Day used to be for me.

That changed in 2007. May of 2007 I celebrated my first true Mother’s Day. The first time I received a Mother’s Day card from my son and he had actually scribbled in it. The first time I rolled over in the bed and he said, “Happy Mother’s Day mommy.”

I have to say, having my child be able to tell me he loves me on my very first Mother’s Day was the best gift I have ever and will ever receive. You see… I am the mother to an adopted child. My son is from Russia.

My husband and I started the process of adoption after 18 months of trying to get pregnant. When we started we thought we would be home with our child within 9-12 months of starting the process. Best laid plans I guess. In March 2005 we received a referral of a little boy. That year I celebrated my “first” Mother’s Day. I had a referral, a son, but it wasn’t until June 2005 that I would finally meet him. Sadly, due to the Russian adoption process I wasn’t able to bring him home right then. Even worse, I would never bring that particular little boy home. In April 2006 I received a referral for a second little boy and again I celebrated Mother’s Day without my child. The Russian adoption process is long and difficult and circumstances beyond our control delayed the finalization of our adoption until September 2006.

My son lived the first 22 months of his life in an orphanage. He never had anyone to rock him to sleep. No one kissed his boo boos. No one read him a bedtime story or taught him how to laugh. No one taught him how to speak.

The day I took my son out of the orphanage in Far East Siberia he spoke 4 words in Russian. He was 22 months old. The Russians had labeled him. “Speech Delay.” That label wouldn’t stop me from teaching him. I talked to my son, I read to him, I showed him what birds were, flowers and cars. We made sounds and he slowly started to laugh. His laugh sounded like a cry. By the end of our 3 week stay in Russia my little boy spoke 6 words in English.

My son’s language development started slow. I was certain he would need early intervention. My child proved me wrong. Within 6 months of being home he started adding 4-5 new words to his vocabulary on a daily basis. By May 2007 he was speaking in 2-3 word sentences and one of those was “Happy Mother’s Day.”

So what does it mean to be a mother to an adopted child? Nothing special. It means that instead of carrying my child physically inside of me I carried him in my heart. I carried him for two long years. My labor was longer too, but in the end I am still a mother. I do what I need to to make sure my child is loved and cared for. I make sure his boo boos are kissed. I read him stories and talk to him constantly. I love my child and that has made all the difference.


This post is written by Elle. She graciously accepted my invitation for her to guest blog while we celebrate Mothers Day here. I know this post will be an encouragement to those who are in the process of adoption and are still waiting. Yes, it's a "conception" and a "pregnancy" of a different kind. Happy Mothers Day Elle!

P.S. In case you missed my announcement, Elle is the talented one who designed my new lovely header! love it! love it! :)


Katrina said...

Awww...I loved this!

Sister Honey Bunch/Judi maloney said...

What a wonderful story. I'm so glad she shared it.

raqgold said...

what a sweet story

Kristen said...

That is such a touching story. I'm sure it will minister to many infertile women this Mother's Day.

Anonymous said...

guest blog stated the case of us infertiles and then mom to Russian sons beautifully...

thank you and Happy Mother's Day...they really are good words to hear NOW..