Mother’s Day

“Children born to another woman call me “Mom.” The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.” -Jody Landers

There is nothing on earth I love more than being a mother to my four babies. I didn’t know being a mother would grow me right along with my children.

Motherhood is my greatest privilege and a role in this life I take very seriously. I am not a perfect mother and I don’t have perfect children, but I strive to bring these children up in the Lord and that is all I can do. The rest is up to Him.

I pray my children see the hand of God on their lives and make the choice one day to love Him with all their hearts and serve Him with their lives and their stories of God’s faithfulness upon their lives.

Redemption is written on the pages of all of our stories. Redemption does not mean perfection because in a perfect world, redemption would not be necessary.

I am thankful for a God who is more than able to take the broken pieces of our lives and bring beauty out of it.

When I look at a picture of my family, that is what I see: the goodness and faithfulness of God every step of this journey that has brought us to today.

(I will finally be returning soon to finish Through the Lens of Grace where I will conclude with the rest of our journey through infidelity and then the story of how both boys came to our family.)

 

Mother’s Day

This boy.

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I had no idea how much my heart could love him.

A year ago, at this very time, I was settling it in my mind that I was just going to be a mother to two girls.

And I don’t mean just…. I realized the blessing my daughters were to me. I realized that there was a time I thought I may never be a mother….and then God gave me two daughters in two years. And they were enough because they were who God had given me!

And then, through events that could have only been orchestrated by God Himself, I found myself sitting in a NICU hours away from my home, holding a tiny newborn baby boy.

It’s been eight months and many days I still look at him and can’t believe I have a son.

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Two daughters and a son and the man God has given me to do this life with.

God has brought me through some very tragic seasons in this life. The roads I have walked have not been easy; there have been many days I wished I wasn’t walking the road.

Now that I have walked these journeys and I have seen God’s faithfulness every step of the way… I can only pray that one day I will be able to encourage others walking a similar road.

This Mother’s Day if you are still waiting…keep walking. Keep doing what God has called you to do. Press forward. Keep your eyes on the Promises and Truths found in God’s Word. And surrender your life to Him. He can only do what He wills to do through those who have surrendered to Him.

Surrender was key in all of the roads I have walked in the past 7 years. I had to surrender my idea of what I thought my life was going to be, and wait for the Lord to reveal to me His plan.

He revealed His plan alright! I surrendered to His plan and ended up having front row seats to the most amazing works of God I have seen this far in my 33 years.

Feeling like God has forgotten you is just part of the journey, but please, do not allow your mind to stay in that place!! Dig into the Word – God’s Word written for you – and cling to His promises like you have never done before.

My favorite promise: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to bring you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Let that be your heart’s cry today.

Mother’s Day

"Children born to another woman call me “Mom.” The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me." -Jody Landers

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Mother’s Day brings out so many emotions for me.

First I think of my own mother and how incredibly blessed I am to call her “Mama”. We have a mother/daughter relationship that is rare and beautiful. I always think to myself if I can just raise my own daughters a fraction of the way my mom raised me, they will be just fine. My mother loved me unconditionally, sacrificing much to raise me. She was always present in my life. She was always available. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I saw the strength I always saw in my Mama was a strength from the Lord. She always sought the Lord in how to raise me, and He never failed in giving her wisdom. It was my mother who taught me to find the Lord in all circumstances and to know that no matter what happens, God has a plan that will prosper me.

Second I think about my own journey to becoming a mother. It was one of the most painful times of my life. My pastor said this at the beginning of his sermon today: It takes more than just giving birth to be a mother. I couldn’t agree with that more because if it was just up to giving birth to someone to become their mother, I wouldn’t be a mother. But becoming a mother is so much more than just conceiving a child, carrying a child for 9+ months and then giving birth to that child. Real motherhood is in the daily mundane tasks that sometimes drive us mothers crazy! It’s also in the huge responsibility we are given to raise these little people up to be servants of the Lord.

Third I think about the two women on this earth who conceived my girls, carried them for 9 months in their wombs, gave birth to them, and then chose me to be their mother. Sometimes it stops me dead in my tracks and I think to myself that Little Bug or Sweet Pea could be living a totally different life from the one they know now. I could not be their mother. I could not know them at all. It makes me so thankful that I was chosen to be their mother; to have the privilege of seeing them enjoy life, to hear them tell me “I love you Mommy” or “I want you Mommy”.

Fourth I think about the fact that Mother’s Day doesn’t drum up fuzzy feelings for everyone for various reasons. Maybe because you grew up with an abusive mother. Or maybe it is painful because your mother is lying in ICU this Mother’s Day fighting for her life after a stroke and the doctor’s have not given much hope but everyone is still fervently praying for a miracle (My former pastor’s wife, Gina. Will you pray for her too? And her husband, Lee and their three children, Matthew, Megan & Micah.). Or maybe you, like me years ago, are wondering if you will ever become a mother because you are in a battle against infertility. Maybe you are technically a mother but the world doesn’t really recognize you as a mother because your baby is not on this earth. (My cousin & his wife who suffered a miscarriage last year of their first baby.) To all of these I can only hope and pray that you will find comfort in the Lord.

And, of course, Mother’s Day makes me think about me as a mother. Growing up, it’s all I wanted to be and now that I am a mother, I realize that I didn’t realize back then what all being a mother entailed! I didn’t know it would require sacrifice on my part, selflessness and a strength that could only come from the Lord. I fail miserably some days at my role as mother. I lose my patience and speak in ways that are not always loving! At the same time, I wouldn’t trade these days with my children for anything. I know they are fleeting days. I know I will never again have this time with my children. And I know God is using my children to teach me more about Him every day.

I just have to trust that God’s grace will be enough to cover my shortcomings!

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I am so thankful for these two little girls. Growing up I always pictured being the mother to two little boys and two little girls. These little girls truly do bring me so much joy (when they are not making me want to rip my hair out!) and I look at them and I am just so thankful that I get to be their mother and their teacher! We have some special times ahead and I am thankful God has entrusted them to me and given me exactly what I need to be able to raise them, even though sometimes I feel inadequate to be their mother.

Little Bug will often tell me, “Mommy, I wouldn’t want any other Mommy to be my Mommy! I only want YOU to be my Mommy!”. I feel the same. I wouldn’t want any other little girls in the world to be my daughters.

Mother’s Day!

We made these to give to the special ladies this Mother’s Day! I used scrapbook paper I had to cut out the two tulips, stem and sun. Then I cut out a tulip for the girls’ handprints to go on.

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We read Guess How Much I Love You.

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Then Little Bug made a card for someone special. I asked her who she wanted to make the card for and she said, “Uncle”! First she glued the heart on the front.

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Then she opened the card and colored the black sky (with my help, she didn’t want to do it all) and then she stuck star stickers all over the card!

The card reads: Guess How Much I Love You?? I love you to the stars and back…and that is a fact!

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I miss her.

On Mother’s Day I can’t help but think about the two women who played a huge role in me becoming a mother – my daughters’ birth mothers, Tracy & Melody.

The day before Mother’s Day is Birth Mother’s Day (May 11th this year). May 11th, 2009, Little Bug’s birth mother gave me a very special gift that I will always treasure. She allowed me to accompany her to a doctor’s visit where I got to hear Little Bug’s heart beating within her womb. It was a steady, loud beat that I can still hear today. I will never forget that sound. Just as a pregnancy becomes more real to a woman carrying her baby in her womb, the fact we were going to adopt and there really was a baby on the way to be our daughter, became very real to me standing in that examination room.

Tracy didn’t have to allow me to come with her that day, but she did. She was so gracious that day, recognizing that going with her was something that would be very special to me. She knew she had the power to give me that gift and she wanted to give it to me.

We had a very special conversation that day as we waited for her doctor to come in the room. We were sitting side by side in chairs talking. Tracy said something like, “I just wasn’t meant to be a mom. I don’t know how to be a mom.”, while pointing to her protruding belly full of baby. I said, “And I’ve always wanted to be a mom, but I can’t get pregnant, so we are a perfect match!”.

Our eyes connected in that moment and we just smiled, both content in the roles we were playing.

I know many reading this may not understand me saying this, but, I miss her. I miss Tracy so much. I wish I could have contact with her. I wish her life was stable enough that we could see her every so often. She is so special to me and forever will be.

She chose adoption for a baby she was pressured to abort and, as a result, I became a mother to a precious, beautiful baby girl that my heart had longed for and waited for for years.

Today, I just wish I could wrap my arms around her and tell her for the millionth time, thank you.

It’s been nearly two years since we’ve had any contact whatsoever. I have no clue when I will hear from her again, or if I will ever hear from her.

I carry her – and Melody, a woman I have never even met! – in my heart every day. I love them and I am so incredibly grateful that they chose adoption when they found themselves in a hard situation.

Mother’s Day is such an emotional day! Society sees it as a happy day when we celebrate mothers and – it is! However, that is not all it is. It is a day that brings up a torment of emotions for many, many women.

To all the women out there who just feel pain on this day or a mixture of pain and joy, I pray you feel loved today. You don’t need anyone telling you today that “the pain will decrease in time” or “God has a plan”. You just need a hug today. If I was with you, I’d just give you a hug. On my painful Mother’s Days when I longed for a child yet my arms were empty, a simple hug would suffice. I didn’t need a flowery speech or prayer…just a hug. I pray you receive some form of encouragement today, even if it comes in simply stepping outside and finding beauty in God’s nature.

My dear friend, Melissa, wrote a beautiful post about Mother’s Day today. Today is her very first Mother’s Day as Gideon’s mother, yet this day still holds some pain as she remembers Mother’s Days past and her baby that is not here with her on Earth. I think her post brings encouragement no matter what emotions Mother’s Day brings to you.

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I told you I would still post a few pictures of my girls. Smile

These girls… It is hard to imagine that just four years ago I had never looked in their eyes or held them in my arms. Four years later and they are my life.

This post wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging my Mama. I get overwhelmed when I try to explain how much my mom or my girls, for that matter, mean to me. There simply are no words. It’s all action. My mom could never tell me she loves me and I would know she loves me by her actions. When I think about how I should mother my children, I think of her. She was the perfect example although I know she’d say she messed up many times. I don’t remember those times though. All I remember is a mother who loved me for me and supported me through every single phase of my life, and still is.

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Love you to pieces!

Little Bug made Mother’s day cards for her grandmothers and aunts!

It was simple and fun (which is my motto for everything crafty or educational that we do!).

Just tear pieces of construction paper and fold a whole sheet of paper into thirds. Write on the front the name of the person, write on the middle “I love you” and on the third part draw a heart with a marker and write “to pieces!”

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Little Bug glued the pieces of construction paper on the front with the person’s name and then she glued more pieces onto the heart.

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They turned out adorable!

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Grandma…We love you to pieces!! Love, Little Bug and Sweet Pea (the pink paper on the bottom right is covering where I wrote their names)

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I found this on Pinterest. Click here to see the link.

Mother’s Day

We did our annual Mother’s Day gathering at our house, with all the ladies of the family who live in town!

Top Left: Bisa (my grandmother), Sweet Pea and me, Debbie (Dave’s mother), Amanda (Dave’s sister)

Bottom Left: Norma (my mother), Little Bug, Hadyn (our niece), Wendi (Dave’s sister)

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It was my first Mother’s Day as a mommy to two!

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I can’t imagine being called "mommy" by any other little girls than these. Thankful today and every day for my infertility that lead me to these two.

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I don’t normally do the “matching outfits” thing with the girls, but decided to have them match for Mother’s Day! Little Bug was SO excited about this when she saw her new dress on Sunday morning and then she saw the same dress, in a different size, for her baby sister.

It was pretty cute!

bitterness of soul

I love the story of Hannah in the Bible. (I Samuel 1)

Barren, she went to the temple and poured her heart out before God.

I have been there. On my knees before God, begging and pleading with Him for this to be the month, for this treatment to be the one that results in pregnancy.

I can relate with her pain.

Infertility is an emotional pain that changes you as a person.

Today, my heart remembers that pain – that bitterness of soul when you long for something you have absolutely no control of gaining access to.

Every negative pregnancy test I saw left me wondering what was going to happen.

Would I ever experience the joy of motherhood?

God answered my heart cries in a way I didn’t see coming at all.

The best piece of advice I can give to someone who is experiencing this pain today is to cling to the promise of God found in Jeremiah 29:11. God has plans for us. Plans that will prosper us and bring us hope and a future.

I clung to that truth with every fiber of my being as those negative pregnancy tests continued to pile up month after month.

I clung to that as I lay on the examination table on the day I received the news that pregnancy was very unlikely for me.

I clung to that as we started our adoption journey, which was both exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

I clung to that as we awaited the birth of Little Bug and waited for her to officially become our daughter.

I clung to that 18 months later when we were told Little Bug’s birth mother was pregnant again and wanted to place with us…but then she deceived us and there really was no baby.

And I clung to that when we officially did begin our journey to #2 and walked the adoption path again, which lead us to our second daughter, Sweet Pea.

Sometimes, life’s circumstances bring us to a place where we have a choice to make: are we going to take matters into our own hands or are we going to choose to believe God has a plan and purpose?

Today, I pray if you find yourself in a battle against infertility, you will cling to this truth.

It’s hard to see today, I know, but if you believe with all your heart that God will make something beautiful of the pain and disappointment you are experiencing today, He will.

He will bless you more than you can imagine.

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