Monday, May 10, 2010

Reflections On Mother’s Day As a Mom-in-Waiting

Several years ago, my sister Jill had a miscarriage. It was her first pregnancy, and naturally, the loss was devastating. Our stepfather passed away only a month or two later, and the thing I remember my sister saying just after he passed was, "Now John is with my baby." The loss of the baby she loved but never knew was just as real and profound as the loss of the stepfather she knew and loved and saw with her own two eyes and hugged with her own two arms.

The Mother's Day immediately following was a painful one for Jill. We went to church and all of the mothers were asked to stand and they received a special flower. While the church was well meaning in its intention to honor all mothers present that day, it failed to remember how difficult those moments can be for women who want nothing more than to be a mother. It stung my sister more than a little bit.

As the church service ended and the pews were emptying, one wonderful woman approached Jill and gave her the flower she had received that day. She wanted my sister to know that she recognized that she was a mother too, and even though my sister had nothing but a broken heart to show for it, she deserved to be honored as well. It was a holy moment.

Brian and I began our adoption process in March of 2009. Two months later, it was Mother's Day, and I was fine. I felt hopeful and full of anticipation that perhaps next year I could celebrate being a mother myself. I might not have my baby in my arms yet, but hopefully we'd be matched with a precious little one (I'm an optimist!), and I could celebrate being a mother then.

Well, "next year" is here, and we still haven't received our referral.

My husband was so sweet to me--he gave me a beautiful bouquet of tulips with a note wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. My Mom gave me a book about motherhood. I was being celebrated, and I so appreciated it. Somehow, though, my emotions were dominated by a general wave of melancholy that had washed over me, and I wasn't sure why. When we went to church that morning, I felt like I was going to cry a couple of time, but I held back the tears because I honestly wasn't in the mood "to go there".

I felt blah, and I couldn't quite figure out why. Rather than give into the doldrums, I decided to call another "Mom-in-waiting". Emily and her husband are adopting through our agency, and we're currently #1 and #2 on the "unofficial waiting list". We both would have loved to get our referrals the week before Mother's Day, so we'd have some "proof" of our maternity. At the very least, a photo to show everyone! But alas, we didn't. I called her cell phone and it went to voicemail. As I left a message for her, I started to cry, but it was okay because I knew she'd understand.

She called me back a few minutes later, and we had a great conversation full of commiserating and venting. When I hung up, I felt so much lighter. My circumstances hadn't changed, but Emily really heard me and offered the compassion I needed. The beautiful thing about being in the trenches with someone else is that you don't have to explain anything! She didn't need any explanation for my tears or my melancholy. She didn't have to try to "get" why I still felt blah even after my sweet husband bent over backward to celebrate me on Mother's Day. She got it because she's living it, too.

God bless you, Emily! One day our commiseration will turn to celebration...I'm hoping we can crack open a bottle of champagne on the airplane en route to Ethiopia to meet our babies one day real soon!

14 comments:

The Mrs. said...

Happy mother's day to another waiting mom! What a celebration next years special day will bring- you are certainly not alone!
-Renae

Jim & Laura said...

I am praying for both you and Emily. I am on the list as well just a bit further down. Even though I have two sons, Mother's Day was hard for me as well. There is a peice of my heart with our baby girl in Ethiopia. Hopefully, this week will bring good news for you....Laura

The H Family said...

So hoping this week will be it--for both of you!

Laura said...

Praying you and Emily get your referrals quickly!!!

Ginger said...

Thank you for your sweet comments, Tracy. Praying for you and Emily...

The Busters said...

Tracy, I am so ready to pop open that champagne with you!!! :) I also felt so much better after we talked. I am truly blessed to have you as a friend!! Love you!!

Mark and Heidi said...

How would we ever get through this process without each other? I really don't know how people did it before the internet age.

I think when we had been sitting up on the top of the unofficial list as long as you two have, I popped the champagne for reasons other than celebration! LOL! Hang in there, Sweetie. It is so hard and draining wanting something this important every day and then not getting it, but it WILL end soon. That call is coming and I can't wait to celebrate with you!!

H

Heather said...

hey there...i'm a few spots below you on the list...just popping in to give you a little nudge of support.
the wait...is HARD, but the reward will be AWESOME.
hope you guys get THE CALL, soon.

Jenn Costillo said...

Hey Friend! I am SO hoping that you guys get your call soon. I'm sorry that this Mother's Day was hard. Much love to you and Brian, Jenn

Dana Cheryl said...

Lots of love & prayers for both you and your friend, Emily...

(((Big Hugs)))

Tam and Kai - NYC said...

I second everything you said - great post!
And funny enough, Emily is one of my go-to girls as well!
We're so fortunate to have this amazing community around us.
I can't wait to read your referral post! It's coming. Hang in there :)

Shannon Plumb said...

Every day that passes is a day you are closer to your referral! I know the waiting is hard, but it will be over soon! Thinking of you!!! Can't wait for "the post"!

Wes and Layla said...

Hang in there, Tracy! Your family is in our prayers and we're looking forward to hearing about your "The Call" soon! :)

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I'm amazed and touched by the level of support in this community, and so glad you found it. I think it must have been much more lonely to go through things like this before the internet. I know that I found much comfort in the internet with my mom's illness and her loss. Esp with you, since you lost your dad just a week before I lost my mom.

I've not suffered a miscarriage nor adopted, so I don't know exactly what you're going through. But I have friends and family who have done both, so I have some idea of how hard they are.

When I was wanting a baby, but it wasn't time yet, I used to cry on Mother's Day. I wanted so badly to be a mother, and yet I knew it wasn't time yet. That's not the same thing you're going through...you're both ready, your situation is perfect, your house is ready...just waiting on baby. I hope you get word in time for Father's Day. ;)