Today it is with heartfelt joy that I celebrate the incredible women who chose to love their children. They are not the ones who found out they were pregnant and had no choice but to carry and love that child. I want to pay tribute to the mummies that didn’t have to, but did. They didn’t grow their babies in their tummies but in their hearts. The mummies that took a risk on so many unknowns.
My Mum is one of them. I don’t remember ever being told I was adopted. I always just knew. As a little one I would relish in hearing all about it, and would beg Mum and Dad to tell me the story again and again of how they longingly waited for me. I loved hearing about the day they finally got the phone call saying, we have a baby girl for you. How excited they were to take me home to the beautifully prepared room that had been patiently waiting for many years for that final missing piece…. the baby.
At the age of forty I decided it was time to find the missing puzzle piece in my beautiful life. It wasn’t a big piece, but it was a piece regardless. I didn’t want to be saying ‘what if’ in years to come. After years of debating, I nervously, very nervously took the step.
I had always assumed that I would have an instant connection, that the bond would be immediate. That I would love her. I always wanted so badly to look like my family. Growing up I wanted those ‘Eastgate’ eyes. I desperately wanted to look just like my beautiful cousins who all have ‘the eyes’ and gorgeous skin and then there was me with my golden red hair, fair skin and freckles. So finally I was going to be with flesh and blood. The reality was far from my dreams. Fascinatingly, I looked just like her. It was incredibly mind blowing, she had my lips, my freckles, my eyes. There was absolutely no doubt we shared the same genetics. But she was not my mother.
Spending time with my birth mother and birth sister brought me a whole new perspective. I met my birth sister under the guise of the ‘abandoned child’. I was the one they ‘gave away’. I made a photo album of my life from when I was 3 weeks old when Mum and Dad took me home, to now. We spent hours going through the album as I told them about my family and my wonderful life. I expected my birth sister to feel sorry for me. She did not. Instead she turned to me and said, I wish it had been me.
What an emotional day that was. Learning about the life I could have had, I knew then that God knew better than genetics. He picked me up and placed me just where I needed to be, with the mum who would love me just the way I needed to be loved.
At the end of this exhausting day all I wanted was my Mum. You know that feeling when you just need your Mum. Because that is your safe place. This bond is not something that comes from giving birth, it comes from sharing a life. It comes from a trust that is earn’t through years and years of having a mum who never broke her word. She’s the one who knows you, really knows you. She can read between the lines, when others cannot. She’s the one who has fought for you, wept with you, she held your hand though the pain and danced through the joy. She makes you feel more capable and beautiful than you really are. After 45 years, her face still lights up every time I walk through her door. This is what makes a mum your mum.
I got given the exact mum I needed. I love her. I honour her. I look nothing like her, but we belong to each other. I would die for her and her for me, this is something that only love not genetics can guarantee.
Happy Mothers day to my beautiful Mum, I love you with all my heart.