Happy Mother's Day to all friends who are mothers, be it birthmother, fostermother, adoptive mother, step-mother, grandmother...I am honored and blessed to be a member of this club. :)
Happy Mother's Day especially to my own mother, Donna. I miss you today, but I can't wait to see you this week. Sometimes, I wonder how you did it...working long hard hours day in and day out before chauffeuring us to ball practice, cheerleader practice, doctor visits, church, dance, gymnastics, swim lessons, friends' houses, and anything else that went on. You were team mother, cheerleader uniform seamstress, and a number of other roles - voluntarily, without compensation, without a complaint. You helped with school projects after finding out about them at 8pm on the night before they were due. When I was frustrated about homework that I thought I couldn't do, you dodged a thrown textbook and patiently told me to go pick it up and try again. You cooked dinner every night during a time when McDonald was a treat for kids, not a daily expectation. You spanked us when we needed it, and now I know that it truly did hurt you more than it hurt us. Thank you for teaching us the difference between right and wrong. You endured the awful teenage years of a smart-mouthed daughter, I finally learned what "back-talk" was. You taught me to hold my shoulders back, keep my chin up and believe in myself, because "Can't never could." Mom, you did it all from scratch, without a model of your own, because you lost your own mother when you were five. I love you so much! Thank you for all the sacrifices you made on my behalf.
Happy Mother's Day to Kevin's mother, Joyce. Thank you for the amazing job you did raising my wonderful husband. He is the most considerate, caring, patient, generous person I know. I tell Luz all the time not to marry until she meets her "Kevin." He treats me like a queen and takes care of our family in every way. He works hard on the job and at home, placing God and family above all else. Kevin leads our family spiritually. He teaches Jack how to be a gentleman by his own example, holding doors, shaking hands, saying please and thank you, using his gift of conversation to make others feel better about themselves. Kevin loves life and is never too proud to laugh. Thank you for raising him to have such strong faith in God. He is Jack's hero and my best friend.
Happy Mother's Day to Jack's birth mother. You are an amazing woman. What you did was not easy. You gave Jack life when his birth father was willing to abort him. You saved his life and selflessly gave us a family. You carried him for nine months, while complete strangers in the grocery store congratulated you on motherhood, asked if it was a boy or girl and when you were due. You endured the judgment of those who looked down their long noses at you for offering Jack a better life than you knew you could provide. You walked a mile to the bus stop to make regular visits to the doctor. You kept Kevin and me informed of his every development. You suffered heartburn from hell. You invited me to be a part of Jack's birth and to stay with you in the hospital after he was born. I saw you hold him in your arms and love him and kiss him when you knew he was not going home with you and didn't know when, if ever you'd see him again. I saw you carry him out of the hospital into his first sunlight. I heard you tell him you loved him before getting into a different car and forcing yourself to move on to the next chapter of your life. My heart broke for you. I know it wasn't easy, and that you still love him. We give him all the birthday and Christmas presents you send each year. We save all the birthday cards for the day when he will appreciate them. We think of you daily and thank God for your courage. Our lives will always be connected. To read about Jack's birth...
Happy Mother's Day to all foster moms. Being a foster mom is more difficult than being a substitute teacher. You are loving a child who has been through some pretty traumatic times, regardless of the path they took to your home. You love these children knowing that there is a chance you may never see what they blossom into. I loved both of my foster-daughters this year and continue to think of them often. You were mine while I had you. I pray for your protection.
Finally, Happy Mother's Day to all host moms. I have truly enjoyed being Luz Andrea's mother for a year. She has taught our family many cool things about Mexican culture. It's not easy helping a teenager overcome stereotypes in a world away from her family. It won't be easy to put her on that plane to Mexico in June, but I know we will see her again. We will miss you dearly.