4 years….1,460 days….48 months….that’s how long we prayed for a child. We went through 3 years of fertility treatments, nightly injections, failed IUIs, negative pregnancy tests, and a miscarriage.
On February 11th, of this year, all those prayers were answered when we adopted Branden Joshua. We adopted him the day before his 3rd birthday and were able to celebrate with all of our friends and family who had been praying right along with us. He has joined our family and never looked back. It’s amazing how well he bonded to everyone, and loves like he’s been with us his whole life. A lot of that I contribute to his foster family, but that’s a story for another day. He is our son, and we could not be more thankful to God for giving him to us. Tomorrow is my first official Mother’s Day, and I’ve kinda been dreading it….
Why? Because of that word “official”. It’s not my first Mother’s Day. That was last year, with 2 dark haired, brown eyed little boys we’ll call TB and T. They were dropped off at our door one Saturday in June of 2015.We had just become foster parents, literally the day before, and now these boys were ours. They were 7 months and 22 months. We were crazy, but didn’t know it yet. By Monday, we were convinced we had made a mistake, and had to give them back. T was with us for 11 months and TB for a year and a half. I gave medicine and breathing treatments before rocking them all night when they were sick, I played with them, taught them colors, shapes, and animals. We went on family vacations, went to the zoo, and visited family in Alabama. We celebrated T’s 1st birthday and TB’s 2nd and 3rd birthdays. They were our boys, and we were Mommy and Daddy.
Now, back to me dreading my first “official” Mother’s Day. My husband would tell you I worry and overthink things a bit, and he would be correct. I have been imagining how I would respond if someone referred to this as my first Mother’s Day. One thing we’ve learned through fostering is that people mean well, but don’t always know the right things to say. I had just about convinced myself that I was being silly…..when it happened. I picked Branden up from daycare yesterday and one of the teachers said “Happy Mother’s Day…it’s your first official one!” Here it was, the moment I had been dreading. Now, I feel like I should mention that this was TB’s teacher while he was in daycare. He stayed in her class when he turned 3 because “he was so attached to her”. I’m pretty sure the feeling was mutual. We love this lady, and even followed her when she moved to a different daycare. I know she meant well, but somehow, coming from her it was even a little sadder.
How do I respond? In the moment I didn’t even think about it, really. I said “Thank you…but you know TB made me a mother first.” She smiled and said, “I know….I miss that boy. Do you ever him from him?”
I think I was afraid that if someone thought of this as my “first Mother’s Day” that meant they had forgotten about TB and T, or that they didn’t count. I know that’s not the case, but I overthink things, remember?
As weird as this sounds, I’m a little relieved it happened. At least now I don’t have to wonder when and constantly be on guard at church tomorrow, because let’s be honest, that’s where most of the crazy things are said. (lol) A few years back, in the midst of fertility treatments and a flood of artificial hormones, a lady said to me, “I can’t tell you Happy Mother’s Day yet, but maybe one day!” Let’s just say…it was not pretty.
We are so incredibly thankful for Branden, and yes, it is my first Mother’s Day with a “forever child” and that is so special. However, I will missing a couple of dark haired, brown eyed little boys tomorrow. They called me mommy too.