Mother’s Day Wishes
That’s what we teach children when they grab their first dandelion gone to seed. Children see the endless possibilities afforded by wishing. They make their incredibly important wish, fill their cheeks, pucker and blow their wishes as far as the wind can carry them.
I became a mother on Mother’s Day 2004. In a stuffy Civil Affairs Office in Nanchang, Jiangxi, I received my daughter. How naïve was I then to the journey that I was just beginning? My journey had just merged with the journey of a lovely baby girl, our red threads pulling tight and intertwining forever. No matter what their age, adopted children are not blank slates when they come to their forever families. They have been on their own journeys since before birth. Their birth parents initiated their journey. We adoptive parents are merely jumping on a moving train, hoping to enjoy the adventure and help steer through the rocky parts.
A little more than three years later, I was in another stuffy Civil Affairs Office, this time in Guangzhou, to receive my son. Adopting a toddler of 28 months old taught me a lot about leaping onto a moving train — a very fast-moving, determined little train. He taught me how much history a little child can carry.
Part of my children’s early life history is their experiences in orphanages and foster homes. But their history really began long before that. Their journeys began with their birth parents. I imagine their birth parents had hopes, dreams and wishes for them even before they were born. Doesn’t every parent dream about their child long before they are able to hold them?
In this day of medical technology and pharmaceuticals, I believe that any woman who conceives a child and carries that child to term wants the best for that child. Unfortunately, we live in a complicated and sometimes difficult world. Some mothers quickly realize they cannot give their child the future they so badly want for them. So they make a wish — a wish for a better life for their child. I imagine my daughter being held by her birth mother for the last time, sending her away with the wish for a world in which she could grow to be beautiful, strong and equal, with only her mind and body limiting her dreams. How many times have I thought of how my son’s birthmother must have felt when she realized that she could not nurse him due to cleft lip and palate, and recognizing that perhaps his best chance at healing and acceptance was in the care of others? I can’t believe either of these birthmothers wished for their babies to be raised in an institution. Surely they wished for a family, a mother, to raise their children. They wished for healing, opportunity and love for their children.
This Mothers’ Day, in between a wonderful brunch and colorful handmade gifts, I will be the one sending a wish on the winds. My wish is that the birthmothers of my children know that they are not only alive and well, but that they are loved, cherished, healthy, and so smart it will knock your socks off. I wish they could know that their hopes for their children came true. I also wish that these women could know how grateful I am for the incredible gift they entrusted to me. Truly, I am the lucky one.
~Elena Doyle is the proud mama of Zoe and Nicky. She is also the Associate Coordinator of LWB’s True Healing Home.