Mother's Day 2011 brought with it many emotions that I hadn't experienced on past Mother's Days. For the past 13 years, I have enjoyed the specialness of being recognized as a mom. I love getting breakfast in bed and all of the wonderful home-made cards and goodies that the kids make at school. This year, however, I couldn't stop thinking about another mother- Grace's first mother. Grace and I talk about her and pray for her. We pray for Grace's "family in Ethiopia" almost every night, but I don't really think Grace understands the words. I try to get Grace to tell me about her first mom- she doesn't really remember much.
Grace's dance teacher is about to have a baby, so Grace recently told me that her teacher's belly was "really big." It was a great opportunity for us to talk about how her teacher would be having a baby and then she would be a mommy. Grace then went on to say, "just like I was in your tummy..." Hmmm... another great opportunity to explain a few things. I explained that she grew in her Ethiopian mommy's tummy and that we didn't get to meet her until she was three years old. It was as if a light bulb went off in her little head. The first thing she said after my explanation was, "my Ethiopian mommy had brown skin." When I asked her for more details, all she could say was that her Ethiopian family "taught her to pray" and that there were "a lot of people." I think Grace confuses her time at the orphanage with what she considers her first family.
So, on Mother's Day this year, I reflected on what my road to motherhood has looked like so far. My first three children came into my world the traditional way. Grace's entrance into my world was far from traditional (at least in my world). She was sought after for so many years. She was prayed for for so many hours. She was dreamt about so many times. She is so special, and yet she is just like my other three kiddos. She is truly one of my FOUR kids- nothing really seems all that unusual any more. She is one of the four blessings that call me "mom."
Grace's entrance into my world- arriving home in "America" as she says.
My actual Mother's Day this year was spent with my sweet Alyssa at a dance competition in the Chicago area. I LOVED being able to spend the entire weekend with her. She is truly a gift- a huge blessing in my life. Every time I spend a weekend with her, I feel so incredibly lucky that she is mine. Nothing made me happier than spending some one on one time with my first born.
Everyone keeps telling me that teenage girls are so tricky. They say "just wait." I don't think so. Alyssa is such a doll. When she woke up on Sunday morning, the first thing she did was roll over in her hotel bed and wish me a "happy Mother's Day."
Here we are getting ready to head to the theater for her competition.
One of the numbers she dances in is a large production number with about 200 dancers. It is so much fun to watch. Can you believe they have choreographed a dance that can fit that many kids on one stage?
Getting ready for a funky jazz number. Love those goggles. The number was choreographed by a dancer who used to work with Michael Jackson- pretty cool.
Sweet dance girls.
Sweet dance girls with one of their sweet dance teachers.
What a wonderful Mother's Day. I am truly blessed. I couldn't ask for more.