A Mother’s Day Declaration

Posted: May 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

My mother and I have an interesting relationship. It’s not bad by any means, but over the years we have both noticed that we butt heads constantly. It’s very easy for us to get into little spats (which, mostly are me getting cranky or snippy – and her using her “Mom tone” and me immediately backtracking). My mother and I don’t have the same sense of humor, we like very different things, and we don’t always see eye to eye.

I know people who have the kind of relationship with their Mom that I used to envy as a child. They are best friends, they do everything together – they like the same things, they can go shopping together without it turning into an apocalyptic silent anger and guilt fest. They have the sort of relationship with their mothers that I have with my father.

I say used to envy, because as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I don’t need my mother to be my best friend. I don’t need her to like the same things I like, to laugh at the same things I laugh at. I need my mother to be my mother, exactly as she is. She may get frustrated with me, and I may get frustrated with her – but in the perfect example of unconditional love, she is still there when I need to vent about something. She is still there when, at thirty-three years old, I need life advice for something I have no idea how to deal with. She’s there when my wife isn’t home and I need to tell her about something that just happened.

My mother didn’t give birth to me. As a child, it was a subject of discussion among the other kids. I never knew the difference. Both of my parents still loved me, my entire family loved me. I was never made to feel out of place in my family, so why did they care that I was adopted. Now, of course, I realize that children often call out what they don’t understand.

When people talk about adoption like it’s some kind of secret, like its somehow less valid than actual childbirth, I get defensive. When people say that children should have a say in where they end up – I feel as though the people talking have absolutely no clue how wonderful adoption can be, not only for the child – but for the parents.

I have lived with my parents since I was two years old, and officially adopted when I was 6 (5? I can’t remember the exact age). My parents and family are mine. I may not be blood related, but we are related by something far deeper. The ties of family aren’t always determined by blood. Motherhood isn’t determined by whether or not a woman has pushed a child from her womb into the world. Motherhood is determined by the desire, the want, the need to be a mother. So whether that is achieved naturally, through fertilization treatments – or by adoption, every form of motherhood is valid.

I do not consider my mother any less my mother because she did not carry me for nine months. I’ve read articles that talk about adopted children not “clicking” with their parents. I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones.

While my mother and I may have our fair share of disagreements – I am filled with nothing but love, and gratitude that she chose me. For me, that’s the greatest kind of love. She looked at me and said “I want her to be my daughter.” There’s a lot more involved, of course, but that is not worth putting here. The situation that led to my adoption doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. What matters is that my mother chose to be my mother. That’s not to say she’s better than mothers who give birth to their children, but to those out there who are adopted – you will know what I mean. To those that aren’t, all you need to know is that it’s love. Unconditional and deep rooted.

So, thank you Mom. Thank you for everything. Thank you for giving me a chance to live the best life I could. Thank you for every late night when I was sick. Thank you for working so hard to make sure I had the things I needed in life. I don’t say these things nearly enough (you know it’s always been easier for me to write things out). Thank you for saving my life (really more than once, and you know what I mean). Thank you for reminding me that sometimes, I need to calm down. Thank you for accepting me, for treating my wife like a second daughter. Thank you for everything you have ever given me, and everything you ever will.

  1. Bonnie Triola says:

    Thank you for loving me as your mother. You have been a challenge, a dream, and the most precious gift God has ever given me. I love you.


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