This May, I'll be celebrating my fifth Mother's Day. Actually, it's my sixth if I count the Mother's Day I waited expectantly for my oldest daughter's arrival. I received my very first Mother's Day card that year from my younger sister. Its delivery was so unanticipated; its poetry, so moving. It was signed, "You're going to be a wonderful mother."
That was the year I turned forty. Unlike my friends who treated themselves to a beach in Hawaii, or with a bottle of bubbly in a hot air balloon, my special gift to myself for my fortieth was motherhood. I can remember so clearly how sweet that first year tasted after a decade of infertility, hopeful surgeries, hormone treatments, and endless trips to the doctor. Finally, I was the one at the dinner table who never got to finish her plate. It was I who couldn't get a good night's sleep. At last, the cries for Mommy were for me.
When I celebrate Mother's Day, I celebrate the miracle of adoption.
Somehow, my husband and I unlocked the secrets of a mysterious and complicated process, completing two separate and equally successful adoptions. We managed to avoid all the pitfalls we feared and were repeatedly warned of by friends, strangers, family members and adoption experts. Our daughters were home, safe and healthy, young and unharmed. All the torturous fears of adoption complications so completely overcome.
As my husband and I move together through parenthood, not a day passes by that I don't marvel at our little miracles. How did we find two remarkable children born so very far away? How did the twists and turns of the adoption process unfold so perfectly to bring these beautiful beings to our care? How did we get so darn lucky?
Through the many adoptive families we've been blessed to know along the way, we've come to understand that miracles do happen everyday. The 2000 U.S. Census records more than 2 million adopted children living in America. These wonderful little miracles are growing up all around us. They are members of families in our neighborhood, our place of worship, and our workplace. They're even members of our very own extended family. Adoption miracles, no longer part of a secret world, complete the very composition of today's American melting pot.
As Mother's Day approaches and I make plans to celebrate the good fortune of my own little miracles, I'll continue to remember the world's waiting children. Like many adoptive parents, I've become an adoption advocate, doing all I can to dispel adoption's mysteries and myths; reaching out to others who are longing, just as I longed, for parenthood. Internationally and at home, there are thousands of children waiting.
Penny Phillips, Adoption Advocate with LCS of Southern New England, is the presenter of Adoption Power Hour, an informational session where couples and singles can get an intensive overview of adoption opportunities available through an inclusive faith-based adoption agency with over 135 years experience. For information on upcoming presentations, please contact 1-800-286-9889 or visit Lutheran Community Services on the web.