mother’s day

I want You To Know 

I am Wyatt’s mom. Yes for sure. I am also Wyatt’s second mom. He has a biological mom, a birth mom, and I am not that. I think about his biological mom a lot. But especially on Mother’s Day and his birthday. I’m sure I’ll think about her on his first day of kindergarten and on his 16th birthday and when (if) he gets married. Significant moments she will never share with him. Significant moments he will never share with her. Significant moments that only by the grace of God I get to share with him and he with me. 

 Mothering someone else’s baby is beautiful and complicated and gives me exactly all the feels. It is all of that. Forever. And some days I wish I could reach across the oceans, give her a hug and whisper in her ear: “He’s okay and he’s loved. Oh, and you’re loved too sister.”

Hey girl, 

I want you to know that you birthed one hell of a kid. Really. You honest to God did. 

I want you to know he has a killer fake laugh right now. It’s borderline ridiculous. 

I want you to know he loves cars so very much. He never leaves the house without at least five of them. 

I want you to know he is hilarious. He is genuinely funny and I love it. 

I want you to know he’s beyond ticklish. Like, everywhere. The neck. The feet. The thigh. The hiney. The underarms. All the places.

I want you to know he loves throwing rocks into a lake by our house. 

I want you to know his tiny voice is the most precious. 

I want you to know he loves Popsicles. Like wakes up asking for one. 

I want you to know he’s learned to ride his tricycle. It’s red and he was so scared at first. 

I want you to know he loves Lightning McQueen. And Thomas The Train. And Finding Nemo. 

I want you to know that bacon is the name of his game at the moment. 

I want you to know he’s sweet. So, so sweet. And kind. 

I want you to know he loves slushies. He usually picks purple but sometimes it’s red. Or blue. 

I want you to know his eyelashes still curl all the way up to his eyelids. Sometimes he tries to pick at them and I lose it every time. 

I want you to know he’s sleeping in a big boy bed now. It has trucks all over it and he thinks he’s hot stuff sleeping in it. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

I want you to know he loves jumping on the trampoline and blowing bubbles and playing baseball and kicking the big red ball. 

I want you to know he never stops talking. Seriously never. 

I want you to know he loves to sing. He knows all the words to Adele’s Hello. It’s kind of hilarious. The kid can sing let me tell you. 

I want you to know that he tells this joke about a giraffe and it makes me laugh out loud every time. 

I want you to know he loves reading books. Same Same But Different, The Skin You Live In and Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site are popular ones right now. 

I want you to know he’s happy. This time last year I wasn’t so sure, but deep in my soul I know he’s happy now.  

I want you to know he’s growing up. He’s tall and his baby face has turned into a little kid face. He’s not as squishy anymore. (Sad face) 

I want you to know he is so loved. By a host of people. 

I want you to know he’s going to be a brother soon. And I think he’s going to rock it. 

I want you to know he is stubborn as all get out. Like I dare you to try and get him to do something he doesn’t want to. 

I want you to know his big brown eyes still have a sparkle to them. And that sparkle still makes me want to weep a little bit. 

I want you to know he’s started pouting recently and I can’t stop laughing about it. 

I want you to know you’re loved. That we still believe in a whole lot of grace. And redemption. And forgiveness. That I love being your boys mom. That I can’t wait to link arms with you one day and show you our boy. Thank you for sharing him with me. 

Happy Mother’s Day to you, sister.

xoxo, ck

I Want You To Know

I want you to know that he loves cars and balls. But mainly cars. The kid loves his cars.

I want you to know that I think he’s going to be a lefty. His dad is pretty pumped about his potential in sports because of that.

I want you to know his laugh is to die for.

I want you to know he is kind, so kind. And oh so sweet.

I want you to know he is smart. My word is he smart.

I want you to know he is stubborn as all get out.

I want you to know he is passionate, I think he’s going to be a world changer.

I want you to know his eyelashes curl all the way up to his eyelids. One day all the girls will be jealous of those eyelashes.

I want you to know that he has this look, this look where he cuts his eyes and smirks this smirk. It’s the look where I always think: “Holy cow, we’re in trouble.” It’s gets me. Every. Single. Time.

I want you to know the feet that kicked around in your belly are the squishiest, cutest little feet ever.

I want you to know his hugs are simply the best. And his snuggles. Those are pretty good, too.

I want you to know he learned to walk by pushing a trash can around. He thought it was the funniest thing ever. I want you to know that he’s running now. Like, the kid never stops moving.

I want you to know his smile. He has dimples and the most beautiful white teeth I’ve ever seen. His smile might be my favorite.

I want you to know he has deep brown eyes, they almost sparkle. That makes me want to cry a little bit. That sparkle does.

I want you to know that he can’t hear music and sit still, that he has killer dance moves.

I want you to know that he loves church and singing songs and saying prayers.

I want you to know he is brave. The bravest almost two year old I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.

I want you to know that he is loved. So, so loved.

I want you to know that you will always be first. I want you to know he will always be yours. I want you to know you will always be spoken of in this house, you will never be a secret and you will never be forgotten. I want you to know you are loved. I want you to know you are honored. I want you to know I respect you and my heart aches for you, for the decision you made. I want you to know that I can’t even imagine- the pain, the heartache, the wonder, the guilt. I want you to know that one day you’ll hold this sweet boy of yours, and I want you to know I can’t wait for that. I want you to know I believe in a whole lot of grace. I want you to know that I believe in redemption, your boy has made me believe in redemption. I want you to know that it is a privilege, an honor, to be one of his moms. I want you to know that this boy of ours is just that, ours, and I’ll be eternally grateful for you. For sharing your boy with me.

Happy Mother’s Day to you, sister.

That Time Mother’s Day Didn’t Suck So Bad

Last week I wrote about Mother’s Day. My thoughts, fears, and hurts going into the weekend. A should have been mom’s perspective on this lovely and hellish day of the year. A shout out to the other ones who should have been, because I know there are others. And sometimes solidarity is all we’ve got to offer. I wrote that post as a part of just continuing to process all this hurt. I wrote it because for the first time I had some actual, valid thoughts on a holiday that can be so accidentally exclusive. I wrote it because the thought of that Sunday truly made me want to crawl under my covers and stay there for a full 24 hours.

But you want to know what happened? SUNDAY DIDN’T SUCK SO BAD.

I woke up in Austin surrounded by some of my favorite people on this planet earth. I woke up to text messages from friends telling me Happy Mother’s Day, they were thinking about me today, they loved me, etc. I woke up to Facebook messages and posts on my wall saying the same things. I came home to cards in my mailbox for days.

I have said before that this whole thing has been so lonely. This experience is so unique. There are like zero people that I know who have walked this exact road before. It’s a weird situation. It makes literally no sense to any human who has a brain. It’s totally out of the box.

But you guys met me there. You met me in the middle of this hell hole I find myself in. You met me in the middle of a hurt you don’t truly understand. You met in the middle of a situation that can’t be fixed. You met me in the middle of my grief. When the world tells us that grief is weird and messy; that we shouldn’t talk about it. You met me there. I felt seen. I felt validated. I felt not forgotten. It was hands down one of the neatest experiences I’ve ever had in this life. Like, I’m choked up writing these words right now that’s how cool it was for me.

I’m doing the She Reads Truth Nehemiah bible study right now. If you are not, you really should be. We were in the first few verses of chapter one the other day. Nehemiah has just heard that the wall protecting his home town of Jerusalem was broken and the gates were destroyed. All of his people are in trouble and hurting. Things are bad. Nehemiah is removed from the situation. He no longer lives in Jerusalem. He’s working for the king. He has a wonderful life. But when Nehemiah hears this news, he hurts with his people. He hurts with them from a distance. He weeps. He mourns. He prays. He confesses. He fasts. For a lot of days. They said something in this post that when I read it, I stopped. I got kind of choked up. I read it again, and then I wrote it down. They said this:

We have a lot to learn in our study of the book of Nehemiah. But even in this first day, even in setting the stage for what is going to be accomplished in the hearts and lives of the people of Israel, the sovereign God is showing us something awesome about biblical compassion: it is not characterized by platitudes; it is characterized by action.

 

Lord, rend our hearts for the hurting today. Let us not allow our own comfort or safe distance from pain prevent us from seeing and loving others as you see and love them. Move us. Break us. And build us back up for your glory. Amen.

The sovereign God is showing us something awesome about biblical compassion: it is not characterized by platitudes; it is characterized by action.

For me this sums up the people in our lives right now. The people that are hurting with us- whether it’s here in Nashville or from a distance. The people that are loving in the middle of a situation they are removed from. The people that are loving outside of themselves. Loving outside of the box. Loving with action. May it be that we all love in this way.

md

To The Ones Who Should Have Been

I should be a mom right now. I should be like, a real physical mom to an African toddler. I should be called mommy by that said African toddler. I should be tucking him in bed every night and reading bed time stories. I should be taking him to the park and the zoo. I should be teaching him how to swim. I should be so tired because I’m chasing an insane 3 year old around all the live long day. I should be watching Curious George, singing the ABC’s, and teaching Bible stories.
 
I should have hilarious stories of life with a toddler. I should also have really hard stories of life with a toddler. I should be able to laugh with other moms as we share stories of raising little human beings. I should also be able to cry with them over the insanity that is being a mom. I should be able to share an alcoholic beverage with other moms because solidarity, sister. I should be coordinating play dates and outings to the park.
 
I should be having conversations with my husband about parenting and discipline. I should be laughing with him over funny things our kid did and said. I should be having to get babysitters so we can have what parents call “date night.” I should be forming family traditions and having family dinners. I should be sending my husband and son off on boys only outings.
 
I should be celebrating a holiday this weekend for the first time. I should be getting a cute homemade card and going to lunch with my family. I should be getting recognized in whichever way the church sees fit this year- standing up, flowers at the door, a mom speaker, pictures with your family, or something else.
 
I should be a mom right now. I should be like, a real physical mom to an African toddler. But I’m not.
 
And you know what? It stings. I’m a mom but I’m not a mom. I can feel the tension so thick in my heart. I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about walking through the doors of a church this weekend. I am already fighting back tears just thinking about watching all the other moms stand up as the congregation applauds them. I can feel my heart drop at the thought of a whole day of scrolling through social media and seeing cute pictures of moms and kids. I can feel the anger and sadness at the comments that have already been made and will be made all over again. The comments that make me feel like I’m the mom I know on the surface I’m not.
 
So this one is for the ones who should have been. If no one else sees you this weekend, I do. I see you. I see you because I’m one of you.
 
I’ll be the one sitting while all the other moms stand up. I’ll be the one trying not to audibly sob during whatever mom tribute is chosen this year. I’ll be the one at lunch without my child, the one not getting homemade cards, and the one not posting pictures of me and my tiny tot. I’ll be the one smiling and nodding but probably just walking away from all the people who say all the wrong things.
 
I’ll be the one sitting because I was a mom for minute, but I don’t have anything to show for it now. I’ll be the one trying not to sob because in my heart I am a mom to a little boy, I’m Mommy JT, but to the masses that doesn’t make sense so it can’t be, right? I’ll be the one not getting cards because they don’t make should have been cards. I’ll be the one not posting pictures because you can’t post pictures of things that should have been. I’ll be the one walking away from the people because walking away is just better at this point.
 
I should be a mom. You should be a mom. And if no one else tells you this weekend, I will. You are a mom. You’re a mom even if no one sees it. You’re a mom even if no one recognizes it. You’re a mom even if no one gets it. You are a mom. And to that I say, Happy Mother’s Day, friend.