After glancing at my calendar and doing a double-take at my ever-growing pregnant belly, I realize that I will miss out on Mother’s Day by about a month this year. This is disappointing, not only because I’m excited to join the ranks of first-time mothers, but because my dining room table could really use some flowers. But I will have to wait until next year to be celebrated or given little handprints of paint under the words I love you or “breakfasted” in true Mother’s Day fashion.
But even though there won’t be a large celebration at my house this year, there are two reasons why Mother’s Day will still be very special for me.
On Mother’s Day I honor my mother, who worked hard to raise me to be a God-fearing woman able to make positive contributions to society. Knowing my tomboy nature and my tendency to be a bit rough around the edges, she did not underestimate the size of this task. She dragged me to soup kitchens to serve meals, forced me to toil in her massive garden so I could learn about the benefits of hard work, and volunteered my services to perform community roadside cleanup. I’m so thankful for her intentional steps to shape me. I think they worked. I consider Mom my dearest friend, and I attribute much of who I am to her wisdom and work in my life.
But she is not the only person I celebrate on Mother’s Day. I also celebrate my biological mother, who carried me for nine months and made the difficult and sacrificial decision to give me a better life with another family. While my biological mother has not shaped my life in the same way my adoptive mother has, the difficult choice she made ensured that I would have a life to shape.
She was very young, and no doubt endured stares and whispers as she walked the halls of her high school with a growing belly under her sweatshirt. Amid rumors and judgment, she walked the rocky road of pregnancy and did so without hearing the mantra of comfort that rings in my own head: “This is all worth it; I’ll have a little baby at the end of this.”
People who know I am adopted often ask me if Mother’s Day is difficult for me or wonder if I am angry or hurt about being “given up” for adoption. I’m not. I’m grateful that this it is a part of the story God penned for me—a story of growing up in a family that loves the Lord and taught me to do the same. Now the story continues, and about a month after Mother’s Day, God will start writing a new chapter for me and for my little one.
I know there are moms who have given up children for adoption—and moms who have adopted—who wonder if they acted in God’s plan. Mother’s Day is a day for me to encourage both camps. God has a story to write for all of us. There might be unplanned pregnancies, but there are no unplanned children of God.
While I will not get breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day—this year, at least—I will still say a prayer of gratitude for all mothers who make the tough decision to carry children they won’t raise and mothers who make the tough decision to raise children they didn’t carry. I have been blessed by both.
About the Author
Andrea Bult lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., and attends Madison Square Christian Reformed Church. She is a full time student at Calvin Seminary.