Sunday, May 10, 2009

My "Mom" Story

I've been intending to write this for a while and thought Mother's Day would be the perfect day to do it. It is now 10:30 p.m. and I still haven't done it lol. I believe that is procrastination! Today is a bittersweet day for many of us. My own sweet mom passed away when I was 21, I am 52 and still miss her. So many times I wish she could have been here, but I know she has a special spot in Heaven where she can see what's going on. One of the things my mom always told me was, "be careful what you pray for". She told me this many times and I in my infinite wisdom usually didn't listen lol. That always comes back to me now when I think about my kids. This is my "mom" story.
I married the first time when I was 18. Growing up all I wanted to be was a wife and mother so I was excited getting married and thinking of starting a family. Things didn't work out the way "I" planned but in hindsight "God's" plan was perfect. My first "child" was my newborn baby cousin when I was nine (now grown, pic on right) and to this day she still calls me mom :) and I still consider her my oldest. Fast-forward through my first marriage and fourteen years later I was divorced and still had not had a "baby", my age by then 32.
However, from that marriage I had my sister-in-law who was 5 when we met and 19 when I divorced. She was my second "child", I lost her last year at the age of 43 and there will forever be a hole in my heart from the loss of this daughter. (Picture on left.) (I'm missing 2 grandchildren pictures here that go with her picture but they aren't on my computer, however I want them to know when they read this, they are included and this is a hint that I need new pics :)
I remarried a year later to a man with 3 "children" at the time they were 2, 14 and 16. Shortly after we married the 2 oldest came to live with us and we got visitation with the 2 year old every other week-end. My husband passed away from surgery complications but my girls and my son are still mine and always will be. After he passed away I decided that I didn't have to be married to have children but due to an emergency hysterectomy the possibility of giving birth was completely out of the question. I decided to become a foster mom. My kids were grown by then except the youngest who was barely a teenager and she lived with her mom, (who by the way is an excellent mom and a dear friend). I started foster care with a 13 year old boy and a 15 year old girl but I didn't stop there, my kids have ranged from 13 - 21 when they came to live with me. Now the rest of the story lol.
I remarried for the 3rd (and final) time a man that I know in my heart God sent my way. My soulmate. With him I received 3 more children. At the time we married, they were 15, 20 and 22. Only one of them came to live with us, (pictured on the left with 2 of my other girls). Even though she was in her twenties (barely) then, her and I are very close, her and my oldest are the two most like me (they would probably rather I didn't tell that lol). No matter what age or stage, love and family comes from the heart. All in all in my life, I've been blessed to be mom to over 50 children that God has given me. Many of them I didn't get to keep for long and don't get to see or talk to, some of them I don't even know where they are because of the system, but I do know that they have a special place in my heart still. Thanks to all of my kids because I also now have adorable grandchildren that don't know that meemaw isn't their blood meemaw. None of us worry about telling people our "story" unless it's a really need to know. This is where my mom's words come back to me many times in my memories.

Be careful what you pray for - I always prayed for kids or children, of course thinking babies but God had different plans. All my kids came at different ages and stages of their lives but all are truly a blessing. I didn't ask for babies, I asked for children and that's what God gave me and He gave abundantly. He sees the big picture, He knew what I needed and He knew what each one of my kids needed in their lives and He gave us both the desires of our hearts. He gave me children to nurture and love, in His time so that I would be a buffer for their hurts and nurture them the way He wanted. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
By the time my children started coming along I had so much love built up that I probably sometimes smothered them with it. I've tried to be the mom to them that my mom was for me. Always there, always listening, like my mom with me, I don't always tell them what they want to hear and they might get mad at me for a little bit but everything I do and everything I say is with love and they know it. I love them all with all my heart, that's a God thing. Some I had for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime. I am the most blessed mom I know. God taught me you don't have to give birth to be a mom and giving birth doesn't necessarily make a mom, that's why I had my children because they needed a "mom" and God knew I needed them. Thank God for honing me into the mom He wanted me to be and to my girls and my sons, all of you, thank you for giving me a reason to celebrate today. Thank you for blessing my life, I love you all with all my heart. My mom would be so proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren just as I am so proud of all of you and what you have accomplished. (I wish you could have known each other).
AND: I finally got my "babies" when my grandchildren came along.
That was just the icing on the cake :)

I would like to say to anyone who wants children and for whatever reason has not been able to have them. Love the children God puts in your path, whether it be for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Yes, it will hurt when you lose touch with them but I wouldn't trade any of my kids or the lessons I've learned from them. I pray that I touched their lives in a way that they never forget. I pray that I raised them for however long I had them the way that God wanted and that as they grow older they remember and come to know the Lord as adults. I know the ones that are close still worship and love the Lord. I have tried to make a difference in all their lives and I believe I did, but the one thing I know for sure is that I tried to show them God's love. I know each and every one of them made a difference in MY life. So I have to repeat, love the children God puts in your path, whether they be friends children, family members, babies or grown, don't worry about how long they will be there. You will both be richer for it. Don't let the pain you feel from not bearing your own children cloud the blessings God is putting before you. If I had born children of my own, I wouldn't have been the same person I don't believe. I wouldn't have had the open heart God needed me to have when each of these "children" came into my life. I wouldn't trade "my" kids for all the world. They are all as much mine, maybe even more so than if I'd given birth to them.
God bless you all,
til next time
P.S. I started this on Mother's Day but due to some internet problems did not get to publish it that day.