Today, my heart is torn.

Because I want to take the friendly texts and the tiny sprout in a paper cup and the candle covered in tissue paper and just be happy, darn it.

I do.

And yet,

My super-sweet newsfeed makes me want to throw up a little.

The thought of something called “mama mania” makes me want to crawl back under the covers.

You see, it’s on days like today,

Mother’s Day,

That my redemption longing echoes the loudest.

It throbs so violently in my heart that even though the words are supposed to be

Bless the Lord, O my soul

The only ones I can muster are

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

You see, the reality of adoption that never makes the glossy brochures or the public service announcements is this…

The joy and the loss are tangled up together.  Always.

I get to watch my daughter practice gymnastics moves in the living room and listen to her read (so well!) and style her hair and teach her to be kind because someone else does not.

This is not lost on either of us.

Especially today.

The reality of foster care—behind all the myths and stereotypes is this…

You must learn, somehow, to hold the little ones entrusted to you both tightly and loosely.

You must love, must bond, must mother with all your heart, knowing all the while that your goal is to mother these little ones into another mama’s arms.

And so, today, we smile to your face and accept your enthusiastic wishes for a Happy Mother’s Day.  We know how to talk a good game.  All of us.

And then we come home and pile into the brown recliner—too small for all of us, really.  But today it feels just right.

And we snuggle for a long time without any words.

And then we speak the names of the other mamas.

And we water the tiny sprout in the paper cup.

And I try to memorize this moment with my heart– every last bit of it.

Because although, today, my heart is torn,

It is also full.

So, so very full.

5 thoughts on “Torn

  1. thebeautifulopportunity

    Shannon, thank you capturing that feeling I’ve had over the past 10 years. It’s the sadness of knowing the tragedy that has befallen others, my inability to “fix” things for my beloved little ones, the ache knowing that for some of my kiddos mom=abuse, and the even deeper ache knowing that some of my kiddos won’t be around for next Mother’s Day. Yet despite all of that, there is an underlying happiness to be part of these children’s lives. Bittersweet.

  2. Erin

    Oh wow. This is such a beautiful and powerful post. So very well said. One year my little one’s teacher sent him home with two flowers for mother’s day, and I just thought it was so very sweet. We cared for the other flower (since we couldn’t give it to mom) and I think it meant so much to my child 🙂

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