When I was a child, I loved to play house. My imagination as a wife and mother were infinite. My dolls were my children. My husband was a stuffed animal. In my animated world, my husband went to work, came home to a hot plastic meal and loved me and our children. I was living the American dream.
My journey of marriage has not started yet, but my journey of motherhood started five years ago—when I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to take care of my unborn child and be happy as his mother no matter how many parenting classes I attended, read magazines on motherhood and babies, listened to my doctor, or talked to the nurses at the health department before receiving my WIC vouchers. After raising my son Kent for four months, I decided that it was time for us to part before once again talked myself out of letting him go. I contacted DHS to see how I would go about placing Kent for adoption through their agency. Once I was given the information I was frightened that if I put Kent into the DHS Children Welfare System I would no longer have any contact with him. The DHS worker referred me to a lawyer who works closely with the agency to find children permanent homes. After two months of working with the lawyer I found a couple who I was content with.
The first few months after my adoption, I still wanted to be actively involved in Kent`s life. I would mail the couple coupons for diapers, send gifts often and contact his mother at least twice a week. Unexpectedly I found out that the couple changed Kent`s name. It hurt. I felt mislead. Unimportant. Used. Empty. Along with a few other major milestones in my adoption, I eventually started to let Kent and his family have their space. I accepted my new role of being his secondary mother from the distance. I started my journey of healing.
I work at an Arkansas own grocery store as a cashier. I was checking a lady out and she asked me if I thought that her child would like the pacifiers that she picked. I stopped and looked around and then realized she was talking to me. I instantly responded to tell her my short experience of raising my son and pacifiers, without disclosing that I placed my child for adoption. I told her the kind that my son liked and how expensive they were. We shared a few laughs about how we both have misplaced our children`s stuff.
Shortly after the transaction was over I ran to the bathroom to cry. I felt regretful. I was mad at myself for being irresponsible at seventeen. I was angry that I was naïve and was not ready for motherhood when I became pregnant. The rest of my day become a replaying nightmare that I could not wake myself out of.
I have this picture of me and Kent, that was taken the first time I got to hold him. Not realizing at the time, he would be someone`s son—I was his mother. Ladies, whether you are a biological mother to a child, a foster parent, a parent who has adopted a child, had a miscarriage or abortion, in the progress of trying to have a child of your own or just started to look into fostering or adopting—you are a mother. As women, I believe that we are naturally mothers regardless of what our past experiences that have lead us to this point in life. Everyone`s journey to motherhood looks different. So, embrace yours. Do it with class. Do not allow yourself to become discourage when you are faced with unexpected road blocks that make you want to give up. Love yourself. Accept your situation and continue to be amazing. As my grandmother once told me when I was dating someone who had a two-year-old daughter that I was in love with, “it never hurts to love someone`s child.” They say it takes a village to raise a child, so go and seek out the children in your tribe.