on mother's day

sarah sandel | on mother's day

sarah sandel | on mother's day

I have celebrated Mother's Day since the day I made my mom one, way back in the 80s. Although, I suppose my active participation is suspect until the age of likely four, where I imagine my dad coaxed me into scribbles and handmade cards. And I have celebrated the day as a mother for approximately six years now. The first 3 of which I had basically no proof of my motherhood.

I read so many good things about celebrating women on mother's day, not just biological mothers, and so I am adding my voice to the mix.

I've lost four babies to miscarriage and we adopted our daughter at birth, just after Mother's Day and my thirtieth birthday. I celebrated hopefully that year, because we were waiting on baby, but in years prior it had not always been the case. I celebrated empty-handed and with an empty womb and I felt as though I didn't belong. I know I'm not the only one. So for all the "misfits" this Mother's Day, this one's for you.

To the woman who thinks if she sees one more "we're pregnant" announcement she might lose her mind, because every month she gets a "no" - you are loved.

To the woman whose child(ren) is/are not in her arms right now, because they left earth too soon - you are not forgotten.

To the woman whose mother was not what a mother should be and this day brings grief - you are precious and you are beloved.

To the single mother, who feels like she is just parenting by the seat of her pants - you can do this - you are valuable.

To the motherless woman or mother - you are doing a hard work and though there is sadness, you are not alone.

To the mothers whose children are estranged - you did not fail - there is yet hope.

To the woman who isn't a mother, whether she longs to be or not - the work of mothering is still yours, as you pour your life out for others.

To the woman who cannot even name why this day is hard - you are seen.

To the waiting adoptive moms - yes, this day is just as much for you. Rejoice. Take courage.

To the women who chose to place their children for adoption - to my own daughter's birth mother...you are brave. You are a gift. Your sacrifice has meant great rejoicing for so many families, but we know your loss was great. Thank you for choosing life.

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Sara Hagerty recently said it beautifully: "We so often look away from another’s bleeding — what do I say? how do I respond? — as evidence of how our eyes dart away from Him in our lack. We subtly believe His hands are tied against their pain that is unfamiliar to us and our own pain, which is very near. We see Him like a version of ourselves: dumbfounded in the sight of loss. But His hands aren’t tied.  And He doesn’t turn, He leans in to the broken."

This Mother's Day - rejoice with and for the mothers in your world. Let the know that they are amazing and worth celebrating! But don't be afraid to look for the woman who might not be celebrating, to remind her that she is nonetheless precious and valuable. Let her that it's okay to skip out on the festivities. Send her a note anyway.

Speak life to all of these women this Mother's Day.