The waiting seemed unbearable, as my friends and family members and acquaintances and everyone in the world (it seemed) grew round with expectation. I remained flat, or rather, soft with my belly only protruding from the burrito I just ate.
The complaints of pregnancy stifled me from sharing my craving for pregnancy. The exhaustion and frustrations, the sleepless nights they all raged about, restrained me from revealing the deep longing I had to understand. To experience. To suffer from motherhood.
I craved mama hood in the core of who I was.
As we began the adoption process, a journey we knew we wanted with every part of us, the eager expectation arrived in the form of paperwork and applications and visits from social workers. My belly wasn't stretching round but my soul sure was. As I discovered, yet again, a positive pregnancy test confirming that there was a baby not only growing “in our hearts” but also in my womb, the anticipation continued to flourish. Could it be possible for us to grow by two in one year?
The privilege of mama-hood was upon me. I was inching closer to it.
When his biological mama placed him into my arms and said, “Here is your son,” I won’t forget the emotions that swept over the whole of me, consuming me with awe. The moments were joy-filled and grief-filled, but more than anything they were sacred. I won’t forget the concrete understanding, kneading into my heart and mind, of the depth of that privilege. The privilege of being his mama. Of being chosen to be his mama.
When I met my second-born son, we shared tears and meeting one another was hard. Not only were the first moments of our meeting sorrow filled, but he was colicy, crying constantly for months on end, screaming for hours and hours in the car, never wanted to be sat down and being his mama was harder than I had expected. But the privilege of being his mama, the magnitude of the miracle of him, was not and is not lost on me.
The treasures of their little lives astound me, pressing me further into acknowledging the privilege of being theirs.
As I shed tears and processed through layers of grief, both of my boys such miracles in their own ways and both of them with stories to reveal that, the privilege of mama-hood resounded loudly. The privilege of being mama is not lost on me, despite the dragging exhaustion and endless sleepless nights and constantly being needed, the constant pouring out of myself. That I get to be theirs, that He gave me to them, that I have the honor of attempting to teach them to love well...that honor of being trusted with their lives? Wow.
Learning how to juggle two babies at once, struggling to feel confident in the decisions I make, craving to build intentional and important relationships for my boys as they grow, tired and exhausted but not yet weary. Being mama is hard and I’ve barely begun.
A year into being mama, and the privilege rings in my heart and soul day after day. A year into being mama, and I continue to sing thanks. A year into being mama, and we have had some tough days, some tear-filled days, some of the longest nights, but through and through is a thread weaving thanks and grace. This life? It is wholly undeserved and I will continue to find joy and thanks. Even after the hardest of days, I will fight to find grace.
Being a mama, it is a privilege that is not lost on me.
, by Susannah