Mothers' Day followed just a couple painful weeks later. I thought by Mothers' Day, I'd be the proud mommy of a cooing newborn, that I'd be busy with the work of folding onesies and changing diapers. Instead, it was a beautiful spring day filled with emptiness. Empty arms, empty crib. We went to church that day, but the building was filled with tiny children in their spring best, beaming mothers with corsages, and the homily was all about the joys and privileges of motherhood. I couldn't breathe nor stop the tears from rolling down my face nor the snot filling my nose, and I could feel everyone start to stare, so I escaped out to a miniature grotto near the parking lot.
A few weeks earlier, we had donated a pot of flowers to the church. I was working at a flower shop and carefully picked out beautiful, long-lived plants and moved them to a terra cotta pot. After we donated, we looked for it near the altar but it wasn't there. I joked, acidly, that my flowers must not have been good enough for the church.
When I got to the grotto, I saw those flowers there, right at the feet of Mary. It was the perfect place for them, where they'd get sunlight and natural rain. It was like a secret message. The flowers weren't put where I expected; they were put someplace better. I began to feel the first glimmerings of hope again, that maybe God had a different child planned for me, and that just maybe, I'd be able to stop crying someday. "The call" came just 3 weeks later, that we'd been chosen by the Nugget's Tummy Mummy.
3 years later, I am thoroughly soaking in the joy of Mothers' Day. I'm sipping my coffee while I hear our son's tiny feet thumping across the floor upstairs, while Hubby tries to wrangle him into the bathroom. Mass started 5 minutes ago, so we won't make it this year. I'm sitting in an office so cluttered, I'm embarrassed to let guests see it. My pile of laundry and dirty dishes beckons. I am sure that I need to change a bed sheet, because the Nugget slept for 14 hours instead of his usual 12. My life is so full. Every day is my Mothers' Day, because the journey to our son was so long, so unexpected, and so painful, that no matter how difficult he's being in the moment, there is also a thought ever-present in the back of my brain. "I am thankful."