Happy birthday, Mommy!

946402_241348532687674_1813481383_nThere are a number of moments in motherhood that say, “It’s OK, you’re doing OK.” I get those when my kids give me a fist full of dandelions and tell me that it’s a gift or make me a drawing at school. Mothering is a sacrifice, it’s humbling and just the most incredible thing that ever you could be gifted with here on Earth. If you’re a mama you know that your birthday is one of those incredible times to get buried in kisses and snuggles and I’d just love for that to happen for a dear mother today…Her turn will come.

I remember in New Moms Network we had a discussion question back in 2005 when my oldest was 3 months old that will never leave me, “When was the first moment that you really felt mother to your child?”

I went home so depressed because I didn’t know. It actually has nothing to do with giving birth, some say it does and you can convince yourself of anything but that wasn’t it for me. Yes, lots of pain. But my bond was much more of a still small voice as is my whole relationship with this particular son. Stephani, the mom who celebrates her birthday today is dreaming of what her relationship will be like with her daughter who has no idea that there is a mom for her. Jesus knows, but this child does not. We’re talking about the miracle of adoption for Zola.

But the truth is, you do not need to give birth to a child for that child to be your daughter or your son. After all, we are adopted into Christ’s family.

When my newborn infants eyes are for my breast and their need is for me, I know who I am, but if I were to die, someone else could feed and clothe them. The hours that I spend with that child, nurturing and learning together those times bring us close and our bond has become incorrigible.

I would not exchange any one of my children for anything in the world. My days after my second child were so busy. Pulling fights apart, balancing wills and attentions. But through thie tense moments that siblings have, there has always been love and that goes back to mom. It begins with her and proceeds through to the children who live with each other and make up the family.

As my children come to me to share with me their achievements and desire my appreciation for the growth that they have made as individuals and as respond to that is the fulfillment and continuation of my necessary role life goes on and we grow together that’s just the way time slips by and the reason mama’s take pictures–to save those moments!

Saturday April 4th, 2014 a very special mama turns 28. Her name is Stephani Obenauf.

I only know her through the adoption community, but hope that if it weren’t through that we would have met otherwise since she seems like a really cool person. The first line of her bio is, “Stephani always wanted to be a mother.” Me too! Whatever it took, I actually really hoped adoption would be a part of God’s journey for me and have that yet to be revealed. Continuing into Stephani’s story beyond the desire to be a mom is a terrible loss that is the deepest fear of all moms who have one on the way, “stillborn” This mom’s little one missed knowing her mom here on Earth. I’ve lost a baby too, mine in 2006. Stephani’s daughter Emma would be the same age now as my son Willie who is such a treasure to my life. Zola, Stephani’s daughter who is in Eastern Europe right now is two years younger than the baby that went on ahead–both little girls born years that I had children.

My world is all about my children and I have a pretty good idea that the same is true for Stephani’s heart which is why as Stephani is turning 28 on Saturday I’m talking motherhood because birthdays are about celebrating yourself and what God’s given you and motherhood is a very special gift that he has given Stephani. While neither of her daughter’s are here to write her notes in crayon, as I have and you may also, I know all this mom wants right now is to have Zola where she belongs, which is home in Michigan.Zola-Photo-2-Apr-2013-267x300

Truly the best way that you can help is to give financially and to offer up to heaven a happy prayer of thanks. Thanks for another year and a spirit to press forward. Cheers to adventures and not too many disappointments. This mama knows that the road to a child through adoption is not perfectly clear and has to have a heart strong for whatever may come. Love from your daughter no doubt. She has no idea that you’re coming for or the fun that she has in store! I’m so excited for your future together.

By the way, I lost sleep over that question in New Moms Network and stick with my thought then these years later as I’m coming up on my son’s eight birthday as we’re working through epilepsy together. I had to share with the group on the next meeting a whole week later even though they were on another topic. My answer was I know my belonging when I feed my child. When I’m OK being soaked with over lactating for that newborn baby, fine living without sleep for my child, that’s how I knew that I was Mother.

While Stephani does not get that with Zola’s infancy, she gets the lifetime ahead of them together to learn to feed and dress to comfort and love.

Just because the infancy is not there to share, there is so much more to be mother over and it is there and beyond that she will feel and be mom. I am so excited for Stephani and for her darling daughter to become a Obenauf in God’s time. If you want to help Stephani celebrate 28, please click on one of her pictures and give to her adoption fund. Stephani writes regularly and throws her heart into fundraising with not much response. Please do visit her blog for updates and consider celebrating her birthday with a donation today. Faith, Hope, Love


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