Heart-strings for my Sister-mom

Happy Mother’s Day, my friend. For the past two years, you have weighed heavy on my heart on this day, and I suspect you will continue to for the duration of my life. You see, your role in my life is unlike any other. Your impact to my motherhood is unmatched.

Ours is an unlikely friendship. We came together in difficult circumstances with lots of “firsts” for both of us. On the surface, it seems that our differences far outweigh our similarities, but there is one thing we share that unites us through it all, and it tips the scale so dramatically that we become more the same than different. It is them. They are the wildflowers that bring beauty to our common ground. They are the heartbeat of our sisterhood: our babies.

She was your first daughter. She’s my first daughter, too. Her sweetness captures us both, and that precious smile fills us with happiness. She is love – growing in grace, understanding, and beauty every day.  He was your first son – a potent introduction to the other world – the world of boys that used to be all I knew. He is my fourth, and a beautiful fireball of passion and energy. His eyes melt our hearts, and neither of us can hold back a smile when we hear his laughter. He is joy – bubbling with talent, and wowing us with intelligence.

They are just “littles” now – still innocent and unaware of the way their young lives have been altered. They may not fully remember you, but I do. I know your love for them. I’ve seen your tears, and heard your muffled cries that accompany the heartache of not holding them in your arms. I’ve heard your generously-given praise for my role as their momma, and my ears still ring with the sweetness of You’re giving them exactly what I wish I could  – the precious heart-salve-words that only you could give. I love you for giving life to these beautiful children and for desiring a better way for them. I made a promise to you, and I know you hold it close to your heart: I will make sure they always know of your love for them, and I will always honor you in the way I speak to them about you.

You are their first-momma, and I am their forever-momma; what a complex partnership we have. Not only am I their forever-momma, I am also the self-appointed keeper of their memories. The importance of this presses into my heart with such weight that I lose my breath. I want to build a hope-filled future for them, but I don’t want to rob them of their past simply because they can’t remember for themselves. I want our children to experience such a beautifully honest adoption that they never bear the weight or feel the pain of the loss like we have. It may be a hopeless battle, but I will give it my all. They already lost you in one regard. My heart breaks to think of them losing the strings that tie them to their starting place in this word. I collect pictures, letters, stories, memories…anything I can give them to hold on to. I imagine these strings running from your family to ours like a graceful instrument on which they can play songs of love and come to see the divine orchestration of their lives: all of the parts of them, in harmony.

I often wonder if you and I will ever sit together again – if we’ll ever share a hug or a conversation over a warm meal. I wonder if you will return to our lives in some fashion. I wonder if you’ll call again or if you’ll write. I know sometimes it hurts you to even think about those things, so I try to focus on having compassion for you and lifting you in prayer every day. The reality is, even if we never shared those things again, there is one thing we will share forever: our motherhood.

I pray our tangled heart strings will someday play the music of that bond so beautifully that the children we share cannot help but dance to its rhythm.

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