Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day

If you live in the United States, you are probably well aware of what's been dubbed the "Hallmark Holiday" known as Mother's Day.  This is a day where, at least in modern times, we send our mom flowers, take her out to brunch, send her a card, and generally let her know how great she's been all these years.

Believe it or not, the holiday has some pretty dark roots.  According to National Geographic:

It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace. And when the holiday went commercial, its greatest champion, Anna Jarvis, gave everything to fight it, dying penniless and broken in a sanitarium.

It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women's organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis—Anna's mother—held Mother's Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination, according to historian Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865.

Interesting, no?

As for my holiday, things were pretty quiet.  My sweetie and I went up to visit my mom. She fixed us a nice meal, I showed her how to do a few things on her tablet, and fixed (just by touching) her non-functioning TV remote control. We sent her and my future MIL some flowers.  It was a nice day.

Later that evening, I sent a few text messages to FosterEema.  Even though we aren't together anymore and don't see each other very often, we are still somewhat friendly. I wished her a "Happy Mother's Day" and asked if she had heard from Danielle.

She had not.

FosterEema reported that she rarely hears from Danielle.  When she does, it's only because she has called to ask for money or favors.

Am I surprised?  No.  Am I disappointed?  Only vaguely.

While I'd hoped for more from Danielle, she is who she is.  She's a victim of the decade of betrayal and broken relationships she experienced before she was placed in our home.  Her seven years with us weren't enough to magically cure her childhood of abuse and neglect.

Recently, I bumped into a prospective adoptive mother whose heart was full of dreams and the idea that she'll be able to adopt a perfect child from somewhere.  I tried to give her a dose of reality, and explained that any adoption, even a private one from a supposedly-healthy birth mother, is based on loss.

Adoption isn't the beautiful miracle that people want to believe.  Adoptions happen because a mother doesn't want, or isn't willing to do the things to keep, her child.  I find it hard to understand how a kid can thrive when they learn of that basic rejection of their humanity.

Yes, there is a need for loving foster and adoptive homes.  But even the best can't make up for a child being unwanted by their birth family.  Nothing can.