My First (Almost) Mother’s Day


My first mother’s day as a mom…I can’t even type that without tearing up. For years I have anticipated the second Sunday of May with a mixture of gratitude for all of the great mothers in my life and despair because I still wasn’t a mom myself. But even though DJ isn’t here yet, this was a really wonderful Mother’s Day.

In the morning, I walked in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Curewith several members of my family. While I was nervous about the weather (it is Pittsburgh so it was bound to be rainy & chilly regardless of how nice it has been lately), the event felt especially important this year since a good friend of my sis-in-law is battling breast cancer. I know from doing the walk in the past that it is a very humbling and empowering experience being surrounded by so many cancer survivors and their loved ones. I also felt really fortunate to be able to participate this year as a mom myself.

In the afternoon, my family threw us a book-themed shower for DJ. Like every event that my family plans, it was amazing! From my favorite flowers to the delicious food to the great decorations, I was really blown away.

Photo by Susie Puskar

Photo by Susie Puskar

One of the best parts was the “advice tree” that they made where all of the guests could pin their words of wisdom for John and me. As you might’ve guessed, the advice ranged from the profound to the silly. I was really touched by how often family members encouraged us to call on them when we needed help or encouragement. Our family has been so amazingly supportive throughout all of this, and I feel an immense sense of gratitude to all of them.

Some of the most poignant advice came from our nieces & nephews:

Play toys with him.

Don’t ask about girlfriends.

Be good at packing lunches.

Don’t feed him peanuts. (DJ has a peanuts allergy)

But the single piece of advice that I’ll probably repeat to myself an infinite number of times over the next few years came from my dear brother-in-law:

It is always a good day when you don’t go to the emergency room.

Throughout the day, of course, my thoughts were with DJ. I couldn’t help but be envious of his foster mom who would be spending the day with him. What must be going through his young mind? For him, Mother’s Day must be–at best–bittersweet. And this year, not just a little confusing. He can’t be with his biological mom, and then there’s this strange “Mom” in Pittsburgh that he’s never talked to or seen in-person before.

It makes me more than a little sad that even though it will always be an especially joyful day for me, Mother’s Day will never be an easy or simple time for DJ. In the years to come, my hope will be to help Dominick make it a day that he can focus on good memories of all of his “mothers”: myself, his grandmothers, his aunts, his biological mother, and his foster moms. And more than anything, I hope he knows how proud I’ll be to be his mom!


10 responses »

  1. None of us can ever have enough moms in our lives! When Mother’s Day feels complicated, and there seem like a bunch of people to honor on that day, just focus on how lucky he is to have so many people who love him in different ways and in different capacities. Love is one of those things that you can always use more of…and it sounds like he will have it in spades with you and your family. Complicated? Maybe. Sometimes challenging? Yes. But phenomenal??? Most certainly!

    Happy First Mother’s Day!!!

  2. I am so glad that you had such an awesome Mother’s Day, Margaret! I cried when I read your post. Domenick will be so blessed to be part of such a loving family. I wish you all the best.

  3. That book shower idea is an amazing idea for older child adoption I might steal/use it! Also, any new on when you get to travel and pick up your son?

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