Having a sense of purpose is one of the greatest gifts motherhood has bestowed upon me. I’ve always been a bit on the angsty side, and I live a little too much in my own head, so I’ve probably spent more time that I should questioning my purpose. You know, meaning of life and all. There have been years of floundering, and years of direction, but the meaning behind my purpose was firmly answered for me the night my son’s social worker pulled up in the driveway and a tiny child with huge brown eyes unbuckled himself from his car seat. I knew it, too. So many of the ‘big moments’ are ones that I don’t recognize as big until after they pass, but that one? I knew.
I love my girls with all my soul and cherish the opportunity to be their mom, but my son is the reason I was put on this planet.
I say that with as much humility as one could say such a thing, because man, there were some really dark days and I questioned myself deeply with every mistake I made (still do!). Nevertheless, the whisper was there – I could do this. I was meant to do this.
It’s been just over 4 years since I became his mom and my purpose gains a bit more clarity (or is it complexity?) every day. Now that my focus is not so narrowly directed at helping a child find his wholeness, I am feeling a call to advocacy. Adoption advocacy, foster advocacy, child advocacy, parenting advocacy? I’m not sure exactly what, but I do know that there is room for change and I’ve got some stories to share. This is why I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity here, and elsewhere, to test the waters on having my voice heard. CT Working Moms, Huffington Post, The Ricki Lake Show, and the list goes on – which is equal parts nerve-wracking and exciting!
There is one thing I never lose sight of, though. Always there, at the forefront of my mind, is the fact that the story I am sharing does not just belong to me. It also belongs to my son. We discuss every sensitive article or interview before it goes “live” in case he has any hesitations, but how much consent could a child give to something so amorphous? Creating community, voicing the tough stuff, being vulnerable and open as a writer vs. privacy and respect for our children – this is the line that many of us “mommy bloggers” have to balance with care. Though I do get my son’s sign off on anything that will have a very wide publication, I’ve never quite been sure how much he actually gets it.
Turns out, he gets it quite well.
A few days after my letter to him, about what it was like to “share” him with his birth mom, went up on HuffPost, he told me that he had been thinking about it, and he was glad we put it on the internet because he wants to help other kids like him.
He had a thoughtful smile on his face when he asked, “Can you write another story? I want to tell them that I like being adopted too. Sometimes I feel like I want to be un-adopted, but mostly I like it. That sounds like opposites, but its okay. You just feel what you feel. I want to tell the other kids like me that its okay to feel whatever you want.”
“And show them my thankful turkey.”
It took me 27 years to figure out just what my purpose in life would be, but my 7-year-old son – the one with the soul of a wise man and a smile that could disarm the most powerful army – just might be on the way to finding his.