Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Color Of Love

Whether you’re a mother, are trying to be, haven’t even considered it, or consider the notion anathema, the drive to be maternal or be ‘mothered’ and nurtured is strong. We don’t always realize we fill a maternal role in the lives of many around us: friends, office mates, our kids’ pals. It’s healthy and feels good and is a real honor when we realize someone’s placed us in that position and we’ve accepted the role.

My mom’s best friend died almost 12 years ago. She was a woman who had her own kids, but always had time for me when I needed to talk about stuff I just couldn’t share with my mom. I still miss her and hope my daughter finds the same with a woman I trust, perhaps a Chinese woman who can give her the insight into her culture her birth mother would have.

I think about our daughter’s birth mother often; I ‘met’ our daughter Mother’s Day weekend in China, nine years ago, a laughing, smiling yet serious little girl who was ‘abandoned’ where she would be found as her mother most likely hid and looked on as usually is the case.

A ‘finding notice’ was placed later in a local tabloid paper in the remote farming area where my daughter was found by a man arriving for his job at a construction company. The tabloid is one filled with “true romance” stories, some tragic, some happy, sold to excruciatingly poor, young Chinese girls and women with little to hope for in life. The finding notices are a last shot at determining whether a child may legally be taken into the care of the municipality and put up for adoption.

The finding notice read something like, “Baby girl found wrapped in a man’s suit with a red
paper pinned to lapel indicating birth date of one month.” Remember, in China, red is the color of good luck, happiness, prosperity.

A desperate mother and father willing to give up a child after caring for her for one month because of government restrictions and thousands-of-years-old-cultural issues ridiculously complex and difficult to understand and far too easy to judge. And parents do this for a chance that their child’s life will be healthier and happier with the possibility of adoption, yet without their love and care.

I see my daughter’s birth parents in her smile and eyes. I wonder if they struggled with the same tasks as she when they were young. But I don’t wonder whether they think of her often; they loved her so much that they sacrificed their happiness for hers – not something a parent forgets.

This morning, our daughter gave me a poem she wrote as a Mother’s Day gift, and I want to share it with you as a gift and in honor of her birth parents. And just so’s you can share the love this morning, too.

I love you the reddest!
I love you the color of your bright heart shaped necklace.

I love you the color of a strong rose standing tall.

The color of your sweet heart.
The color of red steaming sweet peppers.

The color of love and sweetness that spreads around the universe.

The color of a shiny and glossy ruby.

Love you more.
Encore! "I Love You Like Crazy Cakes," written by Rose Lewis and illustrated by Jane Dyer is a lovely and moving book that tells the story of a little girl's journey from orphanage to single mom's new home and life in America. Respectful and full of love and light, the book is a beautiful tribute to the making/blending of a family and international adoption. It's the perfect addition to any family's or classroom's library.
Lord Ian winners: heatherb; ashley ladd; Please write me @ w/your snail mail by noon 5.11.
Tails of Love Pet Photo Mascot Extravaganza begins Tuesday with "Tails of Love" benefit anthology authors GuestBlog including Lori Foster, Stella Cameron & Pals. Have fun 'n help pets in need!


ev said...

Now that's a great mom's day present.

Mine flew in from CA to surprise me, and did she ever! Planned it with hubby and her youngest brother, since Feb! And they kept it from me so well. It is so hard to surprise me.

Best. Mother's. Day. Ever.

Keira Soleore said...

Way to make me cry on mother's day!
What an amazing poem. Your little treasure is indeed the reddest of the rainbow.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

What a nice surprise, ev; yes, you do seem pretty unflappable. Hope you're having fun! Although you're taking a surprise guest much better than I would have, I think!. Enjoy the visit. :)

What a nice thing to say, Keira. I was feeling very verklempt myself. Thanks for taking the time to let me know you liked it, too.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post :)
The poem had me teary eyed... such love.

Caffey said...

Happy mother's day Michelle and all!

I think too we're moms if we have pets, we are aunts, work with kids, anyway we are! And then there are so many that are Mother figures to us. I had a beautiful mom and miss her dearly. I remember in college that I found a sign language class and took it up (My mom didn't want me to learn signing when I was young but she was for it when I was older) and the woman I met became another mom to me, opening up the world of communicating and learning! My mom always told me she couldn't be there every moment for me and hoped that I had others that could be there for me, so she was thrilled. One other thing I thought about alot today and recently as this mom's day was coming is that she said "Love You Always" and told me she said that so that I knew that she loved me always until the next time she told me.

Playground Monitor said...

I'm typing through the tears. What a beautiful story and what a special poem from your daughter. It doesn't matter how you become a child's mother, the bond and love is the same. I'm grateful my mother is still living, especially since we lost my dad in 1970 at age 48. I'd fight the biggest army in the world to protect my boys, and I never knew just how much more love I had to give until my granddaughter was born.


Monica Burns said...

Wonderful post, Michelle. Sounds to me like your daughter scored on both ends of the parental spectrum. Parents who loved her enough to give her up and another set of parents who took her into their hearts.

My hats off to you Queen B.

Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day. I got breakfast amid the usual yelling. LOL

Fedora said...

Michelle, hugs to you and your family! Thanks for sharing that with us! Hope your Mother's Day was fabulous!

Myrin said...

Oh Michelle, what a beau-tee-full story! I love it!
I don't have children yet but I hope one day I'll be in the same situation as you, receiving such wonderful gifts.

amy kennedy said...

Nothing I say can compare to what you've said. Lovely. And I love that kid (both your kids)so much, it does make me crazy.

hope every one had a lovely mother's day.

David B. said...

As I said yesterday, Michelle, this is a lovely post. I'm glad you shared this with the bellas.



pjpuppymom said...

Thank you for sharing that, Michelle. Your blog was beautiful and heartfelt and your daughter is clearly a very special young lady. Her poem was so sweet and loving. Both made me cry happy. :)

Unknown said...

You and your daughter are very blessed to have each other.