This week marks the fifth anniversary of one of the most difficult weeks of my life. I was teaching grade 2/3 at the time and helping my students finish their unauthorized biographies of their mothers. (I have to tell you those books were the most precious texts, and the best idea I'd ever had for a Mother's Day gift. Many of the Moms tell me the book is their most prized possession. The children wrote about their mother's likes, dislikes, goals, fears, favourite and most hated things, all from their 6 and 7 year old perspectives.)
Anyway, back to why that week was so bad. My mom had passed away the year previously and I had moved my little sister into her group home 8 months earlier. I was feeling very down. Then some trivial thing happened, can't remember what exactly, and I started crying and crying (luckily I got myself out of the classroom and had a friend take over). For anyone who doesn't know me, this was completely out of character. I'm very much in control of my emotions, I've even been called cold by some 'friends'. I'm the kind of person who tears up a bit at a sentimental commercial or sad movies, but with my own life I'm more likely to be making a joke and laughing.
My principal at the time brought me into her office and made me a cup of tea. She tried consoling me but I kept saying I didn't know why I was crying. She finally said I was probably grieving my mother as the weekend would be the first Mother's Day without her.
I knew that wasn't the case. Don't get me wrong, I really miss my mother and I think about her every day. Even though I lived with my mother, I still called her multiple times a day to chat and in her final few years I worked close enough to come home for lunch a couple of times a week. Mom and I were very close. But we never celebrated Mother's Day in May. In our house, we celebrated in on September as that when my brother and I were born.
As I told my principal, that no it wasn't my mother that I was missing, the truth hit me. I would never have a child make me a Mother's Day gift. I'd never have a little one to love and raise as my own. At that point the tears really began to fall.
Practical and blunt as she always was, my principal said, "Well, why don't you go out and get yourself pregnant." I looked at her in shock. Oh, maybe I should mention, besides being single, I actually teach for a Catholic school board.
She laughed at my shocked face. And then she said, "If being pregnant and single isn't for you, why don't you adopt a child? You are a wonderful teacher and you would be a wonderful parent."
That night I began researching adoptions. I didn't begin my actual journey/paperwork right away as I knew I still needed to do some healing with the loss of my mother and my feelings about moving my sister into a group home. But that night, I began those first steps to motherhood, 5 years ago this week.