I long to matter.
From the time I can remember, I longed to be a “Mom”. From a young age, I would caress my dolls while feeding them tenderly, cloth them in the best my little hands could offer, and then coo them softly to sleep, dreaming of the day I’d become real.
Infertility altered the dream, and so adoption became our hope for me to finally become. I remember that special day so long ago, as though it were yesterday. With sweaty palms and mind racing, we brought our 5 year old, non-verbal son with autism home, knowing that we were going to face some very rough waters as we all adjusted. We’d had many a long conversation about our decision, and knew this was God’s plan for us. He would go with us through whatever depths and storms. But nevertheless, I’d do it with a title I’d long awaited to be awarded.
Throughout his growing up, my little guy would thank me in his simple ways for being there for him, and then at times, within the next few moments lash out for the pain and suffering he was feeling as his world had been ripped apart through adoption. One moment, his savior, and the next his worst nightmare. Neither of us planned it that way. Waves can sweep anyone off their feet in an unexpected moment. As he hit puberty, the waves became higher and stronger, until the magnitude nearly toppled us. Yet, through it all, even though I’ve rarely heard him call me “Mom”, I assumed that was who I was.
I’ve begun reading a very insightful book entitled “Primal Wound” by Nancy Verrier in order to begin to better understand the calms and extreme storms of my son’s growing up years, and the wounds he still carries. And truthfully, I read it in hopes of better understanding my own pain.
As a result of what I’m reading, last week, I took the very painful, vulnerable step of asking my son if he ever considered me his “mom”, in hopes that this small gesture might open for him an avenue to speak his own thoughts on his adoption freely, for the first time. “No” was his simple, straightforward reply. In his world of non-verbal (minimal words) autism, straightforward is a way of life.
My universe began to unwind. Enmeshed in all the pain we have gone through, I’d always assumed. I should have known better, but I didn’t.
So, who am I? Others would say that I am still a Mom. I still play the role, and he still needs me. But the one who matters most in this negates that reasoning.
As I’ve had to consider who I really am, after all these years, I have also heard resounding in my mind, “If I’m not ‘Mom’, then who am I, and how do I matter in all of this?”
Late last week, a friend spoke, but through her tender words, I heard the distinct voice of my heavenly Father. “The questions, my daughter, are not, “Who am I?” or “How do I matter?”. The questions really are, “To whom do I matter?” and “How does that One see me?”
In that moment, a paradigm shift began ever so slightly inside. Healing began.
My son may never, in his own pain and journey, see me as “Mom”, nor should I now expect it. He had 2 moms prior to me, and lost them both.
He may never truly appreciate the needed role I play in his life, and sometimes, when he does, his pain may lash out rather than embrace.
Yet my heavenly Daddy is the One who charged me with this role, and he is the One to whom I will one day be accountable to for how well I played it. He is the One who strengthens me whether or not I hear “Mom”, “Thank you”, “I love you”, or whatever else I long to hear.
If I choose to play this role with all that is within me, I may be able to assist my son’s healing. I will matter, just in a way I didn’t expect.
And one day, I will hear those things I long to hear from the One who chose me.
Do I matter? Yes. When I ask the right questions.
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Thanks for listening!
With love and prayers,