Monday, August 22, 2011

The Expectant Mother

Walking from my car through the's parking lot I inevitably turned my head to see the "Expectant Mother" parking sign. The familiar twinge of sadness in my heart ebbed for a few moments while I made my way inside the store.

I am an expectant mother. My baby lives thousands of miles away and not in my belly, but he is our son and we are his parents.

I don't need a special parking space or help picking things up when they fall. There is no need to dote on me and get me pickles and ice cream, but I feel the same way any mother feels who is pregnant. I think of baby Wee every day. I image what he will smell like and look like when he arrives. I hope that he is happy and healthy, although I rest assured that his foster mother is filling his heart with love and teaching him everything she can before he leaves her home.

Throughout my journey to motherhood I have learned a lot of things. I have learned about grief, joy, finding the good in life despite extreme pain. I have learned that I can endure and come out the other side a better person, someone who appreciates the difficulties in life because of the reward that can follow. Motherhood to Min and now baby Wee is unbelievable and remarkably I still marvel at my 4 year old nearly every day. I find myself taking moments while he is singing, jumping on my furniture, eating breakfast, and being silly to stare in awe that this is my child. I have also learned a lot about what parenthood means and what a complete joy and gift it is to raise children.

When do we become expectant mothers? I understand now that it happens long before we decide to try and conceive. It even happens before the marriage. Each woman may not think about having a baby in depth when they are young or beginning to start a life with someone, but motherhood is part of being a woman. There is an expectation of parenthood someday.

I remember playing with dolls, changing their diapers, giving bottles and rocking them in a cradle. I always had tons of names in mind. Like most kids I didn't particularly like my name and always thought I could come up with something better! As I got older thoughts formulated about things I would do with my children. I am a linguist. I knew I wanted to teach my kids Italian and Spanish. They would grow up in the Thousand Islands at our family cottage. Memories were created long before I wanted to become pregnant.

Now that I am a mother and fulfilling those thoughts and dreams I have new hopes for my second child. He will be 18 months when he comes home from Korea. I hope that his transition into a new life will be easy for him. I am so thankful for Min because he will help his little brother become acclimated to all the new sites, smells, and sounds of our home. He will give him affection and talk to him, helping him to learn English. He will be a great big brother.

Expecting our second child through adoption is another surprise in my life that is nothing less than magical. Being an expectant mother for the second time feels the same as waiting for Min but different as well. The wait is longer. There is a different level of difficulty in imagining how he is doing and what he is like. I try not to think too much about how fast he is growing and what we are missing but rather all the time we will have with him.

As an expectant mother I may not need to be helped out of the car or supported when feeling anxious about a pregnancy, but I do need help in the long wait until baby Wee comes home. There are tough days thinking about the remaining five months until we get the call that he is coming. I need help rejoicing in his existence and what life will be like when we all get to hug him and meet him for the very first time.

*image provided by google images.


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