Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is a special day. It's my mom's birthday!

Fifty-three years ago, these two über-stylish folks ...

... were at a party. I don't know all the details, but I do know that at one point during the party, they got a phone call from someone at Quintard Hospital - the phone call they'd been waiting for. Their baby had been born, and it was a girl!

Some people might have been confused had they listened in on that phone call. The lovely lady was, after all, about eight months pregnant. Had the hospital called the wrong people?

Nope. Because their new baby was special. Their little girl had been born to this young woman:

They didn't know her name. They didn't know how old she was or where she lived or what sort of person she was. All they knew was that she had made the bravest, most selfless and impossible decision a mother can ever make. She had chosen to place her sweet, tiny baby girl for adoption.

I don't know the exact timeline of things. I don't know how long that newborn girl stayed in the hospital with the woman who gave her life. But I do know that young woman placed her baby in the arms of the lovely lady and asked, "You'll have her sealed to you, won't you?" And the lovely lady tearfully replied in the affirmative. She kept her promise. Many months later the lovely lady and the handsome gentleman took that baby girl to the Los Angeles temple and became her parents for eternity.

The young woman didn't know any of this. She never knew what had happened to the tiny girl she placed for adoption. She had no way of knowing anything about her - whether she was happy and safe, whether she had a good life, whether she succumbed to a childhood illness, whether she'd been disfigured in an accident, whether she believed in God ... she never got pictures or visits or letters or updates. When she handed that newborn to the lovely lady, she said goodbye forever.

I wonder where she found the strength to do such a thing! What a brave, noble choice. I am so thankful for it. I am thankful for that impossible courage. I am thankful that she made that choice. That darling girl ...

... grew up, of course, to become my mother.

From her birth mother, my mother got tenacity, strength, courage, a handful of quirks and of course the DNA that gave her hazel eyes and brown hair and a body that stopped growing taller at 5-foot-2 and a laugh that gets goofy when she's tired. And from her mother, she got love, patience, kindness, loyalty, responsibility, joy, knowledge, a love of God and a strong testimony of the Gospel ... and the odd annoying habit, of course. My mother is the incredible woman she is today because of both of her mothers. The mother who grew her and gave her life and sacrificed so much for her, and the mother who is her true, real, forever mother, the one who raised her and loved her and cared for her and taught her and took her to the temple.

Today, on my mother's birthday, I am more thankful I can say for both of my mom's mothers. Because of her birth mother, I had the strength to place my Roo. And because of her mother mother, MY mother is an amazing, smart, strong woman, herself a good mother and an inspiration to me.

Happy birthday, best mother of mine. I love you.


jgirl said...

Wonderful post Jill! I'll bet you anything you make your Mom proud, she's a great lady...=0)

Janine said...

your mum is beautiful Jill, and looks nowhere near 53! WOW. thanks for sharing her story as a Mother mother it inspires me to hear stories like that!

Oh and Happy Birthday Jills mum!

- Janine

Jill Elizabeth said...

I mean absolutely no offense to my mother, but she doesn't usually look quite this spectacular. This was for an ad for her stylist, so it's the result of an amazing makeup artist and probably a few rounds of Photoshop.

NOT that my mother isn't beautiful. But she'd be the first to tell you that she doesn't look exactly like the picture, and that she likes her face the way it is, with the odd wrinkle and blemish.

Shane, Meg, CJ, RJ, and AL said...

Happy, happy birthday P! (Not sure if I should use your mom's real name or not, so P will have to suffice.) ;) Thank you for being the wonderful mother you are and for sharing your story with us as Jill shares her story with us. I love it all so much more because it's like a beautiful, wonderful complete circle with all your connections to adoption together. Beautiful post Jill, really so lovely!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Ooh, I love this post! Happy Birthday Jill's Mom!

Danya said...

OMGosh this post made me cry. What a beautiful story! THANK YOU for sharing!!!!!!!!

<3 Danya

AubreyMo said...

This post about made me cry. Happy Birthday to your mom! And a big shout out to the women who have influenced her life in such big ways. Adoption is amazing.

Peggy said...

Your grandma DeWitt would be so proud of you and pleased at what you wrote!
Great job! What a wonderful tribute. Thank you. I'm so proud of you!!

Mom :)