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.