The Painful Side of Mother’s Day

Blog_CactusFlowerMother’s Day is not a bouquet of fragrant flowers for everyone. For some, it feels more like a fistful of pain-inducing thorns—an unwelcome reminder of things lost. A day meant for honoring mothers becomes a time of remembering the one who was never there, or the one who left to soon. Or it maybe it awakens the droning ache of unfulfilled longing for motherhood.

For many years, that ache was my Mother’s Day companion. Though I was blessed with a good mom who inspired in me the certainty there was no greater calling than motherhood, I was unable to have children in the biological sense. Adoption was always something my husband and I had desired to pursue, so it was no hard decision to journey in that direction. The process, however, was another story.

While the outcome of adoption is always beautiful and miraculous, the process is the emotional equivalent of the pain and exhaustion involved in pregnancy and labor multiplied exponentially and drawn out for years. Despite all the toil and sacrifice, there were times when I wondered if it was ever going to happen. And more times than that I was tempted to give up.

My daughter turns nine this month. Her favorite past-time is playing with her four year-old brother. I sit here now, laptop on the kitchen counter, surrounded by bags of clothes they’ve outgrown. Exhaustion is setting in after a full morning at the laundromat and an even fuller afternoon of dishes, potty training and more. I spent the evening cuddling my son and reveling in my daughter’s smile, knowing God turned all my tears in to songs of joy. My children were worth the wait.

Through all my waiting, I learned that every tear sowed waters the ground for joy to spring forth. And that is my prayer for those who suffer on the painful side of Mother’s Day. May God give you eyes to see through your sorrow, and ears to hear him speak peace to your storms. May you know that our God is the lifter of heavy burdens and the comforter of all who mourn. He is able to sustain the weary, uphold the weak, and repair the broken, turning tears of sorrow into seeds of hope.

Source: The Painful Side of Mother’s Day

Photo Credit: Crown of Thorns, white spiked cactus with little red flower



    1. Yes, SO worth the wait! And God has done immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. I love connecting with other adoptive families. Even though we’ve never met face to face, we share so much in common. Like we’ve been on a journey together, though with different stories and outcomes. God bless you and your family, too!

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  1. I can so relate to this wonderful post. I spent 10 years crying and trying to skip church on Mother’s Day. We had 2 failed adoptions before finally adopting our precious children who are teens now.

    May God bless you.

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  2. I wanted to skip church on Mothers Day, too…the only problem was my husband and I were the music ministry leaders so I couldn’t skip! We had a few challenges along the road to our first adoption, but the second one was one trial after another. I think we had ten potential adoption opportunities that fell through before our son came along. After the last one, I was about to give up, but thank God I didn’t! So good to hear your story and your beautiful outcome. God is faithful.

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  3. I’m so happy you’re able to adopt! There will truly be a special place in heaven for those who do so. I hold my parents in Very high esteem because they did so. They chose me, I wasn’t an accident, they wanted me, which made me special.

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    1. How beautifully true…they chose you, you’re not an accident, they wanted you, and you are special. Praying my children and all adopted children grow up knowing and understanding the beauty of this truth!

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  4. Happy Mother’s Day!
    A greeting i’ve been longing to hear. After a failed ivf, here i wrote a poem about my experience, it’s called Lights and Doors, you might want to check it out i’ve a high respect with adoptive parents like you, we don’t know if we’re going to consider that, well actually my surname now when you translate in English is “adopting”. But we’ll be having our 2nd cycle of ivf which we moved to December since it was stressing. We think we needed a vacation before we start all over again.

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    1. Beautifully written poem. I ache with you, and pray you find “beauty for ashes, joy for tears, gladness for mourning, peace for despair.” Nothing is wasted, and may you find wisdom, hope, purpose, and peace in the midst of your journey.


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