Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shadow Mama

Surreal. Foggy. Shadows. Snapshots of Jana catch my breath. I see a younger, "me".  Both girls are head over heals in love and they don't recognize my smile as a vivid memory of  me and their dad as "young love".  Braden is a mixed up reflection of my dad and his dad, the two men who hold both my little girl and grown up heart.   All of these years and I'm still a  "Mommy" to a six year old,  a "Mama" to a ten year old.  I live with the shadow of other faces, echoes. Most days I struggle to embrace the "now" for living in the "then".

If I ever write a book, I  have the name..."Shadow Mama".  I should probably rename my blog.  It suits me.   I'm doing it all again except this time, in the middle of forty.  Two decades later I'm repeating kindergarten and fourth grade, Jesus Loves me and baseball, dance lessons and chores...laundry and more laundry, "because I said so" and mama love. Why does it seem like I did it all much better the first time?   There's another definition that sits below the surface.   I'm taking someone else's place.  This shouldn't be me.  My little girl should look into a face that resembles hers, reach for a hand that is ebony,strong and solid.  There would be no need for constant reassurance.  In this world as it could have been, my little boy would not yearn to look like us.  He wouldn't hate it so much when strangers sneak a second glance and a third. He wouldn't be anxious and angry about things he can't remember.

Perhaps the reason that I struggle with this so much is because I have the mixed blessing of motherhood  by both birth and adoption.  If I had only birth children, we would be a unit - past, present and future.  If I had "only" adopted children, I would glory in the "present", thankful for a future.  I feel caught somewhere between undeserving and not enough.


  1. Vsnda, I've enjoyed reading these posts on your blog-- thanks for writing! I could especially relate to the thoughts (sometimes selfish) of how different life would be if we'd not adopted 6 kids after our bio kids. But then of course I remember how clearly we were led, and what a blessing these precious ones are to us! (Work and all.)

    Mary, momma to many

  2. Thank you, Mary. I think my blog is more of a theraputic journal for me than anything else:) I usually write when I'm struggling. The blessings of children so outweigh the struggles. And in keeping with the idea of what we would be doing...peessople are beginning to tell me how young I look (which never happened when I was younger, it was always how "tired" I look). Keeping up with younger ones must be invigorating!