I just got back from swimming with my sister and her family. I took the oldest 3 while baby Lenny stayed with her dad. We laughed, played, jumped, threw, and chased each other. It was such a fun and needed day with family. I realized shortly into our day, that being with them made me breath easier, and relax in a way I haven't in months. After getting back to the house, the kids left to go to their grandmas house with their dad. I was about to jump in the shower, when the thoughts started running through my mind. Lately I have thought to myself, "I should write that down so I can write about it later." And then I continue on doing whatever it is and I forget. Today, was different.
I have been on a LONG journey learning to love my body for what it is. I have come to accept what it is, what it can be, and what it will be. I am amazed at what it is capable of, and what it can be capable of, and what it will do.
Toady, as I walked to the shower, I looked at my body in a way I haven't before. I noticed that the extra sun I got from being outside the last 2 days, has accentuated those beautiful stretchmarks I received when I got pregnant with my children. I don't really think they are beautiful, I know other women do, but I don't. What I DO think, is that they are a visible sign of my past, my motherhood, my ability that I was lucky enough to be able to carry 5 children. It is a visible appearance of choices made, of stress, of sadness, of heartbreak. It is the ability to see redemption, faith, hope, and love.
As a birth mother, I still get told that I should just, "let it go, and move on...", and so on and so forth. Something that I don't believe many realize, is that even though we could, MAYBE, forget those babies we loved so much, some of us have daily reminders of them. I feared being intimate after placing that baby for adoption. I feared dating, and being close to anyone, because then someday they would actually SEE me. They would see the marks, they would SEE my past.
Some of us LITERALLY WEAR our pasts. We do not choose to hang on and remember every day; or do we really even want to remember in the beginning. But, my choices led to a pregnancy, which led to my body changing, stretching, moving, and becoming something opposite of what it was prior. My past has not faded physically, but has even been more accentuated because of the other children I had. If it were not for those stretchmarks, I probably wouldn't remember daily. I probably would not have been so scared and closed off. Then again, I probably would have been the same because I was so changed. I was so different. I was trying so hard to be something I wasn't, and hide something I was.
I wear my history on my body.
Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes its joyful. Sometimes I accept it; and sometimes I do not. I felt imperfect, and I believe many of the boys a dated after thought so as well. That is why they didn't last, or didn't even begin. There is more to having a fresh start, for us as birth mothers, when we physically see our past. It is hard to move forward, it is hard to forgive, its especially hard to feel like we fit in.
Remember, for us, that we wear our past. Most of us do, anyway. We won't forget. We will have fear about our future spouse, our families, the people we date... Will they believe we are worthy if they SEE my history? Remember for us, adoptive families, that we don't forget and that we love you. That the moments when we may not like you as we grieve, that we DO remember why we chose you. That we have to hold onto the reminders that we are Daughters of God, Daughters of a King. That despite our choices, our failures, our fears... that He is waiting for us to allow him to forgive us. For His grace, his love, his mercy.
I know I need to remember that right now more than I ever have before...
I am enough. I am imperfectly perfect. I am loved. I am lifted. I am His. I am a Daughter of God.
So are you. We can wear our pasts, and do so with class, with self confidence, and with a desire to continue to make better choices. WE ARE SO UNBELIEVABLY ENOUGH.