National Adoption Month Series: Donna’s Story

Parenthood is an amazing adventure. It is a road riddled with twists and turns and unexpected bumps. It’s also a journey filled with wonder, grace, and joy.

Pat and I never intended to have six children. When we were first married and talked about how many children we would have, I wanted four. Pat wanted two. In the end, we did both. Our first three sons arrived the conventional way. Our next three children arrived through the miracle of adoption.

My older boys were in their early teens when Pat and I became foster parents. One beautiful June evening, we were asked to open our home to a three year old girl and a seven month old boy, both of whom had the chicken pox. A few hours later, Patty arrived clutching a much-loved doll. She had big, brown eyes and a fearful, but beautiful smile. Anthony came into my arms and snuggled into my heart. A few years later, a judge made official the adoption that took place in our hearts that night. We had four sons and one daughter.

Shortly after Patty and Anthony’s adoption, we learned that their birth mother was expecting another child. We agreed to accept this child also. While my boys wondered who would have to share their room and Patty and I wondered if this baby would be another boy or if Patty would have to share her princess status, my husband wondered if we were nuts. When we received the phone call that a baby boy had arrived; I laughed and said, “We needed another one of those.”  We picked Connor up from the hospital when he was just three days old. 

Adoptive parents never really know for sure exactly what we are getting into, but birth parents don’t either. There are days in the lives of every parent when you want to tear your hair out and cry, “This is not what I signed up for!” I have been picking up Legos for 29 years. I have finally graduated out of car seats. I have slept in hospital beds with my arms wrapped around a sick child. I’ve worried when they’ve come home late. I’ve attended hundreds of parent-teacher conferences and countless holiday performances. I’ve lent my son an earring. I’ve overseen enough homework assignments to fill a library. I’ve had pool water spit in my face and baby spit-up on my shoulders. I’ve been blessed with tadpoles and dandelions crushed in a chubby fist. At one point we had one son in the Navy, two sons in college, and our baby in day care. I can bore you to tears telling you about my kids’ accomplishments. I am fiercely protective of them and want only the best for them.

We do not know a lot about our children’s birth mother, but this one thing I do know, she loved her children. She loved her children enough to give them life and we are so grateful she did. Our children, all of them, have enriched our lives far beyond what anyone could have told us.

~~~~~

Donna is a wife of 34 years to Pat and blessed with quite a lot – 5 sons, 1 daughter, a daughter-in-law, a dog and a cat, a house, a bunch of furniture, and a garage filled with everything but a car. You can follow her on the blog, HoliMess, where she shares about noticing God in the midst of our daily life through crafts, recipes, devotions, comforting words, and encouragement.

Donna

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When ‘Good Enough’ Just…Isn’t

As a writer (and probably every other profession out there), we are always looking for the next, big thing. That next, super-popular post gone viral, our 15 minutes of fame, or a new, original and undiscovered idea. And when we have it, we revel and bask in the glory, for a moment, that we have produced something quality, worthwhile and meaningful. Until the light fades and our public moves on to something newer, better or flashier. And we are left, once again, to frantically search and grasp for that next thrill, that next great idea; something that will be good enough to get the attention of the masses…again.

Every time this happen on this crazy wheel of blogging, I ask myself, what if I’m not good enough? What if I cannot come up with something else? What if eventually those great ideas and posts just run dry? What if I can never achieve that NEXT thing? What if…?

As a blogger, I compete with hundreds of thousands of other writers and websites for my readers’ attention. I’m up against very talented women who blog about family, crafts, homeschooling, marriage, Christian living, recipes, and on and on and on. Even so, I like to consider myself in a smaller niche of writers where I won’t post the healthiest and tastiest crock pot recipe, the best tips and tricks on being an organized, homeschooling SAHM, or the most beautiful, pinterest-ready image featuring my amazingly inspiring words of wisdom about godly parenting and marriage. And unless I think it is absolutely something my readers cannot live without, you won’t find shamelessly promoted affiliate links or randomly advertised products within my content.

I consider Made to Mother a ministry….a nonmoney-making space where woman can feel refreshed or encouraged in their trials and triumphs of motherhood by reading about other’s similar stories or sharing their own. But, despite this resolve, I still have to compete with the many, many, MANY other bloggers out there who want the same readers’ attention. And I admit, I dream of the day when I have thousands of hits a day on my site, so many entries for stories that I have to turn some away and even more comments, likes and followers than I can keep up with. Granted, I am not there yet, but I think that for only having started M2M seven months ago, it is doing fairly well. Still, those “what ifs” are always in the back of my mind and I am consistently forced to lay this blog and its future at the feet of the One who has orchestrated and placed a writing burden on my heart.

So, when I feel that I am not good enough, that Made to Mother is not good enough, I remind myself that He IS and I trust that He will guide both as long as He sees fit.

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M2M is participating in the 2014 Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

If you are visiting from the 2014 Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Moms, welcome! Please take your time and peruse some of the amazing, inspiring and encouraging stories of REAL moms that I post here on Made to Mother. They will make you laugh, cry and feel united with a spirit of motherhood camaraderie!

A Little About Me
I am a wife to Jonathan, my husband of nearly nine years and stay-at-home mommy to our three young children, Chloe, Adaya and Liam. I am also a birth mom to a teenage boy out there somewhere. You can read more about that here, and for ALL the messy details, you can order a copy of the book I wrote about it here.

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I love to write, it is like free (okay, cheap) therapy for me. I also love to read. And talk with my girlfriends. That is why I began Made to Mother; it kinda combines all three! I am passionate about helping other women share their stories so they can experience the freedom of putting their pasts, no matter how messy, on paper and then watching it become an encouragement to others.
You can find out more about my M2M Project here and I hope in addition to reading some of the other heart-warming stories I’ve posted, you will consider letting me share your story, too!

Here are just a few of my absolute favorite stories posted here:

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