I just want to apologize to my fellow EOR ladies for being lame and missing my post last week. Things in my life have been crazy and while this is no excuse for shirking my responsibilities and I have been shirking.
This is the time of year that I begin to think a great deal about my two children’s birth mothers. I think of them often, but this time of year I think about them even more. Part of that is because we got Noah’s referral just a mere 3 days before Mother’s Day 2006. It certainly made the first Mother’s Day bittersweet.
Birthmother’s are special and so often they get a bad wrap or are just forgotten. I know when we first began the adoption journey, I leaned heavily towards international adoption because I will admit that I would have been very scared to have birthmother involvement. What if my child loved the birthmother more, etc. I realize now those fears were petty. Maybe they seem more petty now because my children will never get to know their birthmothers. They will never know what their birthmother’s were thinking when they gave them to “us.”
I struggle with ways to honor Noah and Zoë’s birthmothers. The past two years I have planted annuals. I think maybe this year I will plant two perrinals that will come back every year and remind each child of the special women half a world away that made it possible for us to be a family. My hearts breaks for these women and I hope they know just how much we respect and love them and just how amazing their children are. How healthy and loved and special they are.
Another way to honor mothers, especially those of us with Ethiopian children is to make a donation to EOR in honor of not just us but also our children’s birthmothers who so graciously have entrusted us to honor them, their culture and their children.
This past Saturday, October 25, 2008, Charlotte Ann Brayson Marquis passed away at AMC Mercy Center in Tupper Lake, NY. She was 94.
She owned her own business–a flower shop–at a time when women didn’t do that sort of thing. She also nabbed a man 10 years her junior when she married her husband Ambrose. She was the kind of women who, even in the early 1950s, drove a car with roof rack for skis on it, but posed next to it in a leopard print skirt suit and matching hat. She wrote her Granddaughters weekly letters, just so they would get their own mail. She also knit them whatever sweaters (with matching leg warmers, for a time!) were popular. She handmade an entire tree full of ornaments for each of them, so that someday when they were older and out on their own they’d have something to decorate their Christmas trees with. She watched her only child die on Christmas morning in a snowmobile accident, but stayed strong for her two young Granddaughters. She took in and loved stray dogs and cats. She would have heated arguments with her husband about the date the beaches at Normandy were stormed, until he reminded her he was there and he had a pretty good feeling he remembered what day that was, then they’d both erupt into laughter. Then she watched him die from complications resulting from a car accident. She endured painful arthritis, multiple open heart surgeries and a hip replacement. She lived to meet both of her Great-Grandchildren and to help her Granddaughter navigate the often frustrating roller-coaster of adoption. She touched all who knew her and was an example to live up to. She was my Grandmother, and she will be missed.
The family of Charlotte Ann Marquis has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc. Charlotte would be thrilled to know her legacy would be carried out this way.