Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Happy Mother’s Day


I want to take this time to wish every mom a Happy Mother’s Day, every mom.

Most take it for granted that this is just a simple Hallmark Holiday of flowers and a dinner out.  But the truth is, for many, there are so many different situations that affect how this celebration gets celebrated.

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Both of my daughters are adopted from China.  But as my oldest has discovered, she not only has two “mothers”, her adoptive and her biological mothers, there is actually a third “mother” that is a part of her life.  And the same is said for my youngest daughter, though at the time I discovered this information, she was too young to understand what it all meant.

So of course, they each have a biological mother.  Though it is not likely, if either daughter ever wanted to find their birth mother, I would support that effort fully.  And who knows, with technology, perhaps that chance may come.

When my oldest found out about her adoption situation, she referred to her birth mother as “my Chinese mom.”  This went on for quite some time.  And then I came up with an idea.  The way that she referred to her biological seemed so impersonal, without feeling, without connection.  I came up with an idea.  I asked her, what she thought her birth mother’s name might be.  Now keep in mind, she was maybe six at the time, and had seen plenty of children’s movies.  Madison named her “Crystal.”  And that is how her birth mother was referred to from that point on.

But one thing that I could do, and did, was research my daughters origins.  Hiring a private investigator, it was discovered that both daughters were cared for by foster families.  There was a 3rd mother that needed to be recognized in their lives.  I sent correspondences to both families, but only heard back from the family who cared for my oldest daughter.  The areas where both families lived were quite different, and it is possible that the other family had no way to communicate back with me.

A surprise came though, when not only finding out about the foster family for my oldest daughter, my daughter had a crib mate for the brief time while being cared for.  And at least for now, both that family and I know who each other are.  We have exchanged photos.  The only logistic hurdle to deal with is that we both live across the Atlantic Ocean from each other, but that is just a speed bump to the eventual meeting.

Some day, as I promised both of my daughters, I will make a pilgrimage with my daughters back to China if they wish.  I know where they came from, and have seen it.  But if they want to know their past, I will help them discover it.

But Mother’s Day can also bring out sorrow.  There is an expression that a parent should never have to bury their child.  It may not be uncommon if parent and child are in their senior years.  But it is also not uncommon for younger parents as well.  I personally know at least 4 mothers this day, who carry heavy hearts having lost their children, way too soon, some through illness, others by accident.

Finally, I will give a shout out to my mother.


My mother has witnessed so many challenges in my life which could have resulted in tragedy from my cancer diagnosis in 1988, my heart surgery in 2008, and two near fatal bouts of septic pneumonia in 2012.  But my mother gave me the best Christmas present this past year, by flying my daughters to visit me.  It was her first flight, and it definitely will not be her last.  This was the first time my daughters had vacationed with my mother.

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