I saw a sign on posted on a church marquee the other day – “Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.”
I’d have to agree.
If you’ve been following me on Facebook or reading my blog for the last several years, you have probably learned that I was adopted. Palm Beach Post reporter Carlos Frías wrote an in-depth story in 2010.
See, the story is pretty remarkable if you ask me, but not for the reasons that you may think.
In 1978, my parents started their lives as husband and wife. My Dad already had two kids from a previous marriage, but naturally my parents wanted to have a family, too. My mom’s heart ached for a baby. She prayed and believed that God would one day bless her with a baby of her own.
They were on the adoption waiting list for Children’s Home Society and the Department of Children and Families. They filled out hundreds of pages of paperwork. They had home visits from social workers. They had done everything they possibly could do. For eight years, they waited for a baby.
The story about my birth, that’s been told to me for the past 25 years, goes something like this. A 19-year-old girl just happened to be driving through Pahokee when she felt sharp stomach pains and decided to go to the hospital. The doctors told the girl she was in labor and about to bring a baby into the world – a baby that she did not even know she was carrying and a baby that she definitely did not want. She told the doctors immediately that that she would be giving the baby up for adoption. So, this is how I made my appearance into the world.
As Carlos Frías wrote – “Back in the delivery room, the baby no one expected comes into the world. It is 9:10 p.m., Aug. 4, 1986. She is 6 pounds, 6.5 ounces, 19 inches long. She has no name, and for all real purposes, no mother.”
I had no mother.
I had no mother to love on me when I was born, and I had no excited family awaiting my arrival – at least not in those first few moments of my life.
I had no Momma.
When Linda Raineri, my Momma’s best friend, found out that this young girl wanted to give up the baby for adoption, Linda ran to the nearest phone and called my Momma. All Linda said to my Momma was, “Do you care if it’s a boy or a girl?”
Without a moment’s hesitation and without even consulting my Dad, my Momma said – “No, it doesn’t matter. I want the baby.”
Right there in that moment, I received the best gift I would ever receive in my life– I received a Momma.
I had a Momma, who would soon love on me and snuggle me.
I had a Momma, who would read me bed time stories and rub my hair when I was scared because I saw a monster.
I had a Momma, who would nag me about cleaning my room and doing my homework.
I had a Momma, who would dance with me and paint my toe nails, even still at the age of 25.
I had a Momma, who would always believe in me, always set me straight, and always love me even when I don’t deserve it.
Some might say I am the miracle child – an answer to prayer. Ask my Momma and that’s what she’ll tell you – every single time.
But I look at things a little differently; Tanya Margo Martin Wills is the miracle mother.
Without even seeing me, she chose me to be her daughter – forever.
Without even holding me, she chose to love me as her daughter – unconditionally.
She chose me.
She chose to be my Momma.
Happy Mother’s Day to the most incredible Momma I know.
I love you with all of my heart – forever.