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Enough for Me, by Cindy Wolfe

Dear Mama,

It’s Mother’s Day and everyone I know is sending flowers and candy to their real mothers to celebrate. But you and I know that I can’t do that. My mother said she just couldn’t handle one more baby. She cried in your arms and you begged her to stay; to wait, to think; to stop the drugs and the life that sucked her very breath away. But she was too young, too foolish, and too lost in herself. So you said yes, and took me and showed me the love my own mother could not give. I never knew or understood the pain you felt that first night when you bundled me up, took me home, and held me as I cried long into the night.

You were there when I took my first step and lost my first tooth. You held my hand on the first day of school as I skipped to class in my new shoes. I said you were my mother and no one asked why you were so much older than all the other moms were. You made cupcakes for birthdays and took me to piano lessons. I never questioned your love, support, or kindness. You simply smiled and called me “sweet daughter” and that was enough for me.

I never knew you were anything but my mother until the day I saw my birth certificate when I applied for my drivers’ permit. The day, the place, the time…all of these were right, but the names shown as mother and father were strangers to me. Who were these people? My heart broke when I realized you were not my mother at all, but someone else, someone with no connection to me. Who were you and why was I here?

You did not flinch when I told you I hated you and I turned away from the only security that I had ever known. You did not stop me when I cried for my real mother and tried to find her. I was so young, foolish, and lost in myself. You still called me “sweet daughter,” but now it just wasn’t enough for me.

You simply waited until the day when I was broken enough to listen to the story of my birth. You pulled me into your arms and held me as I trembled and cried as I had done the first night we were together. You whispered and talked about my mother, young and afraid; the young girl who found herself pregnant again after my father kicked her out. A poor mother with other children she could barely feed because she had no job and no hope for anything better. My mother could not hold me when she saw that I was a girl, a little piece of herself to remind her of her failures. On the night I was born, I met the mother who loved me so much she gave me away to the woman who would love me even more.

I spun from being someone with no mother, alone and afraid, to having two mothers who loved me enough to sacrifice all they were because of me. My birth mother knew she could never be the mother I needed. You were older, wiser, and already knew how much responsibility a new baby can be. You were the woman who loved me from the first moment and who was not afraid to give me a home. You never looked back wishing you could have made a different decision. I finally realized that you had always been my mother no matter what the birth certificate said. Just as on our first night together, I cried and you pulled me close and called me “sweet daughter,” and that was enough for me.

So on this Mother’s Day, I am proud to call you “Mama,” which means much more than “mother” will ever mean to me. My real mother loved me enough to give me away, but you loved me far more to take me in. I celebrate our love and our life together as more than mother and daughter on this Mother’s Day. I have always been your “sweet daughter,” and that is enough for me.

Happy Mothers’ Day, Mama.

Your “sweet daughter,”
Angela

This letter is dedicated to the women who choose to be mothers when others cannot.

~~~

Cindy Wolfe believes in personal fulfillment through education and training. Her experience as a manager, author, professor and student gives her a unique view about motivating others to succeed. She lends encouragement to readers at her thinkPhD blog. Read more from Cindy on Associated Content.

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5 Responses to “Enough for Me, by Cindy Wolfe”

  1. Kim says:

    I so completely understand. It is a blessing to have a mama who CHOSE to love you.

  2. Cathy Doheny says:

    Thanks for this letter, Cindy. I am an adoptive mother and hope that my daughter always sees me as her “real” mother.

  3. Linda St.Cyr says:

    This letter has me weeping. It is so beautiful and touching.

  4. Angel says:

    What a wonderful letter!

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