Though no ‘bed of roses,’ motherhood’s rewards are many

Posted 5/10/19

SILER CITY — Since 1914, with President Woodrow Wilson’s signature making it official, Mother’s Day has been celebrated in the U.S. on the second Sunday of every May.

The annual springtime …

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Though no ‘bed of roses,’ motherhood’s rewards are many

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Posted

SILER CITY — Since 1914, with President Woodrow Wilson’s signature making it official, Mother’s Day has been celebrated in the U.S. on the second Sunday of every May.

The annual springtime recognition of mothers and motherhood is this Sunday, and for Amy Smith, mom to three, the day is especially meaningful.

Smith grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, but a job transfer for her father transplanted her family to Sanford when Amy was 12. In July after her senior year of high school, a blind date set up by friends found Amy side-by-side with Josh Smith, whom she knew by name but hadn’t previously met. Meeting blind for the first time that summer, they hit it off.

“The rest was history,” said Amy. “A year and a half after we met, we were married. “

But the young couple soon received news, she said, “that no one wants to hear.”

“We would never be able to conceive children due to some medical problems,” said Amy. “There was a short time in my life that I didn’t know if I would ever have the opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day, other than to honor my own mom and mother-in-law.”

The unwelcome news, however, did not deter the Smiths.

“We knew right then that it would not stop us from having the family we desired,” Amy said. “I had always said I wanted to adopt. I didn’t expect it to be the only option of growing our family, but God decided that was the plan for our family.”

The couple — Amy is a blogger and stay-at-home mom; Josh is youth pastor at Community Baptist Church in Siler City — soon began searching for adoption agencies, quickly finding a local agency that worked with birth mothers from all over the United States.

“Just nine months after starting all the paperwork,” Amy said, “we were parents to our now 16-year-old.”

A few years later, they began “the adoption journey again,” Amy said, through the same agency.

“It wasn’t as fast the second time around, but that was OK,” Amy said. “God knew the perfect baby boy for our family. He is now 12 years old.”

Several years later, she said, “our desire to have another child continued.”

They chose the third time to go through the route of fostering to adopt. They were licensed as foster parents in November of 2014 with Chatham County Department of Social Services.

“Immediately,” Amy said, “we had our sweet little girl placed in our care. After 806 days of fostering her, we had the privilege to adopt her.”

For Amy and Josh, there were several motivations in their desire to adopt.

“Aside from just wanting children,” she said, “we knew there were children out there who needed a good home. We are far from perfect but we do our absolute best to be the best parents we can be to all three of our children (and any other children who come through our care).”

Amy said she is “extra thankful” on Mother’s Day “because I do have that opportunity to be someone’s mom ... three someones! It is more about celebrating the influence my own mom had on my life and celebrating the fact that I get to be a mom than it is about me as a person. I am just an ordinary mom, nothing special. I have plenty of flaws and I sure don’t get parenting right every time, but I have the opportunity. That in itself is such a great joy.”

A few years ago, Amy created, and continues to produce, a blog — you can find it at myfourandmore.com — which deals in large part with parenting.

“I had been doing product reviews for a couple of other blogs when I decided I wanted to venture out on my own,” said Amy. “I love sharing about our travel adventures, but my main emphasis is on adoption and fostering. We have met so many amazing people over the years and feel blessed to know so many other adoptive parents. Not everyone has that opportunity to know so many adoptive families, especially not from the beginning.”

The goal of the blog, she said, is to create awareness of the need for foster parents and also help encourage those who are considering adoption or have adopted.

“There are many, many blessings and joys with adoption, but there are also obstacles to face and struggles along the way,” she said. “I want to be that familiar voice that keeps adoptive parents going through the struggles. I may never meet my readers but I hope they can gain some insight and personally feel connected through my blog.”

Motherhood, Amy said, isn’t all a “bed of roses, and I am sure I won’t ever see all the fruits of my labor. But there are so many rewards. Hugs and kisses at a minimum of every night, even from my 16-year-old; sitting around the dinner table hearing the kids sharing the ups and downs of their day; uncontrollable laughter during a family game night; or snuggles during a movie are among some of my favorite rewards.”

Those may, as Amy said, be “just moments,” but they are rewarding.

“Knowing that I get to be the one to hear ‘I love you,’ I get to be the one they feel safe enough to open up about the good and also the bad things going on in their lives, is a reward that I am so thankful for,” she said.

For the Smith family, this Sunday’s Mother’s Day celebration will involve little fuss.

“My husband and I don’t really do much in the way of gifts for each other,” she said. “We spend our ‘gift money’ on going out somewhere as a family on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.”

And for new mothers, she offers some advice.

“Don’t try to be perfect because you won’t be perfect,” she said. “No mom is perfect. But you will be the perfect mom for your child, whether it be your biological child or adoptive child. God has a perfect plan and He chose you to be their mom. That is a huge responsibility, but it is an even bigger honor to know that you are who God knows your child would need to teach them, support them, and most of all, love them. Give it all you have and don’t give up when the hard times come. They will come, but you will see your efforts pay off in the end.”

Randall Rigsbee may be reached at rigsbee@chathamnr.com.

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