Ease into motherhood

"Ease-in to motherhood is a sewists’ celebration of motherhood and the changes it brings to our lives. During the month of July we invite you to share your experiences of the physical and mental changes of pregnancy, childbirth and/or any other way a child comes to your life. We invite you to share how you embrace yourself throughout motherhood, to appreciate all the physical and mental energy it takes, to accept and love the changes in your body, your mind and your life. We invite you to share how you still dedicate time to care for yourself. We invite you to share how sewing is a part of your life through the journey."

When Montserrat reached me to talk about how sewing fit into my motherhood, I felt I had nothing to contribute. I almost didn't have children. I couldn't make them. I don't know anything about small children and babies. There were no changes in my body, hardly any in my life, I slept most nights.

My child came in the guise of a fully formed, living, breathing, running, vaccinated, though very small, 4 year old boy I'd seen for 2 years in very sad pictures where he never smiled. We adopted him. 
Adoption is a process where every bit and corners of your mental, physical, financial and marital health are examined by total strangers and commented on. It's brutal. Adopting is not a decision you take privately with your partner. A committee of people you've never met and never will see again gets to make that decision for you.
When all of this is done in your country of residence, you get to go through it all over again in the country you adopt from.
So you wait.
You wait for the permission to adopt, you wait for an agency or an orphanage to take on your case, you wait for a pairing and when that happens, you wait for the paperwork to come through on the other side. Each day, is another bit of wasted time which you don't spend with the sad little child you see in the pictures. It's heart breaking.
In our case, the whole process took 7 years. There were 22 months between the time we saw him for the first time and the day we flew in to take his hand. For 9 of those we were the parents legally, but couldn't get him out of the country. 
This is enough waiting time for anyone to go bonkers get depressed and drop the ball.
I didn't want my child to think that all we did was wait. We built a house pretty much ourselves, we travelled, my husband took on rollerblading competitively, he got into falconry big time and I sewed...and sewed....and sewed... and thus we kept sane.
Lucky me, it coincided with broadband, the rise of sewing blogs, boatloads of tutorials and information previously unavailable to home sewers who would, very kindly, answer your questions when you asked, blessed souls you all are. I ate all of it up, made friends who speak the same language, made dresses upon dresses upon jackets and coats and pants and skirts and bags each time learning something new. When I flew over to meet him, my luggage was brimming with handmade stuff.
 "Are you ready?" I said when I extended my hand. "Yes" he said with a small voice as he took it. Thus began our adventure.

Photo : Loren Hammer
Epilogue :
This was ten years ago. Like any good delivery, you forget the pain.
I still don't sew for my son much, his growth is exponential, it's not worth the time and effort, but I do some special orders. I made friends all over the world which I'm immensely grateful for. I won the French Sewing Bee S1 3 years ago and I sew for a living. None of this would have happened without all the "sewing while you wait" I did back then. 
I count my blessings everyday.

18 commentaires :

  1. A very inspiring story! The procedures to adopt should be easier ... with all the children waiting for their parents, sad very sad. Sewing and the sewing community is awesome!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your beautful story of love, passion and patience Carmen!

  3. What a moving story--thank you for sharing. Your son looks like a fine (and handsome!) young man.

  4. C'est bouleversant merci. On ne se rend pas compte des difficultés de l'adoption. Vous avez tellement bien fait.

  5. C'est une très belle histoire Carmen!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this Carmen. I'm so glad you found each other - and what a young man he's growing into!

  7. Beautiful. I am so glad you added your voice to this discussion. 7 years!!!! I'm so glad it had such a happy ending.

  8. Wow! What a gorgeous story. It's brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I love this story of how you connected with your beautiful boy. Could you ever have imagined him as a man-sized teenager? That's a miracle before your eyes that I know very well.

  10. Thank you all so much for chiming in.

  11. Beautiful story. So much love in your words :)

  12. thanks for sharing this personnal history! My sons are 13 and 17 years old.

  13. Je lis et une petite larme coule sur ma joue. Coudre est ce qu'il me reste de ma grand-mère adorée. Une petite italienne blonde et têtue. Je suis métisse, grande et charpentée, une vraie Maori si la étaient mes origines. Ton histoire est forte et belle. Elle prouve combien les gouttes d'eau peuvent faire des montagnes. Pour chacun de nous. Tu es un mère incroyable de force et de volonté, de patience aussi. Et quel beau jeune homme tu as fait grandir!
    Belle longue route Carmen.

  14. C'est tellement bien Ă©crit et tellement Ă©mouvant. Une superbe histoire et une merveilleuse rencontre.


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