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.

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