“Where is my Mommy?” As I looked down at the almost-four-year-old in my arms, one thought raced through my head: I thought I would have more time before this happened. But here it was—a few days before Mother’s Day, my little boy wanted to know where his mother was.

The story actually starts almost seven years ago when my husband and I started the long, painstaking adoption process that culminated with the birth of our son a little less than four years ago. We always knew we wanted to adopt; and, we always knew the day would come when we would explain to our child why his family had two daddies and no mommy. “We’ve got this.” We thought. “We’ve read all the books, talked to all the people, taken all the seminars and done all of our homework.” Of course, looking down at the four-year-old asking the question, all the nonpractical knowledge went out the window. In the years that spanned the milliseconds that transpired before I answered, my mind wandered far; it wandered wide.

The stork brought you to us. The stork knew that you needed a home when you were born, and we were two Daddies that really wanted a baby to take care of and love. So, it followed a rainbow beacon we sent into the sky to lead it to us. When the stork brought you to us, we said, “Of course, that’s our boy.”  And, you stayed with us.

“I am your mother, and I have the scars to prove it,” I thought. “I gave birth to you myself.” The more I thought about the grueling adoption process, the three failed adoptions we had had previously, and one of the roughest, first 18 months of life on record, I felt fairly secure I could call myself a mother. Moms, after all, endure it all. And, live on to fight another day. Here we all were. Living, happily, still fighting.

“You have a Nana, an Abuela a Nina, and multiple Tias who love you very much.” Yes, I thought, you are surrounded by multiple women who are not surrogates for mothers, but rather love and mother you each in their own unique way. These women not only shower you with affection, and discipline when needed, but also are not afraid to pull your Daddies aside when they “need a talking to.” Some of these women are related to your Daddies by blood; some are related by something much stronger: they are related by the bonds that are forged when life creates indelible moments that fuse souls together; moments that create families of choice, rather than happenstance. Some families you are born into; some families your forge with your will. You are a part of such a family.

As I weighed the options, evaluating and reevaluating, I realized there was at least a kernel of truth in all of them. Finally, I responded: “I don’t know where your mommy is. But the last time I saw her, she told me she loved you very much. She wanted to make sure you had two Daddies that would always love you and take care of you and give you lots of kisses and hugs.” The truth. The truth flows so easily. He smiled and drifted off to sleep. 

As he sleeps, my mind continued to wander. “Happy Mother’s Day,” I thought, “wherever you are.” “Happy Mother’s Day to all of us.”