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My First Mother's Day

My first Mother's Day took me from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Chicago. It was the day I was baptized into motherhood.

by Sara Bosaw

I like to say that my first Mother's Day was the longest day of my life. That's because on May 9, 2010, I began my Mother's Day journey in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and ended it here, in Chicago, crossing eight time zones along the way.

In a seat in economy.

With a six-month-old baby on my lap.

Whom I barely knew.

I also like to say that I was baptized into motherhood on that first Mother's Day. A new mom with no clue what my baby needed, I just kept giving him bottles. I prepared bottle after bottle after bottle, and, every time he cried, I stuck another one in that mouth. It was right around the time when the flight attendant passed by to check that our seat belts were fastened before landing that my son, Abel, turned to me with the sweetest baby grin you've ever seen.

And then he puked.


Covering me from head to toe.

I entered O'Hare Airport with the badges of a real mother. A sleep-deprived, puke-covered, proud and adoring mother.

To say my first Mother's Day was blissful wouldn't be exactly honest. I have dreams of a Mother's Day down the road full of mimosas and flowers (and sleeping in!), but for now I love to tell Abel the story of our first Mother's Day together when I got to cuddle him for 32 hours straight on a plane and he "showered" me with love.


SARA BOSAW lives with her son in Chicago.

PHOTO: Sara and Abel (6 months, Ethiopia) Bosaw, in their first family picture in Addis Ababa, May 2010.


PARENT-TO-PARENT: Time for Cake!

On our Facebook page, a reader asked for help: "Does anyone have suggestions for what to write on a cake to celebrate finalization?" Here are some of your ideas for topping off the icing on the cake:

  • "The infinity symbol."
  • "New name…Date of finalization…Forever!"
  • "We put all our first names and 'Forever Family' on the cake. My son keeps a photo of the cake in a special album."
  • "It's Official!"
  • "We have a bakery that can put photos on the cake, so we used our children's photos with their new names."
  • "Happy Gotcha Day."
  • "My son was adopted from Russia, so we had Russian and American flags with a heart between them, and 'Welcome Home.'"
  • "I ordered a big cake that said, simply, 'Finally!'"
  • "Our dear friend made a cake that looked like a book that said, 'They lived happily ever after.'"

Where did you spend your first Mother's Day? Share your story at Adoptive Families Circle.

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