Sunday, April 10, 2016

On what it means to be a "mother"

Mother's Day is exactly one month from today.  So now is the perfect time to stock up on SHONA bags to give to all the amazing women in your life.
 Because we are all in this together.

Do you remember when this picture of European parliament member taking her daughter to work went viral a few years ago?  When I saw it I thought immediately of this picture of Solange sewing.
What struck me wasn't the difference between these 2 mothers.  It was the similarity.  The way that across countries...across languages, cultures and economic differences... so very much remains the same.

And then I thought of this picture.

That is Solange again.  With a baby on her back again.  She is in the process of delivering SHONA stock to the post office.  But wait... it is different..that is Mapendo's son on her back.  Yet what strikes me again, is not the difference but the similarity.  Can you tell the difference between the photo where she is carrying her own child and the photo where she is carrying a friend's baby?  I can't. 

And then I thought of this picture.

Of the arms wrapped around Baby Marlaine.  Whose mama died in childbirth.  Whose family couldn't care for her, but who found the loving arms of Mama Sifa wrapped around her at Family Bethlehem.  And who grew up into this adorable little girl.  In part, thanks to many of you, who helped get her there.  Because they are all our children.

And then I think of Argentine, and her daughter Rachelle.

When Argentine lost her daughter Rachelle, I can't count how many of you wrote with stories of you own, of the loss of your own child, or the suffering of a friend who had been through something similar.  Because they are all our stories. 

And that is precisely why I want to share this picture with you today.

That is Argentine, in a photo from a few weeks ago. I am happy to announce that she is pregnant again.  That is one of the reasons why she needed to flee to the refugee camps again, she needed safety for herself and for the new life growing inside her.   It is why we are incredibly thankful to our friends in a refugee sponsorship group, who are working so hard to sponsor her for resettlement in Canada.  It is why we pray that will happen miraculously fast.  And why we continue to ask for donations to our Refugee Help Fund, in case that doesn't happen fast and we need to look for emergency medical care for her while she is still in the refugee camps.

But mostly it is why our heart breaks with Argentine, for all that she has lost, and soars again, for all that is still possible.

I have learned that this is what it means to be a "mother".  To love fiercely in the midst of whatever world we find ourselves in.  To offer our hearts to another, fearlessly in the midst of a fearful world.

 We love our own children, or the children we find next door, or down the street, or across the world.   We love the children we carry on our backs and we love equally those we carry only in our hearts.

Because, in truth, we are all mothers to someone.  And we are all in this together.

Shop SHONA and share the story of 4 incredible mothers this Mother's Day.  And remember that 100% of the profit from every bag goes back to the woman who made it...and the children she supports.

Mother's Day Sale: SHOP this week and get an amazing 25% off all your purchases.  Do you need another reason?  
Use code: mother in the discount box at the end of checkout.