The next Mama Bear in this spotlight series is dear to my heart for so many reasons. Motherhood itself can be physically and emotionally exhausting, but sometimes the road to motherhood can be even more trying on the deepest of levels. Mindy Painter is a Mama Bear whose dream of becoming a mother took 9 years to fulfill. Last year, Mindy and her husband brought their son Liam home from Uganda, after spending 3 months in the country awaiting final approval. She tells the story best on her blog, Painter Love.
Here's what Mindy has to say about being a Mama Bear...
IN A SENTENCE OR TWO, WHAT DOES BEING A MAMA BEAR LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
It is a commitment to open my heart to love and invest in a little human for the rest of my life. It is a sacrifice and total bliss all rolled up into one.
MOTHERHOOD IS STRANGELY POLARIZING IN OUR CULTURE. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GET SUCKED INTO COMPARISON AND NEGATIVITY?
This is definitely a challenge at times. Adoption has given me permission to be unique in my approach to motherhood. It is difficult to compare our situation with others because it is very unique and sometimes complicated. Ultimately, I have to be connected with my child and read his cues. In a way, I've had to become a student to learn what is best for him... and for our family. Others may not understand, but that's okay. We are all beautifully different! Let's celebrate that!!
WHEN LIFE GETS CRAZY, WHAT TRUTH OR MANTRA DO YOU ALWAYS COME BACK?
"This too shall pass."
Life is full of seasons or phases. Just when you think you can't take it anymore, things somehow shift and a new season begins... and then you're presented with an entirely new set of challenges.
WHAT ARE THE PIECES YOU HOLD ONTO TIGHTEST IN MOTHERHOOD? THOSE NON-NEGOTIABLES YOU PRIORITIZE NO MATTER HOW WILD THE LAUNDRY PILE GETS?
Because we adopted our son at age 4, we missed out on years of holding and nurturing him. No matter what is happening, I will always break for snuggles. I love sharing sweet, intimate moments with him. During those moments, I shower him with love and speak words of encouragement over him. I hope I'm planting and watering seeds that will continue to grow and someday bear much fruit.
NAME SOMEONE YOU LOOK UP TO AS A GREAT MAMA BEAR EXAMPLE.
I really admire fellow adoptive Mama Bear, Heather Avis, of The Lucky Few.
Photos by Jen McDonald