There are some nights that I stay up thinking about life. About the things that have affected me, about the people that have effected who I am and what I will be. Tonight is one of those nights. As I lay in my twin sized bed in my dorm room the size of my parent’s bathroom at home I’m reminded why I’m even here--in college.
About fifteen years ago my mom woke up in the morning after feeling that The Lord placed on her heart to adopt me, Lindsey Marie Olsen. At the time I didn’t know where I was going or I wasn’t even aware that she and my dad had been praying about adopting. But, because she listened to God at the right time I ended up finding myself in the happiest home in the world with a loving family who loves me to the moon and back.
Over the years we may have fought, screamed, and we have been angry at one another. Sometimes, it seems that the things that made us most angry were the things we disliked about ourselves and saw in each other. I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter whether or not I was her biological child or not, the bond of a mother and a daughter doesn’t have to be written in our DNA.
The funny thing about being adopted is that I never knew anything different. To me it’s weird to think about living with the same family for your whole life. To me, my family is the people who love you and will support me through thick and thin. Whether that be staying in touch with my foster family or having a real family that shares my same last name, the bond of family is what brings us together and that bond is unbreakable.
When I was younger I always looked up to my mom, my adoptive mom that is. To me she was the apple of my eye—as I was to her’s. I wanted to be like her. I still want to be like her. She’s strong, a leader, has faith in our God that reaches beyond what I’ve seen even the strongest Christians possess, and she’s loved me and my dad every single day that we’ve been a family. My mom is the ideal role model for me, and I’m lucky to have had her as a constant mentor in my life every step of the way.
You know, when I was younger, my attachment to my mom wasn’t like the other kids’ attachment. The other kids would run to their mom’s after day care because they needed their moms to be with them every step of the way. My attachment was different. As I learned to cope with changing circumstances and family situations I learned that your love and attachment for one another doesn’t have to be shown outward. On the inside I knew that whenever I wasn’t with my mom that she was still with me. There was even some sort of my conscience that was a “mom voice” that would guide me to do the right thing even when other people weren’t making the right choices. Perhaps I should have shown more outward love and affection towards her, but I hope she realizes now that the love I have for her and the care for her is beyond measurable hugs and kisses.
That mom voice has seemed pretty important in my life. Seriously. All of the nagging and the annoying calls, texts, notes, etc. throughout my life has proved to be great for me in the long haul. From hearing the “mom-isms” nearly every day like-- “You should think about cleaning your room,” to “Did you take your allergy medicine?” to “You should really see a doctor,” to “Get your grades up or we are going to pull you out of dance class!”—these are the things that helped me make good decisions and stay a “good kid” throughout K-12 school and in college despite all of the other kids making wrong decisions.
Though I may have taken my mom’s advice on some instances, I have neglected it on others. One thing my mom and I share in common is our bull-headedness at times to see that another person other than ourselves is right about something. For instance, I put up the biggest fight with my mom about attending Missouri State University for college. It turns out that Missouri State was one of the best decisions I made in my entire life. This is just one example of how my mom knew what was best for me, even when I didn’t think it was so.
Not only did my mom give sound advice but she supported me in my endeavors. Whether it be skipping a meeting to come see me play in the marching band at a competition in high school, to making brownies for all my friends who came over for a movie night, to contacting my teachers to make sure I was behaving in class and that my grades were up—these were the things that made me know that my mom was supportive.
Sometimes the best support that my mom has ever given me is her ability to listen. Sometimes I get frustrated in life, as she does. Sometimes I need someone to talk to and I eventually break down and let it all out. This past couple of years with our move to Lebanon proved to be a time where my mom and me had some serious talks. Whether it be having a heart to heart about whether or not I should break up with my boyfriend of nearly a year and a half, to talking about how mean the girls were at school, to talking about stress of applying for colleges and scholarships, or even the never-ending battle with my grade in Mrs. Hicks’ AP English class that gave me the biggest headache of my life—she was there through it all. Even if she was sick, off work, or having problems of her own—she always took time to talk to me. Not only did she talk to me or give me sound advice but she listened to me and she told me to follow my heart and she supported me in my decisions. I felt like she knew that whatever decision I made would in the end effect my life, but she wanted me to gain enough independence so whenever I went out in the world on my own that I would understand the power of making the right decisions.
I’ve learned my lessons, and I think that I am still making the right decisions.
After moving to college and freaking out over picking a political campaign to work on and how to spend my time in college, you know who was the only person I wanted to talk to about my trivial woes? My mom. You know why? Because she has never ever not been there for me. Because I trust her. Because she’s my mom and I love her to death. Sometimes in life we find out that even when we think we are the most independent of people that don’t need anyone else’s help—that having a great community of people that love and support us no matter what is one of the most important things that we can have. I know my mom is there for me, to the moon and back, no matter what.
After my first semester in college I returned home for the break, expecting it to be a boring break filled with lots of working at the Lebanon Family YMCA and many homemade meals made by my mom. But something happened. My mom ended up having to go to the Emergency Room because of a condition caused by a steroid shot to her knee. We spent nearly four days in and out of the hospital—my dad and I taking turns staying with her in Springfield as the neurologists tried to figure out what was wrong with my mom. It was the scariest time of my life. But you know what? I got to spend one on one time with my mom. For once, I got to feel like I was supporting her and was there for her—just like she was there for me all of those years. I stayed with her, held her hand, and I got to tell her that it was going to be okay and that God was going to make a way for her to be healed and get better.
It turns out that on Christmas Eve, my mom surprised me with coming home from the hospital without telling me. Never have I been so happy to have my mom with me. You know how I wrote earlier about not being that little kid that “needed” my mom to give me a hug after picking me up from daycare everyday? Well, this was different. I embraced my mom and gave her the longest hug I’ve ever given her with tears streaming down my eyes of utter joy. I hope she felt the same joy that I felt of her finally being home and of us feeling like a complete family again for our annual “Kolb Family Christmas” celebration.
About a week later it was time for me to go back to college. But of course, not without a great college-send-off from my mom and dad with tons of groceries and necessities for dorm living. Never would I have known what a blessing it was to have free food and groceries until I moved out on my own to college to have a taste of the real world where we actually have to pay for everything ourselves. This wonderful gift—even just of groceries—made the biggest difference in my life. I drove away with tears in my eyes because I felt like the most blessed little girl in the world. I am loved. I am cherished. I’m the apple of my mom and dad’s eyes. And lastly, I’m a Kolb. I’m part of a family that shares a bond that is unbreakable, and it all started with one woman-- following what God’s plan for her life as well as her husband’s life—and that was to adopt me. And I owe everything to her.
And now, it’s her Mother’s Day. Though I don’t have all the money in the world to buy her a new car or a new house to show my appreciation for her, I hope she knows that I love her to the moon and back and that I will do anything for her because I love her eternally. She’s my mom, forever and always, no matter how old she gets or how many times she makes lumpy mashed potatoes, she’s mine.
Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom in the world, I love you to the moon and back.