Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

Me and my two moms, Juanita (left) and Kathleen (right).

I am one of a select few people who can boast having two actual moms to thank on Mother's Day.

I met Juanita Johnson when I was four years old. I didn't actually understand what was happening at the time- that this woman I was meeting would be my mother. At that age, who knew that wasn't how everybody got a family?

What I do know is Juanita Johnson is the first person that I could call "Mom." She's the one who took me to piano lessons. She is the one who made me brush my teeth every day. She is the one who made sure had my lunch money. She is the one who sat through every baseball game, school play, music concert, and anything else that I was doing at any given time when I was growing up. Though the innate abilities I had came from a place I didn't know (yet), my mom (and my dad) allowed me to explore and nurture every inch of my talents, and always supported me when I was at my best and when I was at my worst.

I met Kathleen O'Connor Wang in March 2001- I was just shy of my 37th birthday. Back in 1964, when she gave me up for adoption, it was a very different time and America was a very different place. I can only imagine what it would have been like for a nice Irish Catholic girl to raise a black child. But that wasn't really the issue for my mother and her family. My mother wasn't ready to raise a child alone and my grandparents already had five other kids in the home and two in college.

So my mother did something selfless that so many others have done. She gave me a chance in life.

And my mom stepped up, gave me a home, and improved those chances at every possible turn.

My life is full of great stories- I've done more things than most people can even dream of. But my best story is that I have two moms who made everything in my life possible.

Mrs. Johnson and Ms. Wang- thank you for the amazing things you have done for me. I owe you a lot. More than anyone could know.

I love you. Happy Mother's Day!

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