MotherTalk — Fearless Friday

Fri, April 27, 2007


I know it’s late in the day, but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to talk about fearlessness, in connection with the MotherTalk Book Tour for the paperback release of Arianna Huffington’s On Becoming Fearless.

There are many moments that could qualify for fearless ones in my life — striking out on my own for a career in broadcasting when my parents thought I should try for something “safe” like physical therapy, leaving an incredibly dysfunctional and abusive first marriage at a tender age, quitting a good job to go to law school.

But the thing that has been the most fearless, and fearful, in my life was the moment I became a mother.

It wasn’t like the moment most of my friends had — I didn’t carry a child inside me for nine months and then go to the hospital, hoping that the epidural would get there on time.

Mr. PunditMom and I adopted our wonderful PunditGirl from China.

It’s hard for me to admit all the ambivalent moments I had on the way to becoming the mom I am today. I was terribly afraid I would be a bad mom, for a whole host of reasons.

But the moment the nanny from the orphanage walked through the Changsha hotel room door and placed my little pumpkin pie in my arms, wearing the most ragged and worn clothes I had ever seen, I became fearless.

I was not only, in that moment, her mother, but I knew I was also her protector.

This child who had not had any cuddling or playing or real love for the first year of her little life was now my child. And she needed me in a way no other person would ever need me, before or after.

I didn’t know her language. I didn’t know what she liked. I didn’t know what she was afraid of.

But in that moment, somehow, I became her fiercest advocate and knew that I had to be fearless for her — fearless in my love for her and fearless in taking a stand for her so that she would know that she was loved.

Today, six years later, PunditGirl is a thriving first-grader. She needs me in a different way now than she did when we met in China. She’s more confident and powerful than I remember being at that age. Even though she is a strong girl, I know she still needs me in a way she will never need anyone else.

I know I still need to be her fearless advocate, and I will remain in that role forever, so she knows not only that her PunditParents love her unconditionally, but that it’ s also OK for her to begin learning to be fearless in her own life.
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13 Responses to “MotherTalk — Fearless Friday”

  1. Jaycee Says:

    Tag, you’re it!

  2. MojoMom Says:

    Beautiful, Joanne! Thank you so much for sharing another side of your story. PunditGirl is one lucky kid to have a Mom like you.

  3. Mom101 Says:

    This is beautiful. I can only tell you that 9 months of the little beast kicking inside you doesn’t amply prepare you, so I can only imagine that the adoption process is even tougher as far as he fear factor. I always love hearing your perspective on these things.

  4. Mayberry Says:

    I love this–what a wonderful story of how fearful can become fearless in an instant.

  5. Emily Says:

    What a beautiful piece, PunditMom! I loved reading about your experience here, and am yet again amazed by the strength of mother love!!!

  6. Leah Says:

    It might be a day late, but definitely not short on the fearlessness. What a beautiful story.

  7. Devra Says:

    Fear not Punditmom, you are an awesome mommy! I’ve seen ya in action and you ROCK.

  8. Queen of the Mayhem Says:

    What a sweet love letter to your daughter!

    I know that feeling of uncertainty only too well. I think all mothers do!

    Punditgirl is lucky to have a mom like you!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    You go girl! Remember you can do anything you set your mind to.

    teeth whiteners

  10. The Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Says:

    You are our MOTW at the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas!!

    Please drop me an email at so I can zap you the questions!

    Thanks! And congrats!

  11. Shannon Says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love hearing about how you and PunditGirl came together.

  12. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Love this post! I can’t even imagine how nerve wracking and fraught with anxiety the whole process must have been. I always love hearing about PunditGirl.

    And congrats on MOTW!

  13. Paige Says:

    What a wonderful post!

    PunditGirl has a terrific role model for a mom.

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