Mothers deserve our thanks every day of the year, but at least on one Sunday in May, moms get their due.
For many mothers, their first Mother’s Day is not only the most special, but their most deserved, as that first year as a mom brings with it not just countless rewards, but countless challenges.
But not many moms have faced tougher tests on that road to motherhood as Ann Carlson has.
The moment any mother and child lock eyes for the first time is exciting. But for Carlson, it was unbelievably powerful.
"Well worth the wait," said Carlson. "How about I say that? Well worth the wait."
Ann Carlson’s wait spanned five years before now-9-month-old Camden was born.
"For the first three years of our marriage, we actually tried on our own," Carlson remembered.
The Carlsons tried naturally, they tried fertility (treatments) and they attempted in-vitro fertilization. However, nothing worked for them.
"And we didn't start, we didn't get married until we were a little bit older," said Carlson. "So, as soon as we started trying and it wasn't working, it was just frustrating."
That's when Carlson and her husband began to explore the possibility of adoption.
Working through Adoptions of Wisconsin, the agency connected the Carlsons to a birth mother within the state.
"And actually the mother who did pick us lived in Mount Horeb," remembered Carlson. "And she picked us because we were so close, being in New Glarus."
After years of waiting and wishing, the big day, July 26th, 2011, couldn't have come soon enough.
"We stayed the next two and half days in the hospital. We brought him home and we've been here ever since," said Todd Carlson, Ann’s husband.
"Figure God always has a plan," said Ann. "It's just a matter of what it is, and when you find it out."
And just in case anyone's wondering about the costs of figuring out that plan?
"We've probably sunk in about $50,000 from beginning to end," exclaimed Ann. "That's pre diapers, pre-born!"
That’s a cost that Carlson said greatly pales to the riches of seeing her son smile on her first Mother's Day.
"Yeah, I've been waiting for a really long time to be a mom, so this is very meaningful for me," said Carlson.