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Photo 1- Francis Mitchell with her granddaughter.j Grace Presbyterian Village resident Francis Mitchell and her granddaughter enjoy a recent tea party at the senior living community.

The month of May is a time most honor their mothers or the special women in their lives who have helped mold them into who they are today. Residents at Grace Presbyterian Village invited their daughters and granddaughters to a Mad Hatter’s themed tea party as a way of celebrating the joys of motherhood. One distinctive mother and resident at Grace Presbyterian Village, Francis Mitchell, enjoyed the party, and she has an inspirational story to share that highlights the specific characteristics that truly make a woman a mother. 

“Most mothers would agree that physically having a child does not make you a mom in the real sense of the word, but the special love and bond you have with your child is the true definition,” Mitchell said. “I adopted both of my children and decided when I took them home just a week after they were born, that I wanted to be the best mother I could be. My children were not unwanted, I chose them. Even though they are adopted, they will always be mine for as long as God gives them to me, just as if I did have them naturally.”

Mitchell and her husband were unable to have children on their own, and her heart was broken at the thought of not having a family. During the adoption process, she was surprised to find herself crying and becoming emotional for the birth mothers. She knew how desperately she wanted a child she could not have, and was sure it was breaking these mothers’ hearts knowing they were having children they could not keep. Mitchell made sure her children knew that their birth mothers loved them and would have kept them if the circumstances were different.

“If your heart desperately wants to be a mother, the children you adopt do become completely yours,” Mitchell said. “I gave my kids the option of trying to find their birth mothers if they were interested. I braced myself because you can’t control how your children will accept their status.”

Now that her children have families of their own, she gets the joy of seeing her grandkids grow up. Mitchell’s daughter and her family live in Houston, and her son and his family live in Dallas, just a few minutes from her cottage at Grace Presbyterian Village. She is able to enjoy spending a lot of time with her grandchildren, especially her 9-year-old granddaughter. Mitchell often gets together with her after school playing dress up and attending plays together.

“I enjoy being a part of my granddaughter’s life and treasure when we go on our special ‘adventures’ together, whether it’s a trip to the movies or the children’s theater,” Mitchell said. “She and her cousin come to spend the night with me sometimes and have formed relationships with my friends here.”

The special bond that Mitchell has with her children and grandchildren is something she believes all mothers and motherly figures should celebrate. She and her granddaughter participated in the recent Mad Hatter’s Tea party, which included a crazy hat competition, social time and—in a true tea party fashion—hot tea and tea cakes.

“Frances is a mother in every sense of the word,” said Jennifer Garland, director of residential and assisted living services at Grace Presbyterian Village. “We all appreciate when her son and his family come to visit and loved seeing Frances’ face light up as she and her granddaughter enjoyed the tea party. We encourage everyone to take a moment to make the motherly figures in their lives feel special during the month of May.”