Mater Mea: Celebrating Motherhood With Candace Matthews
Photo credit: Brian Kelly
mater mea is an online magazine that profiles the lives of working moms of colors through gorgeous photography and compelling features. Candace Matthews, the chief marketing officer at Amway, found out after getting married at 40 that she would not be able to have children. Matthews and her husband chose to adopt three great children of their own. Here she shares how she feels about her kids.
Your daughters were deemed “failure to thrive” when you first adopted them. How does it feel to go from holding them with that diagnosis in mind, to them now being accomplished young women in the 9th grade?
It’s amazing to have watched their progress. It really shows that nurture and nature both play a role, especially when you adopt children. You have to understand where nurturing can take you, and also, what is part of the nature part that you’ll either have to compensate for or help them through. Parenthood is not for the faint of heart, but it is such a joy when you see something happen and you get to say, “Oh my gosh, they’re blossoming.”
Take Simone, for instance. Simone is phenomenal piano player. Both girls play the piano, and Sydney also plays the violin. Simone and I have this running joke because I play as well – “When you play better than me is when we’re in trouble.” Simone is now at the point where she plays better than me. Last November at her sonatina festival she played a six-page piece entirely from memory. So when you see something like that happen, you realize how far they’ve come and the accomplishments they’ve achieved. Even though in Simone’s mind, she doesn’t see it, she doesn’t get it. Yet I can see it. And that brings Bruce and I tremendous satisfaction and pride.
What kind of people do you hope your kids grow up to be?
They don’t have to be me. What I want is for them to grow up to be secure in who they are, and doing something that makes a difference in people’s lives. I want them to get passionate about something. That’s one of the things that I’ve noticed with their lack of early childhood development, and with children who are in foster homes early on – there’s a bit of a detachment. The girls don’t have that as much, but what I do notice is that they need to develop a passion. Whatever it is they choose to do, we will support them, but I want to see their passion for something ignited. That’s what I really wish for them.
Read Candace’s full story on mater mea.