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Meet Ciara Simonson, 2021 Virginia Mother of the Year®

January 27, 2021

About

Ciara Simonson is an ordained minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and relationship counselor with the Imago Center of Washington DC. Indicative of her compassion for humanity and commitment to helping others heal and grow, Ciara established herself as a dynamic speaker and pastoral counselor integrating her theological and clinical background. Ciara identifies herself as the “wounded healer” who shares her passion for healing by educating, encouraging, and empowering others to honor the full context of their life. Ciara received an M.Div. from Howard University and M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Loyola University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Jack and Jill of America, and Co-Founder of Love Works, an organization that supports relationships and families creating connections through safe conversations. Ciara’s pride and greatest joy is engaging the fullness of life with her loving husband, Victor Simonson while sharing the honor of parenting her daughter Victoria Grace, son Immanuel Justice, and carrying the memory of her angel baby Trinity.

There is an African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and my village has been extremely impactful in supporting my journey…they keep me encouraged, inspired and remind me that I am not alone but connected to a wealth of resources that can make a difference in motherhood.

Ciara Simonson, 2021 Virginia Mother of the Year®

What surprises you most about being a mom?
Each day as a mom is filled with new discoveries and what surprises me the most are the lessons of compassion, openheartedness, and forgiveness I have learned from my children. They are amazing teachers with an abundance of energy that brings out the fullness of life.

Who has been impactful in your journey as a mother? What lessons do you carry with you and share often through motherhood?

There is an African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and my village has been extremely impactful in supporting my journey, fostering experiences for my children to grow healthy and feel safe. My village is the buttress at times when I feel fragile. They keep me encouraged, inspired and remind me that I am not alone but connected to a wealth of resources that can make a difference in motherhood.

In your experience, what’s the first step in tapping into our maternal energy to positively impact lives around us?
The first step in tapping into my maternal energy is a desire for connection followed by curiosity and compassion. As I intentionally seek to connect with others, I become interested in learning more about the experiences I encounter that is different than my world view. In learning different perspective or adopting a new way of seeing a situation I am to able grow in compassion and respond from place of empathic positive regard.

Share one of your favorite stories from motherhood?
My favorite story was at the time of my delivery. My husband and I decided to wait until our baby was delivered to discover the gender. Following my cesarian delivery, I was a bit disoriented and yet in complete awe that I just delivered a new life into our world. The nurses and doctors moving rather quickly and immediately placed the baby on my chest. The baby and I began bonding by gazing into each other’s eyes, then I thought to ask, “Can somebody tell what I had?” “It’s a girl!” “We’re sorry we thought you knew.”

What is something, big or small, you’ve accomplished that you’re proud of?
I am proud of my fortitude and resilience throughout my motherhood journey. After four years of fertility challenges, I had three pregnancies that included a cesarian, a 20-week loss and a premature delivery at 28-weeks. My children are gifts of surprising joy and a miracle. Even my pregnancy loss gave my life new purpose and meaning as a voice that speaks out for so many women who grieve early pregnancy and infant loss in silence.

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