I met with my babe’s birth mom. It happened a couple of weeks ago and I was hesitant about whether or not I would write about it. I didn’t meet with her alone, I had the babe also. She had requested the meeting, as she had some gifts for him, and I agreed to meet her one morning in the parking lot of the grocery store. I know, it sounds ghetto, but we live in the sticks and there really wasn’t a whole lot of options. Plus it was right across the street from another appointment that she had, making it a convenient spot for us both. We had discussed the openness of this adoption before it all took place. I had set firm boundaries, and she had agreed. Part of those boundaries included acquiescing to cards and letters, gifts that she could send and updates from me, but not visitation. There are multiple reasons for those boundaries, but that is not my story to tell. So this seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? Let me backtrack a minute.
When we were at the hospital, anxiously awaiting the birth of our little man, she expressed her lack of bond with him. She premised the conversation with how she thought that it sounded terrible, not having a bond with her unborn, but that she knew she couldn’t keep him. We supported her, letting her know that it wasn’t a bad thing, she was doing exactly what a good mamma would-ensure a good opportunity for her child. What more selfless thing could a mother do? After my babe was born, she only saw him briefly, and then requested to hold him the next day. I was terrified. I didn’t want this to be difficult for her. I didn’t want her to feel like she was making a mistake. But my Mom Squad friend assured me that it would be alright. She had traveled this road herself and had spent the morning talking with our birth mom, who was totally at peace with the situation. So I carefully treaded across the tender trail of my heart and down the hospital corridor, where I handed my babe to his birth mom. And then I watched. I watched for any sign of regret. I watched her look at him, peering into his face and smelling his newborn smell and I waited for her to want to change her mind. But she didn’t. She loved on him, and she gave him back to me. It is the greatest gift that could have been given.
So when she asked to give him some clothes and toys, and requested to see him as well, I agreed. I was nervous before the meeting, and requested prayers from so many of you. But when the time came I felt nothing but peace. I handed my babe, wrapped in a blanket made by his grandma to his birth mom in the chilly morning air outside a grocery store. She took in his chubby cheeks and dimpled fingers, long toes and strawberry blond hair. She inhaled his sent, kissed his head, and returned him to me. I had promised her photos of him, and I send her pictures via our phones often, but I wanted to do something a bit more for this woman who had given me so much. So I went to our meeting with a gift-so small compared to what she had given me. I had bought a photo album and in it chronicled the first few weeks of our babes life. The emotion that crossed her face was worth every second that I spent concerned, and I could not have asked for a better gift.
None of my children’s adoptions have been the same. Each has had a different relationship with their birth parents. My oldest sporadically lived with her birth mom for the first seven years of her life. The twins spent only the first six months of their existence with their birth parents, and then a great deal of time with their grandmother. And our littlest came to us at birth. Because of their different situations I have such varied interactions with their biological parents. I have watched our oldest be twisted around and hurt by her biological mother, through inconsistent interactions and the remaining wounds of betrayal and loss. While the twins don’t remember their birth parents, X-Man deals with Reactive Attachment issues and I receive updates on their birth parents through the twins’ grandmother. Which is why the feelings I have for this relationship I have with my babe’s birth mom is so incredibly different. She is the first one whom I have met. She’s the first one I’ve interacted with, and she’s the first one I’ve really and truly shared a child with.
I am so blessed to have my kids, but my heart also breaks at the loss that has occurred to make these relationships possible. I once told my husband that for our kids, there perfect life would not have included us. There would have been peace and joy in their birth and growth in the family of their blood. As that quote says, the magnitude of this is not lost on me. My heart breaks for their loss. My soul aches for their pain. And I only hope that I can mend a bridge between the broken areas. Even if that means stepping out of my comfort zone and into the parking lot.