There is ‘something’ that I seem to have forgotten of late. This ‘something’ used to be so fresh and so vivid. I seem to have forgotten that 2 of my children were born of another mother. I’ve forgotten the word ‘adopted.’
That sounds ridiculous, I’m sure.
Truly, for the last few months, I have not even thought about birth mothers, biological vs. adopted, nature vs. nurture or any of the myriad of topics that consumed me for years.
Perhaps, my forgetfulness means that they are now a permanent part of me? Perhaps, my forgetfulness means that I want to pretend that their bio Moms don’t exist, just for a few months? Not sure.
Recently, visiting the US, I opened that closet door where all of our ‘important documents’ reside. I picked up one of those huge black binders labeled with one of our son’s given names and the flood of emotions almost knocked me to the floor. I realized that the information in these binders will be emotionally-charged for our little guys one day. The stories told are theirs and aren’t something light-hearted. That day, the things that haunt me about their lives before us, were too much to bear and so I closed the binder.
For that day, I just wanted to be Mommy; not adoptive Mommy or biological Mommy… just Mommy. Our adoption stories are not perfect; our lives as parents are very challenging, just like yours. Adoption doesn’t come in neat little packages with perfect bows on top. Children are individuals; parenting is different for each one. Our experiences have been no different.
When all of those memories came rushing in, I took a deep breath. I walked out of that room and reminded myself that Mother’s Day was approaching. I sorted some photos, wrote a note and mailed a package to one biological Mom that carried one of my blue-eyed blessings.
A few nights later, I took another deep breath and told our boys a story about Mommy and Daddy giraffes who wanted 4 baby giraffes, but could only have 2. My boys had huge eyes when they listened to how 2 different other Mommy giraffes gave the Mommy and Daddy 2 more babies. And that story had a happy ending.
I’m using the term ‘adopted’ more with them, even though they do not understand that the giraffe story is their very own. There is no need to rush into more information that they can understand, but I want the words adopted and adoption to be familiar. I do not want darkness or secrets surrounding this beautiful thing or the people involved.
May my future Mother’s Days be reminders of life-givers … my own mother and those 2 women who may never know the ones they carried, those who have no idea the magnitude of the gift they have given another family... mine. And may I never, ever forget again.