He’s very quiet as he crawls silently towards the couch. My eyes are fixed on my computer, but I am aware of his presence in the corner of my eye. I resist the urge to laugh as I know what he is attempting. He manages to pull himself up on the couch and is inching closer, believing I am still unaware of what he has accomplished. He slowly reaches for my drink on the windowsill. Swiftly, I grab it out of his tiny hands and laugh at his shocked expression. “Nice try, Buddy!” I laugh as he smirks widely.
It is in that smirk that I see his birth mother. His wide eyes, his gorgeous smile, his humorous spirit—all his mother. I snap a picture at that moment to send to her later that night. I know she will find him as adorable and wonderful as I do. In this moment, I am also filled with sadness—sadness in this moment that it wasn’t me who was meant for this moment. I would not trade this experience for the world, nor would I change the past. However, this moment should belong to her. Yet, this moment was given as a gift to me, a greater gift than most could imagine.
There is an adoption quote by Jody Landers that states, “A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.” There is not a quote that hits my heart harder than this one. No matter how much anyone tries to sugarcoat it, there is so much loss in adoption. Just because my son gained a family does mean that he did not also lose something. He and his birth mother lost an entire lifetime of possibility and gained an entire lifetime of “what-ifs.” Choosing to be ignorant of that fact would serve nothing but my pride.
My son is my son in every sense of the word. I cherish his little smile and curly head. I am blown away by the fact that I was blessed with his beautiful soul in my life every day. Yet, she is also his in every sense of the word. She carried him for nine months. Nurtured him, loved him, wanted him. Nevertheless, I am the one who gets to be there day-to-day. I get to feel his touch, smell him, hug him, watch him grow. Adoption is painfully beautiful.
There is a second adoption quote by an unknown author that states, “Giving birth does not make her a mother. Placing a child for adoption does not make her less of one.” I do not take the privilege of being my son’s mom for granted. I did not take his adoption lightly. However, a piece of paper that meant everything to me did not, in turn, make my son’s mother no longer his mother.
A final quote from Desha Wood sums up the relationship my son will carry with both myself and his birth mother. I pray he grows to understand and know that it is okay to love us both as his mother. We are privileged to call him ours. Wood states, “He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine, and so together, we are motherhood.”
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