Yes, I love my daughter’s adoptive mother. Although the sentiments I am about to share are personal, I believe there are many of my “birth mom sisters” who will relate to my words, who will understand my feelings of love and admiration.

I vividly remember the time in the hospital. Emily was only a day old, and my daughter’s mother and I were alone. I began to sob, and I cried out, “How will she know how much I love her? How will she know how I feel at this moment?”

My daughter’s mother sat beside me on the bed and put her hand on my shoulder. I looked up into her face and saw tears that mirrored my own. She looked into my eyes and said, “Because, I will tell her.”

It was then I knew. I was a mother by birth, and she by adoption. Both mothers brought together by love, for one precious child. Four years later, we still honor our shared motherhood to Emily.

There are days when I feel defeated. In the adoption community, it is easy to get swept away in the debate. People rush to take sides and stereotypes whirl about. Some days I am drained of any energy. I feel hurt and offended. Bitterness begins to well within, but then I remember my daughter’s mother. I remember that she would never talk to me, or about me, in such a fashion. I remember that she will indeed honor her commitment of openness to me and to our daughter.

When I remember my daughter’s mother, I feel grounded and secure. Although others may not see a birth mother’s role as valuable, I know she does. That is all that matters. I gain strength from knowing that I have a place in my daughter’s life, and I can get back out there and face the fray all over again. I simply tuck the knowing of her acceptance into my heart, and I am able to take root and branch out.

I love my daughter’s mother for the times she dressed Emily in the outfits her birth family purchased for her. For the times when I was distant, and she brought me out of my shell. For all the times when she told me how Emily resembled me, and acts in ways that remind her of me. For the times when she tells Emily of my unending love for her. For the times when she looks at me, and sees an equal. For her love, her trust, her invitations, and her respect.

I love my daughter’s mother because of the woman she is, and because of the woman she did not have to be. She did not have to be my friend, and yet, she has embraced me as such. Legally, she did not have to keep her promises for continued contact, but she realized that when she made a promise to me, she was also making a promise to Emily.

Yes, I love my daughter’s mother. Our daughter may have my smile, but she is the reason behind it. For this, I am thankful.

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