An Adoption Perspective from an Adoptive Mom
“A child born to another woman calls me mom.
The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me.”
-Jody Landers, Blogger: Love What Matters
Every single day since I became an adoptive mom, I have lived these words.
There was a time for many years when I questioned if I would ever hear a child call me mom. I now wonder, how is it that somehow through all of life’s twists and turns for all involved, I became the mother of two beautiful human beings born to other women? The privilege of being an adoptive parent is immeasurable. The privilege of being the mom of my two now young adult children can’t be overstated.
Raising my children was like playing darts blindfolded with the self-imposed expectation of needing to hit the bullseye with each and every throw. In adoption and foster care, there’s no genetic blueprint to follow or recognize. Many times, there’s little to no known family history to hang onto. And there are no family elders to consult with who know about raising adopted/foster children. It’s very common for there to be a mismatch in personalities, activity levels, interests, strengths, and needs between adoptive/foster parents and their adopted/foster children.
With that said, every day can be seen as a new adventure of embracing our child’s personality, strengths, and needs given what they show us, while we fall more in love with them day in and day out for being their unique beautiful selves.
My son, as a little boy, was the loudest, most talkative, enthusiastic, and active child in his elementary school classes. As he would leave home to run to catch the bus every morning, I would yell after him, “Remember, honey, to use your superpowers for good, not evil!” He would turn around, laugh, and shine his big contagious smile in my direction and say, “No way, Mom, Never!!!” I remember these every day moments as the ones that would take my breath away. I would be filled with gratitude and love as I watched him confidently board the bus to start yet another school day of lighting up his classroom with his magnetic and charming personality while challenging his teachers. And I would wonder, How is it that I was given this privilege, this gift like no other, to be his mother?
The fact is, my son did not get his charisma from me or his father. He didn’t get his mischievous, active, fun-loving, and zealous personality from us, nor his dashing good looks. I would tuck him into bed each night and look into his big brown eyes, and I would see his first mother there in his soul, in his adorable little face, in his personality, and in his zealous spirit. How could I not see her? She was and continues to be there in his genetic make-up, history, and ancestry, and in her selfless act of his placement. No lack of resources or any difficulties she faced before, during, or after making his adoption plan could ever take away from what she has given my son.
I know deeply that it was only as a result of my children’s first mothers’ misfortune, their heartache, and their sacrifice that I received the greatest gift of all. I also know deeply that my children suffered a tremendous loss and trauma as a result of being separated from their first mothers at birth. And I recognize from personal experience what loss feels like, as a result of the many and repeated years of failed infertility treatments, before making the life altering decision to adopt.
With the loss and tragedy suffered by all of us involved came the treasure of being my children’s mom, a privilege that will never be lost on me.
There is no wonder that I will forever think about my children’s first mothers with a heart filled with love and gratitude, and with the knowledge and understanding that they are every bit my children’s mothers too.