Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, Vulnerable ParentsAug. 12, 2016

Forgotten Friday | I still think of you, birth mother

bailey-courageous-love-1 {photo credit: www.freedomphotography.smugmug.com}

I still think of you, birth mother. You are always with me. Each embrace, each kiss, each smile, and each moment of growth, I think of you. This week marks the fifth year since the adoption of my son…our son, and yet; I still think of you.

It seems like a lifetime ago since we talked about him. I remember our talks while taking turns rocking him. We were in love with the same child. Our love for him opened the door for our relationship. You are the one who started loving him the moment you knew you were expecting. I’m the one who prayed for a child to love. How could we have known that while I was praying for a child to hold, you were carrying my future son?

How can I ever thank you, birth mother? How can I ever tell you how grateful I am that you chose life? Because of your life-affirming choice, I am raising a bright, energetic, and spirited boy who filled the paleness of my dreams with color. Your son was my first baby. Your son was the answer to my deepest longings of the heart.

Your son is the embodiment of a life lived outside of oneself.

It is not a mistake that our process to get approved as foster parents took nine months; nine months of our child forming in your womb, nine months of our anxious thoughts, nine months of your difficult circumstances, and nine months until we met for the first time.

I remember that the first thing you said to me was, “So, that’s what you look like.” Your words humbled me, birth mother. There I was, a stranger, embracing your son, holding him in the middle of the night, and caring for his every need. While I was doing this, you were wondering who I was. My prayers to our God was for His will to be done, and for His strength to get us through whatever path we would end up walking.

I know that our path was probably the easier one. Yes, we worried, we cried, and we prayed, but we ended up keeping your son. We ended up becoming his forever family, his mommy and daddy, and his future. Yes, we had it easy. You, birth mother, you walked the difficult road.

You, birth mother, you must have felt the pain of loss that first Mother’s Day without the acknowledgement of him. You, birth mother, must have felt an ache in your heart that went unfulfilled. You, birth mother, must have longed for a different outcome; and yet, you did not fight the decision that was made.

You and I both had our hands tied. We both had to adhere to the decisions made by others about the child we both loved deeply. Together, we both had little control. Together, we both had hopes of raising him. Together, we both loved this child.

I still think of you, birth mother. I still wonder how you are doing. I still see you in him. I still think of your kindness to me. There I was, a young foster-mother holding your son, and yet, you embraced me. You were kind to me. You were interested in me, and you thanked me for the love I gave your son. I don’t know if I could have done that. I don’t know if I could have been as kind as you were if the tables were turned. I just don’t know.

Thank you, birth mother. Thank you for the courage it took to not fight the inevitable. When I was told that you had decided to not fight the courts anymore, I fell to my knees in grief and in joy at the same time. I cried over the hardship of the decision you must have made. In that moment, I knew my life was forever changed.

In that moment, I knew that you truly loved your son.

It has been five years since your son became mine forever. It has been five years since tears fell from my eyes while the judge was announcing our adoption. You were on my mind that day, birth mother. Our journey together ended that day; although, it will never really end. As long as our son has life, I will think of you. You will always hold a place in my heart. I will always remember your smile, your laugh, and your kindness.

Your son…our son…is a treasure. He is a delight. He loves dirt, bugs, art, gymnastics, basketball, and fishing. He is always coming up with the most creative ideas out of simple household items. He is a willful, curious, loving, and loyal boy. Oh, he has his moments of challenging us, but he is a wonderful son. He is a child that has left his footprints on the hearts of many. He means the world to so many, and is richly loved.

I still think of you, birth mother. I still see you in him. I still think of our talks,and the mutual love we held for our son. I’m doing my best to raise him in a way that will honor the difficult decision you made. I want him to be a man of integrity, a man that nurtures life, and contributes to goodness in this world.

We have a beautiful son, birth mother. Thank you, birth mother, thank you.

Caroline Bailey

Caroline BaileyCaroline is a mother to three children through adoption, and a strong advocate for foster care. At the age of eleven, Caroline underwent an emergency hysterectomy in order to save her life. Since then, she has known that she would never have biological children.

In 2006, Caroline and her husband, Bruce, became foster parents and quickly accepted the placement of a newborn baby boy. Through their journey of foster care, they learned much about the needs of children, and were greatly humbled by the experience. They went on to adopt their daughter after fostering her, and adopted their youngest son in 2013.

Currently, Caroline works for a Christian child welfare agency in Missouri. Caroline shares her life experience about foster care, adoption, barrenness, and faith on her blog: www.barrentoblessed.wordpress.com.

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