Yesterday we took our daughter to meet her birth mother for the first time in her (almost) 15 years of life. We were all nervous, anxious, and excited. But I had no idea I would be moved to tears.
The wind was whipping down the corridors of buildings along 16th street in downtown Indianapolis. Although the sun was shining bright, it was cold. A typical late December day in Indiana. I eased the car into a spot across the street from the vintage coffee shop we were meeting in, turned the ignition off, and turned to look at my daughter sitting quietly in the back seat. She smiled at me. Kristin suggested we pray before going in, and so we did.
The three of us walked, hand in hand, talking and laughing along the street before crossing and making our way into the coffee shop. This is one of our favorite places to frequent in the city. Their chai lattes are to die for, not to mention their scones and muffins. We were so hungry we could have ordered everything on the menu. A moment later, we met our daughter’s birth mother for the first time.
We hugged and said hello, then turned to order up. For a moment, time stood still.
As we made our way to a table in the corner of the shop, we sat down together and began to talk cordially. Our conversation flowed freely. There was no fear, no apprehension, just commonality. As she shared bits and pieces of her life for the past 15 years, I listened intently, looking her in the eye and capturing every word she spoke. Suddenly, I was struck by something…
“She and my daughter have the same eyes,” I thought to myself.
My heart was moved. I suddenly found myself choking back tears as the thought consumed me. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of all of this. The realness of that moment, the humanity of adoption, overtook me like a tidal wave. “How amazing is that?” I whispered in my mind.
Adoption has always been a beautiful thing to me. But yesterday, it became more beautiful to me than ever before. I saw the humanity behind it. I saw the love and sacrifice that are both a part of it. I witnessed the power and the personal sitting right before me. We could have sat in that coffee shop all day long laughing, talking, reminiscing, and catching up.
Adoption has always been a beautiful thing to me. But yesterday, it became more beautiful to me than ever before.
Unfortunately, our world misunderstands adoption, and there are many who vilify birth mothers, or birth families. They draw a harsh conclusion based on off-handed judgements, or assumptions, that just aren’t fair. I wish I could capture, for a moment, a snapshot of our time yesterday and share it with the world. I wish I could show it to those who have so wrongly defined adoption for so long.
Nearly fifteen years ago, this precious woman gave us the greatest gift of all. She made us parents for the first time. She gave us our daughter. We are eternally grateful to her for that. We celebrate her beautiful life and the life of our little girl. We give thanks for this new found relationship we have and we look forward to the future. We marvel at the beauty of adoption.
And you better believe we get all choked up as we think about our daughter having her birth mother’s eyes.
Mike and Kristin Berry
Mike and Kristin Berry are the authors of the Confessions of an Adoptive Parent blog and the book The Adoptive Parent Toolbox. They are the parents of 8 children, all of whom are adopted. Mike and Kristin’s passion is to reach overwhelmed, weary, and stressed out parents, all over the globe, with this message: “There is hope…..you’re not alone on this journey!”