It’s been a long time, birth mother.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the adoption of our son; yet, in many ways, it feels like it was just yesterday. I often think back to when you and I were taking turns rocking him during visits. Is this what other mothers formed through adoption think about? Is this how other mothers formed through adoption feel? In many ways, we are stuck in those first moments when little souls entered our lives. In other ways, we feel far away from those moments.
To look back through this past decade, I still fondly remember the laughter we shared. I also remember (with great appreciation) the tears we mutually shed in those last days when you were his “legal” mother. Although the years have come and gone, I truly and honestly think of you all of the time. You gave birth to this special and wonderful kid.
He is as loyal as they come. He hardly ever (I mean rarely) speaks ill of anyone. He makes friends wherever he goes. He does not care about outer appearance or “coolness” or any of those things. I’m not even sure if you realize this but you are the same way.
When we were fostering and working with you, you did not judge us. You did not care what we looked like or if we were “cool” or not. You completely accepted us for who we were–just some random couple who decided to become foster parents and won the jackpot by getting the call to become foster parents for your baby boy.
It’s been a long time, birth mother; one decade since the gavel fell, I looked into the eyes of our son and I knew he was home…forever.
As a mother through adoption, I go through many emotions–elation, exhaustion, humility and guilt. Is it fair that I get to raise the son you grew in your womb? Sometimes, I don’t think it is. How in the world did I get so lucky? When people tell me that I have blessed his life, I negate that. The truth is that he has blessed mine. So much. This truth never leaves my side. It beckons me to remember the magnitude of adoption.
Yes, it’s been a long time, birth mother. The first moments I saw our son are forever sketched into my memory. They are real and tangible; as if they just happened. I suspect, or at least, hope that they will forever stay that way.
I have had people tell me that we were so kind and good to you while we were fostering. We tried our best, given the awkwardness of the situation, but you made it easy. You were kind. You were good. You accepted us. You even referred to me as his “Mamma” a few times.
During his adoption hearing, with the backdrop of sniffles and tears from our family and friends, you were on my mind. When the Judge meticulously went through the case and our son was officially declared “ours,” you were on my mind. While we celebrated that special day and all that it meant, I went to bed thinking of you. Even now, a decade later, I often go to bed thinking of you.
I will never be able to thank you enough for that. I will never be able to repay my gratitude of how you treated us. Instead, I pray and hope that I am raising our son (yours and mine) to become an adult who repays kindness to this world.
It’s been a long time, birth mother.
Yet, it feels fresh and new each day. As I watch him grow up, I think back on that blonde, curly-haired, happy-go-lucky little guy and I just become so overwhelmed. Who knew that one little boy could grab a hold of my heart and history and change it in an instant? He means the world to us, to our parents and to his Father in Heaven. I know he means the world to you.
Looking back over the past decade, I have failed many times. I have succeeded at others. I have cried. I have laughed. I have wondered if I am doing this whole (adoptive) parenting thing right, but…I have never questioned the love you have for our son. Not once. It breaks my heart and swells it with love at the same time. It is an essential truth that will always resonate deep within my heart.
It’s been a long time, birth mother; a long time since you and I took turns rocking him during visits.
Children who enter our lives through foster care and adoption have a funny way of grabbing our hearts. Sometimes, we are blessed enough to have birth parents who grab our hearts as well.
You did just that.
Caroline 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 so much about the needs of children, and were greatly humbled by the experience. They went on to adopt their daughter after fostering her, and recently adopted their youngest boy 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, Barren to Blessed.