I love my son’s birth mother although there is a strong chance that I may never lay eyes on her again. This beautiful, yet fragile creature created my favorite person on this planet and knew that she didn’t have the ability to give him the life he deserved.
I don’t like the saying, “giving someone up for adoption”. These are easy terms to use when you are an outsider to this situation, but they are not accurate. She did not give him up, she raised him up. She raised him up higher than her own emotions and needs and picked out a family that would give him the life that she wanted for him.
When my son was one day old, I was standing in my birth mother’s hospital room. It was December 24th, Christmas Eve and only a few people on the planet knew where I was. CNN was on the TV and her head was turned to the screen most of the time out of habit and nervousness. I refused to sit because I had adrenaline pumping through my veins. Moments before, I held my son for the first time and fell in love instantly. I have never fallen for everything so completely or quickly. Now, I had to make sure this young girl stayed in love with her choice for me.
I don’t remember what we talked about but I remember that I felt like I had to keep talking and asking questions. I didn’t want her to think that I was boring or uninteresting or not really into being a mother.
I used questions like -
I was sweating through my clothes trying not to pace which is my natural tendency. The nurses asked me to stay to chat with the doctor since I signed papers for him to be circumcised in the morning. They wanted me hear about the procedure and ask questions about after care. They thought that the doctor would be there any moment, but our wait went past 90 minutes. During this time, I called my friend Joann who was in the lobby still to come and join us. I needed a logical, clear head in the room to help me remember what was happening.
My son is going to ask me about this day. I remember thinking about that while I stood there trying not to shake. He was going to ask me questions about what she looked like and how she acted. A big part of my memory is the haze of emotion that I felt standing in a room with someone who looked at a list of people and chose me for this honored role. I kept asking her if I could hug her. She liked hugs. So do I.
When my son asks me about this day, here is the jist of what I plan to say:
Your birth mother was a regal-looking woman with beautiful skin, striking features and a calm demeanor. She was quite tall and commanding in stature. You have her lovely face and complexion. She was a peaceful woman, at ease in solitude who didn’t have much to say but she was affectionate willing to humor people around her who seemed overwhelmed with emotion.
She walked into the hospital and immediately told the staff about her plans for the adoption. They assigned her an alias name and she gave birth to you that morning around 10:08am by cesarean. Later the day, a staff member from my adoption agency met with her and gave her a stack of 10 or so brochures of families wanting to adopt and willing to accept a child last minute after the child was born. She took about an hour to look at and read the brochures. Then, she told the agency that I was her first pick.
Once they got me on the phone, my heart knew that you were finally here. My long wait had ended. When I talked to your birth mother, she wanted to hear about my journey to try to get pregnant. She liked the idea that that she helped someone who could not create a child to have a child, it made her happy to give someone else this joy. She picked me because I am a teacher and she had always wanted to be a teacher. She wanted someone in your life to value the importance of learning.
You have her eyes, skin, look, curly hair and calm demeanor. When you sit quietly and play, or when you stare ahead looking at nature around you as you ride your stroller or as you play with your rabbit and become mesmerized by the silkiness of its ribbon trim, I see your birth mother. When you smile at me right before you give me a big bear hug, I see your birth mother. As I bathe you at night and clean your skin, I see your birth mother.
She is one of my favorite people on this planet. I will carry her in my heart for the rest of my life.