Sometimes it’s a loss that starts a family. Maybe it’s the loss of the dream of carrying a child due to infertility. Maybe it’s the loss of a child or children to miscarriage or early illness. For a child who has been adopted, it’s the loss of a whole family.
I have two children through adoption. And something I think that is overlooked is that they have/had a family. And they lost THEM to gain ME.
Let that sink in. Who am I to think that I am so special that they got me? I’m just a mom who loves them with all her being. Their birth moms also loved them. They loved them enough to choose life, to sacrifice their bodies to carry them, to wrestle with their circumstances, and to choose something different for their children. Their’s was a deep love in their decision to place their children for adoption. But there is loss.
My daughter has just started asking questions about why her birth mom didn’t keep her. But I don’t shut down that conversation. I enter into it. It’s hard to hear her miss her birth mom, to desire to live with her birth family. She wants to have both families. So I make a phone call and we have a visit with her birth family. It’s my responsibility to love my daughter well, to allow her the space to grieve, and to give her the healthy connection she’s craving. I am blessed to be her mom. But she had a first mom. She grew in someone else’s body. She knew her voice for 34 weeks. And I am blessed to love her first mom, to consider her a friend, and to be allowed to do life with her and share our daughter.
But I also have a son. He has a first mom, and I don’t know her. I haven’t seen her face and I don’t know her heart. I know that she chose to give him life, and I will be forever grateful. I know that she chose adoption, and I will be forever grateful. I know he longs to know where he came from. I will forever sit shiva with him as he has questions I can’t answer, as he grieves a family he may never know, as he attempts to process why his sister knows her family but he does not. I pray that one day he will know her. I pray that his heart will still be tender towards her and he will seek to understand her decision. Mostly I pray that she will receive him with great joy because he’s amazing and that she will allow me to tell her all about her son.
I love my kids. I am beyond amazed that God thought I was worthy of being their mother. But I got to be their mom because she is not. Because before they knew their names they had a loss that I have yet to experience, a loss so deep that I can’t fill the hole. So I won’t fill it. I’ll sit in it with them. I will grieve with them, ask hard questions, and seek their answers hand in hand. And love them fiercely in the wait.