My son's parents were adopting "out of state"; their home wasn't here. So they had to stay in the state for so many days before we could complete final paperwork. We visited them at their hotel, and they visited us at our home. It was such an intimate and special bonding time for us all. We were two families, but we were one.
I have never regretted my decision. I have never regretted my decision. That being said...in the days after giving birth; when I went home to recover; I was a mess. My body was a wreck. My heart was tired. I was happy, and content with everything that had taken place. But my body expected there to be a baby to hold, to nurse, to care for. My arms ached, my chest hurt like nothing I'd ever felt. I would cry, great heaving cries. I missed him, but not in a way that I wanted him for myself. I still, all this time later, can't explain it rightly... Unless you've walked where I've walked...you just really can't understand... I didn't "wish" I'd kept him...but he had been with me for so long...he grew beside my heart. His heart knew my heart in a way, at the time; that no other heart knew. Of course I loved him. Of course I missed him. The heart misses what makes it whole. He was a part of me. He is a part of me. He is the first piece of my heart that walks, and breathes, and lives outside of me. There will always be a separation, a missing piece, a place only he fills.
The doctor put me on a sleep aid, but it made my dreams so crazy. I would wake my parents up screaming and crying. I had nightmares I couldn't escape. It was a hard way to heal....but I did heal. I did stop hurting, the nightmares went away, and I slept on my own.
My son's parents sent me letters, and cards, and pictures, and videos, too. I sent birthday cards, and Christmas cards. We kept in touch. And I got to see my son grow, and change, and look like me, and be left-handed like me. We met for dinner once when he was six years old. It was so fun to spend time with him, and talk to him about what he wants to be when he grows up, what he likes in school, the things he likes to do.As the years have gone by, the letters and pictures are further apart. Of course the further into technology we go; letters in mailboxes get less and less. And that's okay. Mostly, I see his life in snapshots. And I rejoice greatly in each of them. His life brings joy to me. Beauty from ashes...
There has not been one day, not one single day in the 4,178 days that have passed since he was born; that he has not quietly passed through my mind for a moment or more. Sometimes it's only a thought at the end of the day that is, "I almost went the whole day without thinking about him once..." And then I'm thinking about him. His life changed mine. In all the best ways.
As a girl who had given birth; I knew who I was. I knew I was a mother, a birth mother. It was solid. It was sure. It was beauty, and good, and right.
As a girl who had a terrible experience with a man; I was lost. As a girl who had a terrible experience with a church; I was bitter.
It took me years, and mistakes, and finally letting go of trying to control how my life went; to find peace. And to find healing. To find mercy, and truth, and incredibly beautiful redeeming grace. It took me over a decade to stop thinking that "being the preacher's daughter who got pregnant before she got married" was who I was. It took me all that time to stop caring what any-earthly-body thought of me. For years I was angry at the man who got me pregnant. I hated him. But God can change a sinner's heart. And I let go of that anger. And I forgave him; even though I've not seen him since that night. Nor spoke to him since that day. And honestly; even though I've forgiven him, truly forgiven him...I don't know what I'd do if I found myself face to face with him. It makes my hands shake and my heart race to think about it. It's not something I would ever want to actually happen. And for the longest time I never wanted to see a long list of people from the church my dad was the preacher of, either. And I'll be honest...I did not have loving feelings for them. But God has a sense of humor doesn't He? And today; I see some of those people quite often. And I don't feel the slightest pang of anger or hurt. And I don't feel like all they see is the girl who got pregnant.
A week before I met my husband; I decided to let go...to follow God where He was going to lead me anyway. To follow without kicking and screaming. And the day I met my husband; the moment he was walking through the doors of the bank I was working in; I was praying for God to show me where my path was taking me. And I've found so much healing. So much joy. So much peace, with my husband, with our children, and in our life. After I gave birth to my first son; I was terrified, for years, to have any more children. I was scared he would think I didn't love him if I had "my own" children. I was even more terrified to have another boy. That he would think I replaced him. Or that he wasn't good enough, and they were.
And honestly...sometimes even now...the devil will creep in and try to fill me with that fear. It can be crippling. But God is bigger than the devil. And the truth always has the final say. And I still know, that I know, that I know, that he was always supposed to be exactly who he is, with exactly the parents he has.
My lastborn child, the boy who calls me mom, was born on a hot summer day, in the same month, two weeks (and nine years) behind my firstborn. He's left handed, too. I call them "My August Boys". Like I said, God has a sense of humor, doesn't He?
I have started writing this post....so many...so, so, so many times. And I've never been able to finish it. There's always more to say. Even now, there's so much more to it, to me, to him, to his parents, than I can't put into words. But my hope is that this will suffice. To help...in some way...people who don't understand. To give a voice and a story to other birth moms who maybe can't put theirs into words yet.
And I also want to say....now that you have read this; here are some things to stop saying to birth moms~
"I'm so sorry, I had no idea." Sorry for what? Don't give me your condolences. I am not in mourning. There was not a life taken. There was a life given. Given by my own accord. Not taken from me. Don't tell me you're sorry. I'm not.
"I could never give my child up for adoption." All this implies is that a birth mom didn't love her child as much as you love your child. This says that the birth mom was careless, or selfish. This. Is. Not. The right thing to say. To that I always want to say, "Why couldn't you? Why couldn't you give your child the best possible life you could at that time in your life? Why couldn't you choose life and love over anything else? Why would you even have to think about that for a nano second?"
"Did you not want the baby?" Just. Don't. Of course I wanted him. I wanted him to live, to love, to flourish. If someone said, "hey you can breathe, or he can, what do you pick?" I'd start holding my breath. Just. Don't.
"I'm sure it was the best thing/right thing for you at the time." Does anybody really, truly believe that birth mothers choose adoption for their own sake? It wasn’t best for me. Birth mothers don't think of themselves first. If it was best for the birth mother, she'd probably be the only mother.
"Well you made the right decision." Maybe you think this is encouraging. But it's not. It's quite judgmental, actually. Do you go around to young, single mothers & say, "You made the wrong decision!" Probably not. So don't say that.
"Does he know that you're his real mom?" Uuuuuuum he knows that his mom is his real mom. He knows that I'm his birth mom. And by the way, when you say "real mom", do you mean that there are pretend moms, fake moms? What makes a mom a "real" mom? I'm really his real, real-life birth mom. And his real mom, who is real, is his real-life, real mom. Who happened to adopt him. Stop saying this.
There's too many things wrong with how people approach adoption stories, and the real-life people who are a part of them. Maybe it's just because people who have never been a part of it just don't know enough about it....I don't know. But I do know the best thing you can say to a birth mom is this, "You are so brave. You must really love your child." and leave it at that. And on the flip side; the best thing you can say to an adopted mom (or dad) is "You are so brave. You must really love your child." and leave it at that.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 I Am a Birth Mother by Kaedra Gillian Van Martyr Marquis BLUE My hope in writing this post; is that I can be a voice for other women like me. I know there has to be stories just like mine. Women who have been where I...[ abbreviated | read entire ]