Thursday, November 17, 2011
I think of her often and I thank God for her daily. I just can't say the words, yet
With Thanksgiving right around the corner I have been having a lot of conversations lately with my big four and a half year old about what we are all thankful for. He has been pretty much right on with his thankfulness - his preschool mind has him thankful for monster trucks and Halloween candy. The other day though, out of the blue, he said this to me : "Mommy, today I am thankful that you and Daddy went all the way to China to adopt me when I was a baby." Totally unprompted and totally sweet.
Tuesday night I was sitting in the cafe at church with both my boys waiting for Daddy to pick them up so I could attend a meeting. I asked my daily "what are you thankful for?" question. His reply: "Mommy, I am thankful for that other woman who carried me in her tummy and then took me to that place where I got in the van and drove to you and Daddy." OK, so he has a few of the details wrong, but oh. my. god. Total heart stopping moment. "I'm very thankful to her as well, Doodlebug.", I answered. And I am. I am so thankful to her. This woman who I will never meet, who has given me a piece of her- I owe her everything.
Which is why I feel guilty sometimes, when I think of this woman. I am thankful to her for so much. I am thankful that she went against years of violence against newborns to let a disfigured baby boy live. I am thankful that she placed this baby somewhere he would be found. I truly owe her my life. The connection I have to my oldest son is unexplainable. Sometimes my love for him is so strong it feels as though I am suffocating. I know what he is thinking. I know that he is a very sensitive soul wrapped up in an all boy package. He is in every breath I take. He is mine. All mine. And I know that. Both my boys are my boys.
So why is it so hard for me to say these two simple words: birth mom. I have yet to use these words with my oldest son. I feel as though there is no going back, once those words are out there. I tell myself that my little man is too young to understand, which is probably partially true. But I know the real reason I have yet to utter those words. I don't want to share him. He is mine. And I know that how we handle this will set the tone for how we handle it the next time around, when our tiny toddler is old enough to begin to understand his adoption story. We have danced around the subject. We read Motherbridge of Love by Xinran. We talk about the two women, the one who gave him life and the one who is teaching him to live it. He knows that some mommies have babies in their tummies and some grow their love for their baby in their hearts. He knows he wasn't in my tummy and neither was his little brother. And I know I am probably over thinking it. It will come in it's own time. But still, I feel guilty. I owe this woman. I feel connected to her through this beautiful boy. I wonder all the same things my son will most likely wonder one day. Did he get his beautiful features from her? His sense of playfulness? His love of music? Does she have long fingers just perfect for playing the piano? Is she sensitive and caring? I owe her. And I want my son to know as much of his sketchy story as possible. She deserves to be remembered. And he deserves to have the keys to his start in this world. So I sometimes feel guilty that I haven't uttered those two little words yet. Birth Mom. I think of her often and thank God for her daily. And one day I will give her the title she deserves. Birth Mom.