**Because this post is incredibly personal and such a sensitive topic for those involved, no timeline or names will be given. So, if at times it seems a little cryptic, please understand why**
I received the phone call shortly after he was born, and although my heart leapt and a huge smile spread across my face, I was immediately struck by something deeper. Something I hadn’t really considered ~ but knowing he was laying there, and although loved (SO loved), not yet belonging to anyone was so emotional for me. And suddenly I understood why.
Because he was me. That was me.
34 years ago I was born, and for weeks I was loved (by a foster mom) but did not yet belong to anyone.
But my situation was also slightly different than hers….This new mom, soon to be *birth mom*, was involved in the entire experience. She was able to scour files and hand pick the family her son would call his own. She had the first true test of motherhood, being able to put her child’s needs above her own personal wants. That part was the same. But 34 years ago, adoptions weren’t open in most cases. So without knowing specifics, it is fair to assume that after giving birth, my birth mom had to walk away.
Not knowing where I was going or who I’d be raised by. Not even really knowing if I’d be loved and treated well. I was. Very. But she didn’t know that. And I can’t even imagine.
For this young friend, though, she did know. And still this experience…this decision, however right it felt, was pretty much impossible. And again, I can’t even imagine.
My heart and stomach were in knots for days prior to his placement. Not just for my friend , and the adoptive parents, who I have an incredible amount of love and compassion for, but for him ~ this sweet baby with whom I identified the most with in this scenario. I was lucky enough to spend some time with him ~ and it was magical. I spoke with my young friend, who at this point had spent 3 days bonding with her baby and was now going to pass him off to someone else (Oh my heart ached). We talked about HOW she was ever going to be able to do this, what I would say to my birth mom now (another post), and how being so involved in the process was a blessing in an otherwise devastating situation. I also told her that I happened to know the family of the adoptive dad, and although this wasn’t my son or my story, knowing who his family would be brought so much comfort. Pieces fit together and my heart ached a little bit less. And I could tell her with complete confidence, that she had set her son up for a life of incredible blessings.
I know she wished things could be different. For her sake, I was wishing the same thing. But it was evident for several reasons that, while she loved him, it would be a life of struggle for the both of them. And she loved him enough to know she didn’t want that for him. Or her. And so she made the most heartwrenching decision.
I know many friends who have been blessed by adoption, and I see firsthand how amazing it is. I also know a few who have both placed a baby for adoption and chosen to parent – both decisions come with an incredible amount of lifelong emotion.
But to be this close and see it first hand, and to realize just how much I felt for and identified with this sweet little boy (who was nothing short of gorgeous and perfect), was amazing to me. For days I couldn’t figure out why I felt so out of sorts, and then he was born and my emotions took on a life of their own.
I know it’s not about me, and I promise I wasn’t making it that way, but I had a connection to the scenario with a depth I could not have predicted. And being able to hold him and, in that short time try to infuse all my love and understanding into his sweet self, meant more than I could have ever imagined. It was healing in a way I didn’t know I needed. It was amazing to sit there in the hospital room and love on him, while offering love and support to his mom, who just an hour later would take on the title of birth mom.
I was driving the kids around to various activities at the time of the meeting and placement and it was all I could think of. Her and her family, the adoptive couple, and of course him. And I knew that room would be filled with the most incredible amount of emotions….on all ends of the spectrum. It would be devastating and hopeful, and I knew that seeing the joy in his parents eyes would somehow lessen the pain seen in hers.
For various reasons, nobody but my husband knows about this situation. Not even my closest friends and family. For these same reasons, it will remain that way. But I wanted to blog about it, however cryptically, and share my experience. These emotions are real and raw, no matter how much time has passed, and for me, writing is healing. The gift of adoption is not something that is taken lightly and I have a deep sense of what that phone call must feel like, especially after years of struggle. While my heart continues to break for my young friend, it also rejoices for this couple, whose prayers were finally answered. And for this sweet boy who I love so dearly, I feel joy. Already he is so blessed.
WE are so blessed.