As the kids are getting older, I started to worry that I would not have any adoption related stories and information to share. I am beginning to understand that every chapter of their lives will bring new adoption emotions and situations. Good news is that means the blog will keep going 🙂
A few weeks ago, I was perusing Facebook, only to see a post written by the newest birth sibling’s adoptive mother (I hope you followed that description, you might have to read over it a couple times to understand who I’m talking about.) The post began: “2nd trimester cravings…”. My heart began to pound, and I began reading the comments to make sure I really understand it correctly. Sure enough, it appears she is pregnant with their 3rd child (they had one biological child before adopting). Anger welled up inside me. I was furious and hurt. But why???? Shouldn’t I be happy for her? Of course I should be. It’s wonderful news! But I’m not happy, I’m angry…and now, very confused. I tell Scott the news and he says something along the lines of, “Wow! They are going to be close in age. Probably 15 months like ours!” I try to explain to him my feelings, but I don’t understand them enough myself to express them. I try to push it to the back of my mind and move on.
A few days later I’m on a walk with a friend and ask her about it. She says, “Well, are you worried that ‘Grace’ (not her real name) will be left out and and not loved as much being the only adopted child and the middle child?” I was floored! How could I ever think that? I love my kids like MY kids! There is no difference. And yet, something about that statement nagged at me. Now, based on other information I have regarding the family, I believe this was probably an unplanned pregnancy. However, I think there is a part of me that feels like ‘Grace’ should be with us. Somewhere deep in the dark places of my brain, it feels like this mother does not care enough for ‘Grace’. She is replacing her with a biological child. She is going to get lost in the middle. She will have trouble identifying with her siblings later in life and feel like an outsider. With us she would have had where she came from in common with her siblings. Even writing this I feel like a horrible person for even thinking all this. I know ‘Grace’ is loved. I know she is in the right place. She even looks like her older sibling…not really like our kids at all. I pray that all will work out, and she will be a beam of sunshine in the middle of their family.
I think the anger…and sadness…also came from another place that I have buried for the past 5 or 6 years. That place where I thought that maybe someday that would be us. That someday we would add a biological child of our own. I am truly happy with my family. I would be happy to consider our family complete. I could not imagine Eva and Eli not a part of our life. They bring a joy I didn’t know if I would every experience. However, last night after bath, I looked at Eva and saw her birthmom…she is the spitting image of her. It reminds me that no matter how much we love them, there is someone out there that loved them first; someone that loved them enough to give them life and to know they wouldn’t be able to give them everything they needed; someone that chose us. My joy started with someone else’s greatest sadness. I know someday our kids will question us. Someday they will use the hurtful excuse, “But you’re not my real mom.” I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that one even though I know it will happen. We knew all this when we chose to adopt, but I thought my yearning to would stop. I think, as a woman, because I didn’t do the hard work to bring them into this world, I almost feel like I have missed out on a part of motherhood. Sometimes I feel like less of a mother because I didn’t endure 9 months and a painful labor. There is that awkward part of mom group conversations where they talk about their labors…while I can add information about the kid’s birth stories, the labor was not mine. There is also that biological clock that I can hear ticking away deep in the recesses of my body. Now that I am 35, time is beginning to run short. I have told Scott I will get rid of all the baby stuff when I turn 40. Five years left…
Unfortunately, for anyone reading this post looking for answers, I’m sorry. I don’t have any. I’m just putting my feelings out there because hopefully I’m not alone. As happy as adoption has made me, there are still emotions I struggle with. Emotions that I think only adoptive mothers may fully understand.