Today is my Friday--already! Where did this past week go??
Last night I was out to dinner with a group of friends. We got into a discussion about children. One of my friends has decided at 37 yrs of age she and her man do not wish to have children.
She spoke of how comfortable her life was and how she never really liked kids and just couldn't see raising any.
I told her that I thought she was brave for standing up and admitting that. For choosing to not to raise a child. Some people just aren't meant to be parents. And that's OK.
The conversation moved into the subject of my being an adopted child who grew up and is now raising an adopted child.
My friends man is adopted also. We talked about what it was like growing up adopted and about my decision not to tell my son he's adopted (for now).
"When did you know you were adopted?" I was asked.
"From the very beginning of comprehension."
"How did you feel about that?"
"It was my life support."
Quizzical looks sent my way
"Seriously. You know how other siblings tease each other and say, You're adopted when they really aren't?"
Laughter and nodding of heads
"Our Mother was so evil that when we were kids we'd tease each other and say, You're not really adopted...you're her REAL child! The teased person would scream in horror."
My friends laughed with me as they know some of my childhood stories but one lady who had come to dinner with another friend of mine was leaning forward and listening with rapt attention.
"I'm a birth mother" She said quietly.
I looked at her and smiled. "You know what? I think birth mothers are one of the bravest people I know of."
She gave me shy look and ducked her head, melting back into the table crowd.
"Seriously." I said, turning to speak to my friends sitting to my right. "You find yourself in a situation in life where you're pregnant and cannot or do not want to raise your child in that lifestyle. So you bundle them up and send them out into the world for a better chance than you feel you can give them."
"That, is bravery." I said, tapping the table in emphasis.
"You spend your adult years thinking about that child. Aware of everything you are missing. You live with that emptiness."
"As a child you don't really feel much of that pain. You're too busy growing up and experiencing life. Sure, you wonder. You pause and feel that ache of not knowing from time to time, but it's not the full center of your life."
The birth mother at the table had leaned forward out of the table crowd and was nodding her head. Her eyes were on me like lasers, drinking in my words.
I knew what she was feeling, having talked at length with my own birth mom and the guilt and anguish she felt.
I turned and looked the birth mother in her eyes. "You know what? I found my birth Mom when I was 26 and it was wonderful. But you know what I wish? I wish I could have taken the pain from her of the years she gave up missing watching me grow. Most of all? I wish I could take the guilt from her. To let her really understand how damn proud I am of her for making the brave decision to not raise me at that tumultuous time of her young life. For going out and making something of her life and eventually having a family of her own that she could be with."
The birth mother looked at me with aching eyes then melted back into the table crowd.
A mothers love.
You don't have to have raised a child to feel it. It's there. I hope I helped her with some of the pain she is carrying by answering some of the questions I know, haunt her.
7 years ago