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Thursday, December 16, 2021

Adoption - 8 years later

My husband is really great about asking our son for permission to post his photos. I am trying to learn to do the same, and that includes his adoption. So I will not speak to his perspective, but I want to offer mine, because it has changed a lot since he was born.

One of the things I am most ashamed of, is how jealous I was.

When we were in the hospital, we tried to get Isaiah to take a bottle of formula. He did, but it wasn't a natural thing. When he would visit his mom, he would try to breastfeed, and that broke my heart. I felt like I was doing something horrible. I was taking a baby from his mother, who he instinctually preferred. Their bodies were matched. Hers produced a home and sustained him. And as soon as he entered this world, he never saw it again.

What right did I have? 

She and I communicated a little in the first couple weeks of his life to get things settled and to make sure everyone was doing alright. And then we stopped talking. And we didn't speak until I saw her on a sidewalk in the summer of 2020. Seven years. And in that moment, I still felt this undeniable bond that she and I have. As soon as she recognized me, her eyes lit up, the same ones I see on my son, and she said "How is he??" and there was no hurt, there was no awkwardness. It was two moms, on a sidewalk, bonded by their shared love of one little boy.

I still feel some sadness about his birth. Mostly though, because in helping Isaiah and his mom, ultimately, there was still a loss. When I looked at her face, I saw him. And I'll never see myself there. But the most surprising thing is, I'm okay with that. I don't feel that insecure sting of jealousy anymore. I look forward to the day when they meet. To the day when he's ready to see her again. Because just like she can never not be his mom, neither can I. 

I prefer not to use the term "birth mom" or "adoptive mom" anymore. We're both his mom, and that doesn't take anything from either of us. We've been through too much.

I would never recommend adoption to just anyone. I think a lot of people get into adoption as a "last resort" because they can't get pregnant. Or, they do it because they feel called by Jesus to adopt. I don't mean to disrespect to Jesus, or you, but don't adopt because Jesus told you to. You're adopting because the idea sounds right. This is a human being that you'll raise. This is someone who might grow to not believe in Jesus or anything that you believe in. A real person with choices and preferences. Jesus is not physically parenting this child with you, and there's a difference. 

If you're looking for a fun and easy happy ending, this isn't it. This is real life.

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