“We came together as strangers but we leave as eternal friends.”
This was my graduation motto way back in 1993. That’s right, 22 years ago in May (for those of you doing the math, yes, that makes me almost 40). At the time, the most significant people in my life were my family and my classmates. As cliché as it may sound, most of the people in my itty bitty class of 72 were as much family as those that I was biologically linked to in my life.
Perhaps this is why I never thought one second about loving someone not biologically connected to me. Perhaps that is why I understood that family can be about blood, but it isn’t always. Perhaps that is why the course of adoption came so naturally to me.
My husband and I met Logan’s birth mom just two months before his birth. The day we met wasn’t rainbows and sunshine. There were tears. There was pain. There was sadness. But in all of this…there was faith and hope. We quickly came to love each other in a way that even I never thought I could love another.
Choosing to place her child with our family? That was something that broke her heart into a million pieces. “Why?” “How could she do that?” These are questions that my husband and I have often been asked in the (almost) four years of my son’s existence. My answer is always this: She did it because she loved him more than she loved herself and she put his needs above her very own. After all, that IS what mothers DO.
I can’t for one moment imagine that I know what that was like (is like) for her. I do know what it is like to love a child as your very own for ten years and to have to walk away. I can only imagine that this pain is multiplied times one hundred when it is the baby you have felt growing in your very womb.
That silly motto from my graduation has played in my mind many times since the day Logan was born. It has much more meaning to me now than it did on the day I first heard it. Even more than friends…we left as FAMILY. We love hard in this family. We don’t know how to love halfway. April is very much the same in this respect.
April may not ever know the depth of my love for her, but because of her decision to choose LIFE for her baby, I am a mother. I get to hug my sweet son every single day. I get to see his smile and the love for me in his eyes. After twelve years of waiting for I child, I am blessed to hear someone call me “Mama”.
When I see glimpses of her in Logan it makes my heart smile. I love to see pieces of her in him when they come shining through. Some may think of that as painful, perhaps. To me, it is a constant reminder that this child is loved the world over. He is loved by two mothers, two families, and by many hearts.
I know a multitude of birth mothers and am so blessed to call many of them friends. As I meet more and more of these amazing women through the years, I learn that I have so much to learn from each and every one of them. Not all circumstances are pretty. Not all placements are kind and beautiful. Some of them are pretty ugly. But the majority of all adoption placements is done with one focus: LOVE.
We are often told to never judge a book by its cover. We are told that you never know someone’s reasons for their decisions unless you have walked in their shoes. I can’t think of another circumstance where this rings more true than in adoption.
I will always stand behind adoption and the loving, amazing, wonderful women that we call “birth moms”. I will always jump to their defense and I will always speak out for their rights. I’ve been told not to glamorize birth mothers. I’ve been told to “keep it real”. This is me, keeping it “real”.
Love? It doesn’t have to have limitations. And me? I love adoption. ❤