I am ever respectful that my joy of being my kid’s mommy is from the tragic loss of their first mother. The complexity and depth of this has shaped the person I am becoming, as it will for my children throughout their lives. It pains me that I can’t heal this loss for the ones I love the most.
There are aspects of adoption that pull at the cords of my heart and give flight to an aching from within. I love my children so much that it actually hurts to have missed any part of their existence and to not have been able to share with them those missing parts.
I didn’t conceive my girlies, nor did I experience the physical feelings and bonding with them in my womb. I was unable to put my energies and desires into eating healthy and tending to prenatal care for their benefit. I never felt them move or kick within me. I can’t share with them how their delivery into this world felt or how I birthed them myself.
This brings a surge of emotions: longing, missing, and basic primal instinct of desire, up from the core of my being. I wish I could have shared everything with my precious babes. Not to just have experienced it, but to have experienced it with them.
With adoption there are decisions to be made that are not usually within ones realm. Part of each of my children’s adoptions entailed an in-depth examination of if I was going to have a daughter, a son, or let someone else decide that; what race and ethnicity my kids would be; about special needs or not, and if so, to what extent. These were profound decisions that I felt the full weight of on a conscious level. I undertook a daunting and humbling self-exploration as I peeled back and delved into my very heart and soul.
Then I waited to see who my child was.
The importance of one’s name has more meaning for me now; it shifted in my mind once I saw each of their faces, learned their given names, and read their histories. I no longer thought of it as I once did as a little girl dreaming of my kids’ names. For me, it was paramount that my children not lose any more than they already had.
I added to their names: a respect for their pasts and as their first gift from me. My intention was a blending together the love from their first beginnings and love from the beginning of our life as a forever family. I wonder how my daughters will feel about it once they are grown. Each family has to decide how to handle this personal, and for many, quite private family matter.
I love how my family was formed—I wouldn’t change one thing, not even the missing parts. There are aspects of how my family came to be that are both similar to and not at all like biological families. I believe becoming a parent and a family is profound and joyous, both if one experiences a physical or a paper pregnancy.
Always with hope, Bobi
A child born to another woman calls me mommy, the magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.
~ Jody Landers