My oldest daughter, Zoe, was adopted twenty nine years ago. There is a lot to our story. Much too much for one blog post. Maybe even too much for a dozen blog posts. So I’ve been trying to decide how to divide it up. I will tell you that it is good. It is all good. The best really. But there are a lot of feelings associated with adoption. And I’d like to explore our feelings, Zoe’s and mine.
I have seen quite a bit about how adoptive parents feel when waiting for a child, and even how adopted children feel growing up. But I haven’t seen a lot from the birth mothers. And how they feel being a birth mother. I am a birth mother. And I can share our story with you.
Let me start with an overview of our whole story. She was born the day before my eighteenth birthday and two weeks after I graduated high school. On the second day of her life, she was placed with an amazing couple. A couple that I chose for her.
At two days old, I said goodbye in the hospital not knowing if I would ever get to see her again, but knowing in my heart that it was what was best. It was excruciating to know that I wasn’t the best thing for my child and even more brutal to leave someone I already loved so much. But I did. I walked away. And I kept reminding myself I was doing it for love.
I went home and tried to pretend it hadn’t happened. Because twenty nine years ago, in the late eighties, teenage pregnancy was still something to be hidden. Something that I couldn’t tell people, because they would judge. And they would exclude. And they would be ashamed. But it did happen. So it was hard to hide. And my heart was broken. And my body was healing. And I was trying to figure out life.
Then came letters and pictures from her new parents. I lived for these. To see a little glimpse of her life. It helped to fill the hole in my heart.
Eventually we started to meet from time to time. We’d go to parks and play and pose for pictures and talk and laugh. These meetings soothed my aching soul. A little while later she came for overnight visits and on family vacations. She became a big sister to her four half-birth siblings. And we all got to know each other.
We still marvel at the similarities in all our personalities. Our tastes and preferences. Right down to our crooked pinky fingers. I have been blessed by this extended family, a shared family, this family created out of two families in pain. And it has been good. All good. The best really. But there were also all these feelings. Lots of feelings. Still feelings. Good feelings. And deep feelings. And over all, the biggest of all, there is love.
More about all that to come. . .