Yesterday a friend of mine and his wife became parents for the second time. They are really wonderful people, and because of some pretty significant health issues, having another baby the "usual" way wasn't an option. They are already terrific parents to their daughter and I have no doubt they are going to be equally terrific parents to their new son. He will be loved deeply, listened to, nurtured, nourished and cherished. I am deeply happy for my friend.
Yesterday a woman I don't know relinquished her newborn son to my friend and his wife. She chose them as the parents for the baby she and her boyfriend did not feel they had adequate resources to parent. She was not under duress or pressure from her family to make this decision, it was a decision she and her boyfriend made together. They were in contact with my friend and his wife throughout the last months of the pregnancy, and invited them to be present at the birth.
Even so, I grieve for her loss.
Even though I am estranged from my birthmother, by my own choice, I feel that sense of grief and loss every year on my own birthday. Right along with the joy and gratitude for the life I've been privileged to have, for the love of my parents and my children and the important people in my life, right along with all of that, there is also a part of me that feels pain. Whenever adoption creates a family, it also severs the relationship between a mother and her baby.
I'm a mother, twice now. I know the firece joy of being pregnant, the miraculous sensations of life moving inside me. The unparalleled opportunity to experience what it means to grow and nurture a life with my own body. From the moment that pink line appeared on the stick I'd just peed on, I was in LOVE with my baby. With the thought of my baby. Overwhelmed by the sudden need to protect that new life at any cost. I knew without a doubt that nothing would separate me from my baby.
Its easy to feel all of those things when you are financially able, in a supportive relationship, and fully physically and emotionally prepared to become a parent. Unfortunately, that's not the case for everyone, and I cannot imagine how it must feel to carry a life inside you, feel that life move and grow and have hiccups and kick your bladder and poke toes in your ribs, and then know that you will not be able to mother that baby after he or she is born.
I can't imagine how it must feel to watch another mother hold the baby that grew in your body and know that from this day forward, that person is going to be his mommy and not you.
I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that mother who is being given the incredible privlege of being this baby's parent is grateful to you beyond words. Your sacrifice has filled a hole in her heart.
But I wonder, who will fill the hole in yours?