Sunday, November 8, 2009

National Adoption Awareness Month

As most of us already know, November is National Adoption Awareness Month! The original intent of this month was to raise awareness all the children in foster care in the United States waiting for a family, but it has grown to include all children and families touched by adoption.

My friend, Aimee, has challenged everyone to post ONE thing everyday this week on what you love or have learned from adoption. Visit her blog HERE. I am going to do my best so here goes my first thought...

One of the greatest things I have learned through being an adoptive mother is the power of letting go of fear and opening the heart in a million ways, but more specifically concerning pea's birth mother. When we started our adoption journey and were not quite sure which path we would choose, I certainly had some insecurities about having a relationship with my child's birthmother and fears that my role as mom would be always be inferior. But, now, I think of pea's birthmother daily and long for her to know how much her child is loved, that he is smart, funny, and full of joy. I long for her to know that he has her eyes and her nose. I feel a deep sadness that she cannot share in our joy of loving pea everyday. I hope that someday our paths will cross, but until that time my heart will always carry deep gratitude and grief for the woman who gave my son life. Adoption requires you to open your heart wide open, even when it feels uncomfortable, scary, and full of unknowns. Aimee also posted this poem a few days ago and it speaks beautifully to what it means, and feels like, to be an adoptive mother:

Being an Adoptive Mother…
Being an adoptive mother is not for every woman.
She must possess not only the natural mother instinct but an understanding and appreciation of the situation that brought a child into her arms making her a mother.
The adoptive family came to be by choices made, choices made by the first parents and by the adoptive parents.
This bond the adoptive mother has with her child grows over time, like the child did within his first mother’s womb.
Day by day, touch by touch, with each tear, kiss, and memory made they became a family.
Adoptive mothers have that special knack to let love grow.
Adoptive mothers know that she’s a mender of wounds, not just of the physical skinned knees with a band-aid and a kiss, but of the heart.
She gives love, acceptance, and permission to ask and talk about the day he was born and of his first parents.
Adoptive mothers are embracers, not only of the child with many hugs and kisses, but of the child’s heritage and history.
She embraces the facts of her child’s past with strength for herself and the child.
She’s not only a memory maker planning family vacations, activities, and birthday parties, but also a memory keeper.
Details of a birth, photos of the hospital, and of the parents who brought her into the world are kept along side the newspaper clipping that announced it all. All these things are kept in a special book that tells the whole story.
She’s a tier of shoelaces and of hearts.
She weaves lives together into a tapestry of a new family, with many different brightly, colored threads showcasing their individualities and family origins. Together they create one unit attached to each other.
Adoptive mothers are experts at finding lost objects, but understand and validate the profound, deep loss left by adoption.
She allows the tears to fall and grief to be felt, allowing the mourning of the mom not there.
She is secure in knowing that she’s not a replacement, but a finisher of a race for someone who, for whatever reason, could not run any longer.
This role is not for the weak of spirit, or the easily wounded.
Loving a child not born to her but calling him her own, but this is what she does, it is her calling. She is a mother.


Bobbi said...

I adore this poem!! It speaks volumes, and so much truth.

I too think of Reese's BM daily and wish I could share more with her. However, I am happy to be able to share with his foster mom now. I feel that she was so much of a mother to him and she loves him so much.

I think I am going to try this too. We'll see how I do:>)

Derek and Jennifer said...

That's an awesome poem. I am going to post it on my blog today too. I think often of their birth parents and Elena is really starting to talk about this stuff. This poem really says so much of what we all feel each day. Thanks for sharing. I had never seen this before.

aamayna said...

Awesome, I just love that one and feel the same way you do.

Gardenia said...

lovely post. thanks for sharing.

Becky said...

I love the poem. It's so true. I often think of Steven's birth mom and know that I have the responsibility to not only be a good mom for Steven but to live up to the enormous responsibility of the gift that she gave us.

Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Steph, I have never seen this poem. Thanks for sharing it. I love it. You are a fabulous mom! I've enjoyed catching up on your blog. Pea is soooo big...and so darn cute! Congrats on your journey to baby #2. Can't wait to follow along.