By Neena Brammer of Sun On My Skin and In My Toes
Being a mom is an undeniable gift. There are two women who made it possible for me to become a mother. These women are my children’s respective birthmothers. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think of and thank these two women.
Due to infertility, my family was created through adoption. Countless times, I’ve been told I ‘saved’ my children from what, I’m assuming, is thought to be a less fortunate life. True, my children were born to women who emotionally and financially couldn’t care for a child. However, I consider myself the one to have been saved by my children’s birth mothers.
After learning about my infertility, having multiple failed fertility treatments and multiple failed adoptions, I hit one of the lowest points in my life. I was depressed, in therapy and considering taking anti-depressants. After more than three years of trying to start a family, I never thought I’d be a mom. In April 2013, my daughter’s birth mother gave me life again by entrusting me and my husband to be her daughter’s forever family. My husband and I received this gift again in May 2015 when my son’s birth mother had the same faith and we became ‘Mom and Dad’ for the second time around.
These women chose my husband and me to be their children’s forever family by reading a brochure about us and meeting us just once. How they knew we would be the parents they wanted for their children having known us for such a short amount of time baffles me. I thank them for having this instinct.
When I met each of my children right after birth, I cried tears of joy. I also cried tears of guilt and sadness for my children’s respective birth mothers. These women let go a part of them all out of the act of love.
Each of my child’s adoptions is closed. In other words, my children’s birth mothers have chosen not to have contact with them. This fact saddens me, but I understand they need to move forward with their lives. Thinking about their children could prohibit them from doing so. Daily, I wonder how my children’s birth mothers are doing. I wonder how they spend their days. I wonder how often they think about the children they carried. I want to tell them how wonderfully our babies are growing, their likes and dislikes and their emerging personalities.
Will we ever see our children’s birth mothers again? I don’t know. Do my children know about their respective birth mothers? Absolutely. They need to know they are loved not only by my husband and me, but also by the women who carried them, gave birth to them and loved them enough to make the decision to place them for adoption in order to give them a life they could not.
My husband and I speak freely about adoption to our children. Despite being only one and three years old, our children are regularly told they are adopted and are loved by their birth mothers. They are shown pictures of their birth mothers and are told their adoption stories.
My last encounter with each of my children’s birth mothers involved hugs, tears and a whispered, “Thank you.” I didn’t know what else to say. Words cannot express my gratitude for giving me the gift of motherhood.
The following quote summarizes the relationship between a birth mother and an adoptive mother:
“He is mine in a way that he will never be hers. Yet he is hers in a way that will never be mine. And so together, we are motherhood.”
About the Author
I’m a therapist by profession but am currently a stay at home mom to two little kids. When not chasing after the littles, I love going to the beach, shopping and trying new restaurants. I can be followed at Sun On My Skin and In My Toes.