I am ashamed to admit this, but I think there is truth and growth in it, so here goes.
Before we brought the boys home, I used to say that an advantage to international adoption was that we wouldn’t have to “share” our children. I had this silly notion that a birth mom was some kind of threat.
Now, if I think of Etienne and Zeke’s birth mothers, I tear up. I long to know something of their story, to have a piece of my sons’ beginnings.
Was Etienne born with those long, thick eye lashes that everyone talks about? Was he always rolly-polly? When Zeke entered the world, did he just want to nestle into your neck, the way he still does now? Did your labor for hours in the rainy season? Were you alone or surrounded by other brave women? Was adoption always your plan or did life not give you a choice?
I think about what I would tell them if I could meet them face to face. I would say that I can never, ever begin to thank them for the gift that they gave me in trusting me to mother their children. The bravery, the love, the courage.
I would tell Etienne’s birth mom that he is so full of love and that there isn’t anything he can’t take apart, fix, or reinvent. His curiosity reflects his intelligence that maybe she passed onto him. I would thank Zeke’s mom for his sparkly eyes and silly demeanor. I would share with her his love for reading and how reflective he is of the world around him. I would promise both women that although my love for my sons is was heart born and not organic, the depths are immeasurable and constant. I would share with them that there was a time, a dark and lonely place, when I told my husband that I just wanted to be able to someday say I would die for my boys. Now that someday is here.
These are older pictures, but Etienne’s face is so reflective, which is how I see him when he doesn’t know anyone is watching. This is also Zeke’s true grin.
My house is cluttered, my brain is scattered, and my heart is full. I am the mother to Molly (8), Blake (5), Etienne (4), and Ezekiel (3), the younger two adopted from Rwanda. I have a passion for mothers and a heart for adoption. Since coming home with our boys, I have found a calling to combine the two by reaching out to adoptive moms. When not with my entourage, I catch babies as a CNM and blog about our adventures, struggles, and prayers.