It’s Mothers’ Week: Birthmoms, Amazing Moms
On February 11th, 2009, we met our daughter’s birth parents. Terrifying. There is no other word to describe how the anticipation leading up to a meeting like that is; walking down the aisle, job interviews, my first day of teaching ever–all delightful in comparison….but this was just un- real.
As the hour that we’d meet approached, everything just clicked for me. It felt like this was what I was supposed to be doing, one of the things I was made for, and the minute we walked through that door and saw them all of our nerves just dissolved. We knew it was “them.”
There were 6 weeks between our meeting and our soon-to-be daughter’s due date. We spent quite a bit of time getting to know each other, talking about what would happen at the hospital, discussing names, and talking about our relationship once she was born. I felt an incredible weight in this assignment to raise her because I wasn’t just doing it for us but for the four of us. They’d made the ultimate sacrifice, and we were compelled to do a good job for them.
There is so much to say about bringing Georgia home from the hospital and the relationship that has been built with our birth parents. There was a day when Georgia was about 8 months old that really confirmed for me how incredibly noble and heroic a birth mother is.
I was at a doctor’s appointment. Inevitably, I got to have the conversation I always got to have with anyone who was providing some kind of service for Georgia before her adoption was finalized, the one about her last name and why it was still different and what do you mean she doesn’t have a social security number yet?, etc. etc. So, I explained to this particular lady the whole adoption “thing,” and she smiled and looked at Georgia who was smiling at her and said, “What? She’s adopted? What kind of mom would want to give her away?”
I just stared at the woman who in that moment didn’t seem as nice and cheerful as she had 2 minutes before. I said, “Wow. I don’t really know how to answer that.” She instantly realized she’d said the wrong thing and proceeded to back pedal with many weak attempts to say something nice; all the while just making it worse.
But that question really made me think. The answer to her question was not one. Not one mom wanted to give her away nor did one give her away. She knew making an adoption plan was the right thing to do for Georgia, and, yes, for herself too, since they were both young and had a lot of growing up left to do. But, the right thing doesn’t always equate to WANTED. The right thing is frequently hard and painful and devastating, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less right. The right thing often means struggles.
In an answer to the lady at the doctor’s office who asked, “What kind of mom would give her up?” My response to her should have been, “A noble one. One that made the harder decision, the best decision for Georgia. One who knew she was not ready to provide a stable family for the little girl she was carrying. One who knew she had a lot more to learn before she was ready to be a mom. One who will one day be a great mom to her future kids. One who knows that being a mom means selfless decisions and heartache.”
Mother’s Day is a lot more about thanking the amazing girl who made me a mom, the amazing girl who was the perfect first mom for my little girl, and the one that exemplifies the sacrifice, courage, and strength it takes to be an amazing mother.
Maggie wears the badge of adoptive mom with honor, pride, thankfulness, and humility. She lives everyday in awe of the fact that her daughter’s birth parents chose them to raise their daughter Georgia and entrusted them with her future and well-being. Her blog, Pink Shoes, is a platform for Maggie to write about those everyday, very simple moments that make a life and what she can learn from them.