Friday, May 17, 2013

The "other" Mother

Mother's Day has come and gone, and with it this year, came a fresh awareness of the "other" mother who has forever become a part of our lives as a result of adoption.

I am, of course referring to our adopted children's birth mom(s).

If I am honest, she is not in the forefront of my mind very often. I don't think about her as much as I maybe should. Or maybe that is a silly thing to think.

I am grateful for her. Without her, I would be missing two amazing blessings. When I do think about her, I pray for her. I sometimes wonder where she is and if she wonders where her child is. I want her to know her child is loved.

But her presence also worries me. I wonder what her impact will be on her child, my child. Will she be put on a pedestal and thought of as a queen? Will her absence be a constant reminder of abandonment and loss? She has an impact, but how will it manifest itself and how do we, the adoptive parents, navigate those waters?

Our daughter has been processing more of her story. Her China mommy is being brought up more. I am thankful she feels comfortable talking about her. We have tried to be intentional in giving her "permission" to discuss her birth mom, but it brings up those questions. If I am completely honest with myself, it can feel a little threatening.

What if she dreams her China mommy into a better momma than me? What if she wishes she was there instead of here? That would hurt.

I try not to linger on the "threat." After all, it is not about me.

Instead, I try to ask questions about how she is feeling. I wonder with her about her china mommy. I pull out her "gotcha day" video to watch again. I do what I can to help her process her past and love her in the here and now.

I don't do it perfectly. I have made so many mistakes, some of them hurtful. This is not an easy process with clear cut dos and don'ts. There is another mother in our lives. Her presence makes things tricky and sometimes I don't know how to handle it.

But this I know, we are mother and daughter. It may be messy, but we are on this journey together; and we will walk it together.

My daughter has two mothers. I am the one who gets to watch her grow. I don't want to forget the one who gave her life.


Carol said...

As an adopted daughter, I would love to share my heart with you sometime. I think you are an amazing momma. Don't let the devil tempt you with the fears; they are his tools to distract you from focusing on the good and the wonder of the gift of adoption. (I know you know this truth, you just have to convince your heart)

Keep on keeping on!

Carol Gramm-Schrenk

smw said...

absolutley no one is perfect, i but i know you put your heart into this. God will fill the gaps. love you!!