Friday, July 29, 2011

Bittersweet News

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When Coley wrote her "Missing the Baby" post on April 7, 2011, in it she asked if we missed the “baby versions” of our children more than the “today versions.”  At the time, I said to myself, “Nah.  I love whatever version I get to see, and don’t miss one more than the other.”  That was then.

Last week, T (my daughter’s a-mom) emailed me and said that my daughter was now running around and chattering away – that she had a vocabulary of more than 20 words, not including people names and animal sounds.  When Nick (birthfather and my boyfriend) and I had our surprise (to us) visit at the beginning of June, she still had some….I don’t know….baby attributes.  She was toddling around at that point, but just barely, and her vocabulary was still pretty small.

I’m excited on one hand that she’s growing the way she “should be,” but on the other hand, I think it’s causing me to realize how fast she’s growing up and how much I’m actually missing.  Don’t get me wrong: I’m hugely appreciative of the relationship I have with my daughter’s parents.  The fact that I usually get a weekly email from them is above and beyond what I ever hoped for when I placed my daughter with them.  But it’s also causing me some regret that I didn’t get to spend more time bonding with her as a baby.

Not knowing I was pregnant until I gave birth caused me to miss out on all that pre-birth bonding time that most mommas get.  Then of course with the issues surrounding my physical state when I gave birth and the subsequent fact that she was in foster care for nearly 2 months after she was born caused me to miss out on a lot of things then too.  I know birthmoms don’t get nearly 2 months of bonding time with their children.  It’s usually about 48 hours and then placement day happens.  But during that time, most birthmoms make the most of that time with their children.  They hold them, feed them, change them, and even bathe them.  I’ve experienced those things a multitude of other times with other babies since I was a nanny for so long.  But it’s different with your own, I know.

I’m now wondering if the fact that I didn’t get to bond with her much when she was little will negatively affect the relationship I have with her as she grows.  I don’t want to take away the bond that she has with her parents.  I just want her to have a bond with me too.  It’s crazy how different things can affect me different ways.  Most of the news I’ve received about her various milestones has been bittersweet.  But this bit of news seems more bittersweet than most.

I usually have a healing point to my posts.  This one doesn’t.  My dear friend and fellow birthmom Debbie said at the BBuds retreat that it was nice for her to see me shed healing tears about my daughter at the candlelight ceremony.  She said usually she sees me so positive about my whole adoption experience that it was nice to see me grieving too.  This post is for those of you that wonder if I have the “perfect adoption” too because I’m always so positive about it.  I’m still positive about the experience.  I know that my daughter is where she’s supposed to be, and my experience as a birthmom has blessed me beyond what I ever expected.  But yes, I grieve too, and the recent news I received has reminded me that it’s okay to show that.


  1. Im 45 years old and I am still bonded to my first Mother. I will never be bonded to my adoptive Mother in the same way. Yes, I am bonded to my adoptive mother, but is very different. It's not a natural bond, like I have with my first mother, but it is still a bond.

    You may have not known that you were pregnant, but your child knew you then, and will always know you. Adoption never changes that.

    But please- please- do not tell your daughter that "she is where she is supposed to be". "Most" adoptees will tell you that it is very disturbing to hear their Mothers say that. Children are "supposed to be" with their natural families. Adoption is a man made legal procedure. Hearing that is very dismissive to adoptees who acknowledge the pain they have due to being relinquished and subsequently adopted.

  2. How can it be good to see someone grieving? It's tragic! You are still at the beginning of adoption, there's a long way to go yet to adulthood.You have articulated so well that which often seems to be one of the difficultiues for mothers..being stuck with a baby version of the child who became an adoptee but grows up to be an adult adoptee.May I link please? Von

  3. Von - Since you posted as anonymous, I couldn't email you back. Yes, you may link back to this post. :-)