Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Where Do I Fit In?

I recently had my fourth visit with my daughter E.  She is now 19 months old and is becoming a little person with her own personality.  It's an amazing privilege to see and watch her grow up and I will be forever grateful for that.  I know how truly lucky I am to be able to visit her at all.  I was able to take my niece and little sister along, as well as her birth father.  We all had a blast at the zoo together and it was an amazing day.  The adoptive parents and I were extremely close throughout my pregnancy and post placement, but time goes on and life gets busy.  We still communicate monthly and have our visits twice a year, but I cant help but think where I fit in in this picture of E's life.

She is the most amazing girl I have ever seen, and even though I am not sure I truly believe it myself, I feel like deep down she knows who I am.  I know her adoptive parents have told her that she grew in my tummy, but how much of that does a 19 month old really understand.  But when I held her against me and when I chased her around the zoo, I felt like there was an unspeakable connection.  She knew who I was, or at least felt that I was familiar.

So what does that all mean?  I am not her mom.  I will never really be her mother.  I am her birth mom.  I gave her life and I held her so tight in that hospital, but then I had to let her go.  I have moved on with my life in so many ways.  I am going to school with hopes of graduating in the spring, I have made countless new friends and have a new job.  I am supporting myself without help from my parents, something I would have never done had I parented.  I think about her daily and I know I will continue to do so forever.

When I was watching her with her mom and dad I couldn't help but feel like an outsider looking in.  I saw the little family that I helped create.  I saw her look for her mom when she was out of sight.  I saw her grab onto her dad and I felt that love between them.  They are her parents.  It is hard to fully come to terms with something like that.  Knowing that no matter how close I am with them, with E, I will never be her mother.  She will never call me mom.  She wont come cry to me with her boo-boos.  I'm not going to hold her when that first boy breaks her heart.

At our visit I had a really important moment with her adoptive mom.  A moment that is going to stick with me forever, that helped me discover my place in this ever so complicated relationship of adoption.  We were discussing all of the rude comments we get as birth parents and adoptive parents and sharing stories.  She told me about how someone asked her how she was going to deal with the dreaded "You're not my real mom" that was bound to happen one day.  I cringed at that.  I cant stand the thought of E saying that to her mother one day, but we all know eventually it will come.  Her mother told me that when she does have those moments when she feels like she doesn't fit in and questions everything, that she is so glad that I was there to hold her hand.  She was thrilled that when E gets older and she is having her own crisis that I will be there to help her.  She said she was happy that she would have someone there that is an amazing a trustworthy person.

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