I'm on the verge of tears much of the day lately. Connecting with my Younger Daughter's birth mother has stirred up all kinds of feelings. Hearing my grandbaby's heartbeat, and subsequently seeing her/him waving and kicking on the ultrasound have made me so vulnerable.
The main thing that has been running around in my head is the connection between mothers and their birth children. My Older Daughter has always been so grateful to the cosmos for bringing us together. She and I are kindred spirits in so many ways, it has just seemed to both of us that it was some fluke of nature that another woman conceived and gave birth to her. But obviously, it was not. Finding YD's birth mother has pushed my thoughts to OD's first mother, too. I think of what a profound gift I was given. I wonder if her heart hurts. Always, on Mother's Day and on OD's birthday, I cry for her. They are tears of gratitude and deep sorrow, because I know that the fact that my daughter is amazing, loving, brilliant, sweet, hard-working, and beautiful has little to do with me. Most of her traits are genetic. I take great pride in her achievements, because I know I have had a part in her confidence, optimism, and desire to succeed, but without the raw material to work with, I could not have done whatever I did.
OD is studying Social Work now. We talked today after one of her classes about the loss felt by the birth mother in adoption. She said she never really thought about it that way; that she thought always of the choice, not the loss. I explained that having now been to the doctor appointments with her sister, I can fully realize what D. might have felt, facing the choice she did. While it's true that hers was a voluntary placement for adoption, it doesn't make the act any less consequential. Monumental.
Nothing could diminish my feelings for my children. The fact that I did not give birth to them does not in any way negate our connection, or my importance to them. I have always held that there is no difference in the love, but now I know how wrong I was. I see Younger Daughter's birth mother and listen to her talk about her loss. I watch my Younger Daughter's reaction when she sees her baby on the screen. Hell, I see my OWN reaction. I hear the pain in my Older Daughter's voice when she realizes that her birth mother may have really suffered. I have never down-played the role of the birth mother in the adoption triad, but until recently I couldn't feel the difference in the love. I don't think their birth mothers love them more than I do, or better than I do, or even more deeply than I do. But it's different. And I'm humbled. So I cry.