In the early years, we thought of them a lot. We prayed for them and we thanked God for connecting us and for their self-less act of allowing us to raise their child.
As the years went on, I thought of them less and less. On Mother’s Day and on daughter’s birthday, I would whisper a prayer for them.
Shortly after daughter turned 18, she received a letter in the mail from her birth father. He had wanted to connect for years, but waited until she was grown and perhaps better prepared for the revelation. They met and marveled over how alike they were!
He arranged for daughter to meet her birthmother. They had remained friends over the years, but had moved on from the relationship.
Soon, they were ready for all of us to meet. I watched daughter and birthmother interact and so many things made sense. The gestures, the laugh, and the way the cheeks turned into joy when they would smile.
Daughter saw many pieces fall into place. It’s good to know who you came from.
As their relationships grew, other issues emerged that were less pleasant. But she loved them and we extended our love to them as well. I only slightly flinched the first time daughter called her “Mom”. It was odd, but it was good.
Birth father died suddenly. Daughter fell apart. Deep sobs of grief came from her. Herein was a new challenge of adoptive parenting: comforting a child upon the death of a birth parent.
Birth mother has now become ill. Daughter dropped everything to be at her side. She set aside much of her own life to make medical care arrangements for her and sat at her bedside for weeks.
I am not proud of the selfish thoughts that flashed through my mind. What are we – potted plants? I have asked God to forgive me for my selfishness.
Birth mother is in decline. If not for the loving care of daughter, propping her up against despair, she would already be gone. How could I resent that? I shook myself to my senses, then began to wonder at the grace of it all again.
Of giving, of loving, of growing, of nurturing. Then seeing that gift of love, growth and nurturing paid back to where it all started.
Life is funny. When I set aside my pettiness, I saw the perfect circle of love and grace. Despite my twinges of jealousy, daughter has become the wonderful, loving woman I prayed she would become. It makes both of her mothers proud!
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