|Lisa loving on Princess|
Selfishly, I am glad that my support has helped her not have to deal with the birthmother grief that I have.
So all around, our relationship is very symbiotic. Princess needs care, I have love and care to give.
Most of the time I don't find myself comparing or associating Princess with Brit. At least not consciously. They look nothing alike and I am so busy when I am caring for her, I don't have much time to reflect.
But this weekend was a bit different for me. Princess is developing a personality. She is 9 months old and changing so quickly. She scoots across the floor, crawling sometimes, just scooting most of the time. She pulls herself up and is so proud to be standing.
I found myself thinking about how Brit was walking at 9 months (just like I did as a child). I wondered what Brit's personality was like at 9 months. Did she like the same silly things that Princess does? What did her laugh sound like? What does it sound like when she says mama?
I missed it all. I gave it away. I will never know.
Being a birth mom, I am pretty sure I am hyper sensitive in this area. But looking back, I have been this way with my nephews too. I have always loved taking cute pictures or retelling cute stories to their parents of the little things that they did while mom and dad were gone.
Reflecting on my actions with Princess, I definitely think I am emulating the behavior I wish I was receiving. The joyful sharing of a child.
I make sure I take picture of Princess wearing the new outfit her grandma in California bought her, so her mom can forward them. I try to be thoughtful about what things her mom might like to see or share with the rest of their family. I want to be a blessing to them by being there and loving a child that they wish they could care for, but circumstances have kept them from being physically present.
I am thankful that I get pictures of Brit once a month. Pictures that I spend countless hours inspecting, looking for every detail I can possibly see. I wonder what that bit of food was on her cheek. Or what it looks like to see her run in the backyard like they say she does.
Secretly I wish they would occasionally send a picture of her playing with the toys we sent, or the gifts we put much thought and consideration into as we chose them for her. Because we don't get time with her, the only way we can show our love to her is by sending gifts that we hope will bring her joy. I also think that if they sent pictures like that, it would make me feel like what we try to do for her matters. That they recognize it and appreciate it. It might make me feel like we matter.
Every day I obsess about seeing her again. I want to physically hold her. Hear her voice. See her play. Even listen to her whine.
I try to fight off the icky thoughts. The ones that come into my head and cause me to focus on what I don't have, versus what I do have.
I think about how I am a perfectly trustworthy person who not only cares for my own children, but someone who cares for someone else's child. I am seemingly normal, well-adjusted and the only addiction I have is to Diet Coke.
Yet, I am not worthy of a relationship with the child I carried for 9 months. The child whose future I wanted to include two married parents. The child I chose parents for so she could have more than I thought I had to offer. (oh, to go back and talk to that Lisa...)
Now, I am kept at a respectable distance. Sure, I get pictures and an email update. But there are no phone calls, no continuation of the relationship that we had prior to birth.
I know that I could handle boundaries. When Princess's mom comes to pick her up on Sunday nights, I hand her over with no hesitation. I don't have any 'crazy' in me that wants to keep her. I respect my role in Princess's life. I love her while she is with me, but she has a momma to whom she needs to be with.
I read today on another blog that adoptive parents in open adoptions are reminded by couselors that there may be times when birthmother will need to pull back and can't have a close realtionship with their child. And I see blogs where adoptive mothers are so sad that birthmoms have distanced themselves.
And then there's me.
Waiting. Wishing. Hoping. Crying. Praying. Crying. Longing. Crying. And still holding on to hope.
Silently screaming "Give me a chance to prove to you that I can be a loving part of this child's life without being a threat."
I want a chance. I want a relationship. I don't just want to be the recipient of a scrapbook.