Not too many days ago I was at Angela’s Cafe (where I do a lot of writing), and I came around a corner, only to be (nearly) taken out at the knees by one of the cutest toddlers I’d ever seen. Later that day I got an email message:
“Okay, so I should have introduced myself but I didn’t. That was my daughter that almost impaled you with silverware at Angela’s.”
I guess you never know where a potential guest post might come from.
So today Rebecca Wenrich, mom of the toddler who nearly took me out, gets honest about some of the feelings she’s experienced towards the birth mom of her adopted baby girl. I love the honesty and grace with which she approaches the subject.
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Right after M was born, while we were still out of state waiting for our ICPC clearance, we attended a church service with M’s birth mom (C). She asked if she could hold M during the service. I wish I could say my first thought was how wonderful for her to hold this sweet baby that she may not see again for a long long time.
Nope. Instead my heart began to race at the thought of my daughter being taken. Instantly I saw worst case scenarios in my head where C was fleeing the church with M in her arms, never to be seen again. I am ashamed. All C did was hold baby M, watching wide-eyed as people were baptized, asking if we would do the same with M.
A few months later, a card from C arrived. It was signed “All our love, Mommy and Daddy.” I wish I could say that my first thought was how it must be hard for C to be separated from the child that grew under her heart.
Nope. Instead my heart began to race at the thought of my position being “threatened.” I picked up M and whispered fiercely, “You are MY baby!” And I wrote a carefully worded letter asking what C would like to be called – other than Mommy. I am ashamed. As a fellow adoptive mother said, “If mommies can love more than one child, why can’t a child love more than one mommy?”
As M’s first birthday approached, C expressed some interest in visiting for the birthday party. I wish I could say my first thought was that their family was welcome to stay with us.
Nope. Instead my heart began to race at the thought of having to share my daughter with her birth family in my own home. I told them they were welcome to come and that there are several nice hotels/motels in the area. I am ashamed. They didn’t come. Was it because of my response? I don’t know.
Recently I have thought a lot about how I need to extend grace to M’s birth family instead of focusing on my fears.
Shortly after M’s second birthday, I wrote C a letter. I told her that I love her more than I ever thought possible. No matter what decisions she has made, is making or will make – I could never love her less.
I wish it hadn’t taken me this long to love C so much. I wish that I had not been so selfish and fearful about my role as mommy to this dear girl that C miraculously chose to place with me.
All I can do is pray that going forward I can remember to extend grace to M’s birth family. Over and over. Just like God does for me every day.
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Please check out Rebecca’s blog HERE.
If you’d like to submit a post telling the story of a poignant moment that occurred during adoption or foster care, please email your 500-word submission to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Prior adoption and foster care posts include:
I Saw Our New Son and the Voice Said, “Run Away” – Adoption Stories With Kim Van Brunt
Checking ‘Yes’ to Everything: Adoption Stories With Sonya Judkins
Because Someone Has To: Adoption Stories With Shar Halvorsen
Momma For a Moment: A Foster Care Story, With Tamara Out Loud