Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-09-2009
This week’s article is near and dear to my heart. I witnessed and amazing act of love from one mother to another last week, and this colum is all about it. I hope you take the time to read it.
Until next week,
The Mom Chronicles: Giving Life
I write this curled up in my bed wearing my flannel gnome pajamas and feeling the chill of the brisk air coming in from the cracked open window. Fall is finally here.
This was quite a week for me. It was a roller coaster I never anticipated, nor have I ever experienced anything like. It was a week of dreams born, and dreams that died. The chill in the air feels almost eerie to me, as it is a reflection of what came, and what has gone.
This past Monday, a child was born. She was a beautiful baby girl, weighing in at just over eight pounds. She had a head full of black hair, and lungs that filled the room with the sound of her cry. Little did she know, that the mother who carried her in to the hospital, would not be the one who carried her out. You see, this lucky little girl now has two moms, the mom who carried her into the world, and the mom who will carry her through it. My friend, her biological mom, had made the difficult decision to let another mother raise her through this life. This beautiful little baby girl was to be adopted by a couple who had not been so lucky as to have a child of their own. Her mother? She has two children already, and this little girl that came, well her mom knew that she could not give her the life she deserved. And so, she made the choice, the very difficult choice, to allow another women to experience the gift of motherhood, and it was a beautiful gift.
I was there to witness the bonding with her biological family, and when she met her new one. I was witness to my friend kissing her little girl’s head, and then her handing her over to meet her new family. “Here is your daughter”, she said. I was in awe. Awe of her strength. Awe of her selflessness. Awe of the gift she was giving this family. And oh! How thankful they were! No experience in my life compares to witnessing this one. To watch a family being handed a new baby from another, there are no words. What there are words for, however, is how I felt towards my friend.
She did what for most moms would feel impossible. She was willing to give up her own child. But she did it out of a tremendous love that has no comparison. My friend was willing to put her own needs, her own desires, her own wants aside in the most selfless of ways. I have nothing but respect for her in doing so. What made this choice more stoic was that this baby was a girl, when my friend’s other children are boys. In addition this was her last child as a procedure after the birth will never allow her to never have children again. In addition, this little girl did not make her way in to this world with out first creating waves. My friend, her mother, went through a tremendous amount just to get her here. Week after week she had ultrasounds and fetal monitoring and monitoring of her own gestational diabetes that came on with the progression of the pregnancy. Yet she did it all for her. All for this girl whom she wouldn’t even be taking home with her. How difficult this was.
In the days since the birth of her daughter, my friend has experienced a whirl wind of emotions that only come with such an experience. There are times when she has felt at peace, and others when life without her little girl feel impossible. But she has, with the help and support of her amazing family, has continued on with her promise and commitment to her daughter and to the adoptive family, and has let her little girl go. She will never really be gone, though.
My friend chose an open adoption option and so she will continue to know and see her daughter grow, just through a little different kind of perspective. And in doing so, she gave another family, another couple, an opportunity to be a mom and to be a dad for the very first time. So for this little girl, there will be nothing but love. For she has the love of two families now, her biological family that loved her enough to give her more, and her adoptive family that chose her- yes, her!- to be their very own daughter.
I think of my friend tonight. As I type, it is her first night home from the hospital with out her baby girl. She was able to keep her little pink hat that was placed on her delicate little head after birth, and a measuring tape marked with her measurements. She has the gifts of and from family and friends, but the ultimate gift that most of us come home with, she chose to give to someone else. I can not imagine how it feels, and I imagine it doesn’t always feel as stoic as it was. However, my hope and prayer for my friend is that in time, she will learn to see it as I do, and that she can learn to be as in awe of herself as the rest of us. For I imagine there will be many days ahead of her when the cry of a baby is bitter sweet. When the pink in the stores doesn’t feel so sweet. But there will be other days, when she will be able to think of her baby and smile. When she will read the letter she wrote her in the hospital or dream of her little girl twirling and be able to twirl in her heart, too, for the gift she gave was great. And one day her daughter will be old enough to know and understand the choice that was made for her. And my hope is that she, too, will be in awe of her mother.
While this all was taking place, I learned of another friend, who in her first pregnancy found her baby had stopped growing and quietly passed away. For her, too, life doesn’t really feel fair. A D and C and suddenly that dream that they had, is only a dream that was. In the same time, I quietly and secretly awaited news on whether my third child was on its way, for there were signs. In deed it was not meant to be. No, not great timing, but desired. The yearning is suddenly there, and some how, I have worked my way through the fear of my miscarriage, enough to brave another pregnancy. While I was not trying, I was not not trying, either. And so I accept was is, and what is not. Was is meant to be, and what is not meant to be. I am a mom, just will not be a new mom again soon.
I suddenly feel a chill in the air. It’s funny. Life is something with which I associate warmth. This week, I witnessed unbelievable warmth in my friend’s gift of life to another family. At the same time, I witnessed her loss, the loss of my other friend, and my own disappointment in what was not meant to be. That feels so cold. Through it all though, there is an eerie sense of calm and peace. As if things are exactly as they are meant to be. Because I do not have the crystal ball I don’t have the knowledge of that. What I do have though, is faith and hope and trust. Do you?