This weekend marked five years since my sweet little girl came to be part of our family. I realize that a lot of people think "oh, isn't that wonderful! How lucky she is to have such a wonderful family who were willing to take her in..." blah, blah, etc., etc. And that's why I talk about the reality...
Adoption isn't all wonderful warm & fuzzies. It is pain. It is loss.
I am so happy that, through adoption, I gained a daughter. However, that does not & can NEVER change the fact that another mother lost her child. In our case, it was because of her own choices, and many people make the mistake of thinking that I should not feel for her because of this. The truth is, my daughter's mother was a product of her dysfunctional upbringing. She was failed by the system. No, of course her children should not and could not be left in her care. However, that does not mean that she doesn't love them as much as she possibly can. It also doesn't mean that the loss doesn't hurt her. Personally, I take the fact that she carried our daughter's (yes, ours...for better or worse, she will always have more than one mother) pictures with her as evidence of that love & loss. I also think that her dramatic spiral into addiction as evidence that she was not properly equipped to deal with such realities. It is truly tragic. Hopefully, someday she will be well enough to have a relationship with our daughter. There is simply no way to tell at this point. So, while I am so happy to have this wonderful little girl in my heart & home for the past five years (and many more to come), my heart hurts for her mother.
It also hurts for my sweet baby girl. When I told her that she had now lived with us for five years, she told me that made her sad. When I asked why she said, "I don't want to have moved to live with strangers. I want to have been born in this family." My heart broke. Not because I wish she had been born to me, but because I know that this is only the beginning of her conflicted feelings about this complex thing we call adoption. I would love so much to make it all better and to fix all these things for her, but I simply can't. So, I just try to validate her feelings and reassure her that we love her
While some people seem to feel that adoptees should be grateful and not wonder about their bio families, I am a realist. It is only natural for her to wonder about how she came to be, and about who came before her. I will answer those questions that best I can, and honestly tell her when I don't know, but I know that she is only beginning on this journey. There will be many distressing revelations along the way...and, I hope, some that give her comfort...or at least answers. Come what may, I will be there to do what I can.
I am NOT a saint for what I do. I am not some special kind of person because I took "someone else's child" into my home. I am also not, despite what her mother has said at times, a child stealer. I am simply a mom that loves a little girl and everything that goes with her (foster & bio families included).