Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Who are you?

Since I became a mother, and the older I get, I find myself more and more curious about who the woman is that gave birth to me over 32 years ago.  Up until Jayden was born, it never bothered me.  I never had a desire to find out anything about her.  I've always been perfectly content with knowing that I was adopted, and for whatever reasons my biological parents didn't feel like they could raise me, so they put me up for adoption, and gave me the gift of a better life.  And because of that, I am forever grateful.  I was blessed with an amazing family and extended family, who have loved and supported me all my life.  I couldn't say "thank you" enough to this woman who selflessly put my needs ahead of her own.  If for nothing else, I admire this mystery woman for that alone. 

I think my curiosity really hit after Sophia was born.  Even though me giving birth to a child with Down syndrome has nothing to do with my family history.  Sophia doesn't have translocation Down syndrome, which would mean Randy or I had some rearranged genetic material and passed that on to her.  However, she still had a lot of health issues, all associated with that extra chromosome she sports so well, but still all the forms always history???  And the best answer I can give is, "I don't know?"  I hate that.  More and more, I hate that.  That not knowing if there is something in my biological family that could affect me or my girls sometime in our lives.  I want to know about that. 

But honestly, it's not just about the medical stuff anymore.  It's about a woman, who in my mind, was young and not in the right place in her life to have a baby.  I imagine her being scared and conflicted in what the best choice would be for her and her baby.  I imagine a mother carrying a baby for nine months and bonding with that baby and the thought of how wonderful it could be to parent a child.  To have a lifelong companion.  To have someone to love and to love her back.  I imagine her dreaming of the fairy tale that she could have with this growing baby inside her, but then reality hits and she realizes that raising a child isn't all rainbows and flowers.  It's a lifelong commitment to another human being.  It's about sometimes putting your hopes and dreams on hold to do what is best for someone else.  It's about late nights and early mornings.  It's about working 24/7 for someone who rarely says thank you or appreciates any of the hard work that you do daily for them.  It's about making them your first priority, no matter what.  And at such a young age, I think that maybe she had bigger dreams for herself and more importantly, she had bigger dreams for her baby.  I imagine her wanting her baby to have it all, and knowing that that was something she wasn't able to give a child at that moment in her life.  So instead of subjecting her baby to a life of hardships, she chose something better for her baby, a life without her in it. 

I have no way of knowing if what I just described is really how my birth mother felt.  I just try to imagine myself pregnant as a teenager, and how would I feel?  Again, I have no way of knowing if these would be my feelings as a pregnant teen, because I never was a pregnant teen.  All I know is that my whole life has revolved around becoming a mother one day.  And if my dreams of becoming a mother had happened sooner than expected, I don't know if I could have given up my baby for the sake of him or her having a better life, without me in it.  And I find that to be a little selfish on my part.  Knowing that you don't have what it takes to have a baby, right now in your life, and giving someone who is ready to raise a child and maybe can't have children of their own, is the greatest gift a mother could ever give.  I thank God all the time for putting me in the arms of my mom and dad.  They have loved me unconditionally and guided me through life pretty successfully.  I am forever blessed to be exactly where I was always meant to be. 

I don't want another mother, I already have a pretty amazing one of those, but what I do find myself wanting, are answers to a lot of questions.  Does she still think about me?  What emotions run through her every year on the day that she gave birth to me?  Does she want to know who I am today?  What were the real reasons for chosing adoption?  But most of all I just find myself wanting to know, who are you?      

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