I see you wonder.
You are NOT less than.
You are not less than because you couldn’t breast feed. You are not less than because you did not get to know your child in the womb, or perhaps as a newborn,a toddler, or perhaps even as an older child. You are not less than because skin to skin contact at birth was not an option. You are not less than because your child bears no resemblance to you, or because you can’t answer questions about family history, or finish the phrase- “oh, you do xyz, just like all members of this family.” You are not less than because bonding with your baby was simply different. You are not less than because you sit quietly with a goofy grin while other mothers discuss pregnancy and post pregnancy body woes. You are not less than because you bear no physical marks from pregnancy. You are not less than if you ever wonder if your love for your baby is different from the love a biological mom feels for her baby. You are not less than because there was no morning sickness, no food cravings. You are not less than because you felt no baby kicking inside of you. You are not less than because telling people you are adopting is not at all like telling people you are pregnant. You are not less than if you ever wish it was different.
You are more than. All mothers are more than they think they are, but adoptive mothers don’t hear it enough. We don’t have articles geared to us about our process of becoming, and then being a new parent. So, I’m here to tell those moms, and really, to tell myself. Because today I need a reminder. Because today I saw a family that looked like mine and I wanted to cry and hug that mom. I should have done it. Because today on TV there was a Honey Maid Graham Cracker commercial that featured an adopted family. It was a good first step- but next time, maybe we’ll just see the family without having to identify the child as adopted. Ummmmmm. We can see that he’s adopted.
And so- You are more than “the how” you became a mother. You are MORE because you formula fed in the strangest of places during those first few days. You are MORE because your labor pains were spread out through the entire adoption process. You are MORE because that moment when your baby was placed in your arms is a moment we can’t find the words for. You are MORE because you loved that baby as your own, even if during those crucial first hours it was not entirely clear who the parent would be. You are MORE because you see a child who physically bears no resemblance to you and yet you still see yourself reflected back. You are MORE because adoption does take an enormous physical toll on the body, even if it looks very different from pregnancy. You are MORE because waking up nauseous as you waited for news from your agency, lawyer, or expectant parent was a common occurrence. You are MORE because you were constantly hoping for the best, and fearing the worst each day you waited. You are MORE because your pregnancy involved getting fingerprinted, submitting financial statements, and sitting with a social worker. You are MORE even though doubt might creep in as you look at a mom and child who are clearly biologically related. You are MORE because there were so many limitations to what you could and could not control through the process. You are MORE because you have more faith in this process than anything else, ever. You have to if you truly believe this process will lead you to your children.
You are not more of a mother than other mothers, but you are more of a mother than you will ever know. You are MORE than enough. You are enough. You are mother. Xx