It is National Adoption Awareness Month.
What is it like to love a child I didn’t give birth to?
It’s a knock you down, take your breath away, seeing stars, drunk on champagne kind of love.
To stand in a hospital room dressed in street clothes next to a woman in a hospital gown who has just given birth is so oddly intimate and strange and still. The whole world stopped when we pushed open the hospital room door seconds before meeting D.
I remember smelling my babies for the first time. A deep sniff to know their scent. Breathing in their smell was primal and instinctual. We learned each other through smell during those first moments. What must it have been like? To smell me, so unfamiliar. A new mother. A different smelling mother than the one who gave birth to you.
I remember hugging D’s birth mother for the first time, hours after giving birth and smelling her sweat, her grief, smelling her labor, along with her shampoo or her lotion. A mixed smell of body odor and flowers. That is what I remember from those first moments of meeting the woman who had already chosen us to be D’s parents. The woman who had already signed the relinquishment papers before meeting me. In we walked. She handed me our child. With grace and love and a strength I can’t comprehend, she handed me our child. Her child. My child.
And so our story of first mother and second mother began. My story of sharing motherhood with two other women is bumpy and wonderful. Xx