Grief. Oh boy. Adoption is about love. Adoption is also about grief and loss.
I do not know the depth of grief that a birth mother may feel after placing her child in the arms of another. I can’t fathom that. Nor will I speak to R’s birth mom’s experience of grief.
I have never had a miscarriage. I have never had to endure multiple rounds of failed fertility treatments. I have never suffered infant loss.
I have never lost someone close to me.
I know I am extremely fortunate, blessed, lucky.
Each time I hear of a friend or family member that is newly pregnant- I go through a very small grieving period. I grieve for the things I will not know- a clear timeline, easy celebrations and congratulations around being newly pregnant. I grieve for the ease that can be (but not always) a part of pregnancy. I’m okay with these little grieving periods, these little pity parties because…..well, because Rory.
I have grieved the loss of a child as if he were my own, when he was never meant to be mine.
I have previously written about our failed match. I don’t want to write it all again. That’s too much for tonight. But the word is “grief” so here’s a little more on the topic of the failed match…. I got the call that an expectant mother had chosen us, and I sat right down on the curb on 3rd St in Park Slope and cried. I had to sit. The news made me weak in the knees. Ethan didn’t know yet. But I knew. I was instantly attached to this baby boy. I popped into a little boutique and picked out a whale swaddle blanket to wrap, so when E came home I could surprise him with the glorious news. I grieve for that easy joy. It breaks my heart a little to admit- but after going through the grief of a failed match, I simply couldn’t muster up the same joy when we were matched with R’s birth mom. The joy was there, but I now had to protect my heart because I knew the grief of a failed match and I was so scared of it happening again.
I was on cloud 9 when I announced the news at work, and then, not 10 minutes later we received the news that this baby was not meant to be our baby and the walls began to close in on me.
That loss is when I felt grief the one and only time in my life. I grieved for that baby boy. Allowing myself to grieve gave me permission to let go of him and send him out of my heart and into the hearts of the family he was meant to be with.
I wish I could take away the grief of birth mothers and the grief of mothers trying to carry a child and the grief of mothers who have to endure the unknowns of adoption. But without all of these iterations of grief there would be no adoption. And while grief is part of it-so is deep deep love.