The events of this weekend have caused me to do some introspection and self-discovery. My sister-in-law gave birth to a healthy, baby boy early yesterday morning (I haven’t seen him yet, but I can only imagine how adorable he is). When I got the message that he was born I just started crying, not for joy, but because I was filled with overwhelming grief, anger and jealousy, but not happiness. I kept asking myself, why can’t I be happy for them, why do I feel so upset? I am such a horrible person for even feeling this way! I didn’t even want to do anything. I mean, this isn’t the first time someone in my extended family has had a baby (I have over 50 nieces and nephews), but this time I felt I had been kicked in the stomach. I was numb.
My husband knew something was wrong but when he asked I just told him “I am fine.” I left to take my kids to the library and to the store and on the way my youngest daughter fell asleep in the car. I didn’t want to wake her, so I just had my older son go in the store and I stayed in the car with her while she slept. During those few minutes of quiet I had time to reflect on why I was feeling such resentment. I sent a few texts to my husband to tell him how I felt. I told him I didn’t want to see the baby just yet; I wasn’t ready to hear about him. I didn’t want to hear how wonderful it felt to give birth, to hold their son, to hear him cry, to feed him, to have the grandparents there to witness everything, to ooh and awe over every little movement and sound. These were things I had dreamt about for so long, but would never happen for me. I realized what I was feeling was envy and I hated that I felt that way; I truly wanted to be happy for them. I didn’t want to take something away from their life just because I was sad; it wasn’t their fault that I couldn’t experience the miracle of birth. I couldn’t be mad at them, my anger was misdirected, I was angry with myself.
So I just sat in the car and cried and tried to analyze my feelings. I sent my husband a text to tell him why I was feeling so sad and he sent me back the most wonderful words of comfort. I let myself cry for another 20 minutes and then my son came back to the car. He had six dollars that he wanted to spend but when he got back in the car he had only bought four things, two things for his sister, one for his dad, and one for me. Nothing for himself.
The whole reason we had gone to the store was to get a prize for my youngest daughter Aubrey. She has been waking up at night and I promised her a treat if she would sleep all night long (my husband tried this before and it worked wonders). Aubrey kept telling me “I want something special” – so I sent my son Preston in to get “something special” for Aubrey. He didn’t get anything for himself, but he got me “something special.” It was then that I realized how truly selfish I was being. I was only thinking of myself, I was being a brat.
My son helped me realize something that day. He wasn’t thinking about what would make him happy, he was getting “something special” for everyone else, even me. I was so amazed and comforted by his unselfishness and generosity!
As I read other blogs about adoption there are many who criticize God’s role and intervention in our life. I have felt many times over that my children were meant to come to me this way. I don’t know why, but I know they are MINE and this was how I was meant to be a mother. There are so many tiny miracles that have happened along the way to make it possible for Ruth and I to even meet, let alone share the past 12+ years on this journey together as mothers. It is definitely God’s hand directing us along the way.
A few minutes ago my daughter Aubrey woke up and came and found me on the computer. She looked up at me and said “I want something special” (she had slept all night again without waking up). I picked her up and sat her in my lap and just held her for a few minutes (I love that she will cradle in my arms and snuggle with me). She brought me back to reality. In fact, she is still sitting on my lap...
Someone asked me the other day “what was the hardest part of adoption for me?” The hardest part was missing the first days, months and years of each of my children’s lives, not being there when they were born, not holding them as infants, all of those things most get to experience as new parents…. But after I wrote that I realized, I have the rest of my life with them. I get to hold them in the morning when they wake up and just want to be held. I get to talk to them about school and their friends. I get to be there and comfort them when they get hurt. I get to be a mom. I thank my Heavenly Father every day for allowing me the opportunity to be a mother; I know it was part of his plan for me. I know He is very aware of my thoughts and feelings, my hurt and sadness. Without pain you can never fully experience joy – which is what I am experiencing right now. Joy. God offers us blessings through adversity ~ and I have truly been blessed with “something special” in my life, my children.