Thank you, kind friends, for your generous words of support. They came at a most opportune time. Today I am feeling stronger than I did a week or two ago. I am embracing the present moment and looking forward instead of wallowing in doubt and worry.
Today I am taking a deep breath in solidarity with K, trying to imagine what she must be feeling as she approaches the impending birth of this child growing inside. We are counting the days together, though from different perspectives. Just six weeks to go now, for anyone counting with us…
After a very trying couple of weeks, I am hoping the drama has settled down so K can focus on what’s ahead. She has so much to deal with — physically, emotionally, psychologically, logistically. We are just trying to support her in any way we can.
This weekend we took a private birthing class with K and her mom, after a lovely brunch at our home. They brought gifts for the baby — including some more of K’s favorite baby books and things — which of course brought tears to my eyes. We showed K’s mom where her grandchild would live and be loved. It was quite a lovely spring afternoon.
K’s mom has been incredibly supportive of both K and us. She guided K through her earliest decision-making, offering wisdom and support regardless of the eventual outcome. She has helped empower K to make her own decisions at every step.
When K decided to search for the “right” parents for her baby, K’s mother supported her quest. When K chose us, her mom says she knew it was the right decision for K. She embraces us as this child’s parents.
I cannot adequately describe how it feels to believe that both K and her mom already view us as the parents of this soon-to-be-born, already beloved child.
Meanwhile, K is preparing for the hard work of birthing her baby. K feels strongly about the type of birthing experience she wants, both for her and the blessed new life about to enter the world. Yet she is becoming uncomfortable in her ever growing, ever changing body. She is young and strong and has been frustrated by her newly limited mobility. While she appreciates the huge significance of growing this little life — and she is well aware of the hard work still to come — she is ready to reclaim her own life. K knows her job now is to find her ground and try to connect her mind and body in preparation for birth. And for what comes next.
K is such a unique young woman with a strong spirit. We recognize her as an old soul in a young form. I don’t believe that K yet knows the source and extent of her power. It is my hope that the transformative act of bringing this pure little being into the world will empower K with strength for life. I truly hope that she will feel the love and force of the universe pass through her with this tiny child. While I know there will be pain, both during and after, I hope that she can continue to feel that power forever.
This is something I will never experience firsthand. Yet in choosing us, K has blessed us with the opportunity to share this powerful act with her, to participate. I imagine that witnessing such an act — this profound and ancient rite of passage — especially with someone you love and respect, must be tremendously powerful in itself.
My own sense of empowerment has come in other more unexpected ways.
I had no idea when I would begin to feel like a mother. Would it be when I first see or hold this little baby, or some time later? Would it gradually dawn on me, or would I simply wake up one day and realize that I am mother to a child?
Already I feel protective of K and this baby. Naturally, I am protective of K. I am, after all, old enough to be her mother. Clearly I realize this is K’s baby — not ours, not yet. But there is also a part of me that feels as if the intention is so clear. Right now, K intends for this baby to be ours. She believes she is carrying this little soul for us to parent. As hard as that might be for her, she feels strongly about this. Whether I am a mother for a moment or a lifetime, it is hard to ignore or deny that I already feel a fierce sense of motherly protection and love towards both K and this baby.
The act of being chosen as parents for this child — and of repeatedly hearing that we are the intended parents of this baby — is as empowering an act as I can imagine for a prospective adoptive parent. I believe this is one of the many benefits of open adoption for adoptive parents. To truly feel entitled to parent. While I realize I am not yet this child’s mother, my love for this child and his/her family is already growing.
A final note that should go without saying. I do not believe open adoption (or any adoption) is about empowering the adoptive parents. I strongly believe it is about the child and about empowering the expectant parents to make the best decision under the circumstances. There is no one “right” decision, only what is best for them and for the baby they are deciding whether they can parent. Yet I do believe it is extremely important for the adoptive parents to feel entitled to parent. That does not mean they should feel more entitled or better than a biological parent in any way. It only means that a parent should feel capable of parenting their child, and the act of being selected for that purpose reinforces the belief in one’s ability to do so. Does that make sense?