empowering acts

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?

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~ by luna on April 19, 2009.

24 Responses to “empowering acts”

  1. Perfect sense. I’m counting with you.

  2. Perfect sense. I can’t believe that there’s only six weeks left already. Hang in there hun.

  3. Finding K and her mother, that’s awesome. They’re so good to you (and you to them), it’s just so nice to hear.

    But did you reveal the sex… ? This child and her family???

  4. I am just awed by your strength and ability to maintain a relative peacefulness about all this, luna. It’s funny, I went through my own TTC issues–though not anything as heartwrenching as yours–and there was a point where I was looking into adoption. All I could think of when I was reading those profiles from prospective adoptive parents is how I would absolutely love to be able to birth a child to give them. . . not totally sensical given my issues at the time. I am crossing my fingers big time for you and hoping that there is a very happy ending to all this. 🙂

  5. @chicklet: no, we don’t know the gender. not sure if I was subconsciously stating my own belief — which tends to alternate — or whether I meant to refer to K and her family. either way, I’m ETA ‘his/her.” thanks!

  6. This is such gorgeous, thoughtful, loving post, Luna. What a beautiful family you will make.

  7. You are already parenting, that is very easy to see. I can’t know all that you are feeling but you write like a mother bear and I imagine that when the time comes you will hardly notice the transformation into ‘mother’ as it will have happened without your ever noticing it. Sort of like becoming ‘real’ in the Velveteen Rabbit, it doesn’t just happen, you become.
    xxoo

  8. Luna: Seriously, please write a book. Your view of adoption, your interaction with others, your insights into your own pain and joys and connections with this child and with K are so precious. I wish I was an eccentric millionaire–instead of just an eccentric wage slave–and I’d take out full-page ads and billboards, in hopes of transforming the way we understand both adoption and parenting in general.

    Okay, excuse the gush fest. In short, I was deeply moved. I can’t wait to read your future posts on parenting. 🙂

  9. Luna,

    So sorry I haven’t been more present here. I can’t believe it is only 6 weeks away. I’m filled with so much hope for you. Keeping you in my thoughts, hon, counting down these last weeks and days with you (even if it doesn’t seem so). XO.

  10. Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful post. I second shinejii, I’d totally buy that book.

  11. Another great post Luna. I am glad you have a sense of your validity as this child’s parents – precisely for the reason that K chose you for the job. It is obvious that you will build a precious, beautiful family and that this child will be loved unconditionally.

    What a story – and think how many people this child will have in their life, how much family to love them. While it has presented so many complexities it can only be good for this little one to have so many people on board.

  12. Another great post Luna. I am glad you have a sense of your validity as this child’s parents – precisely for the reason that K chose you for the job. It is obvious that you will build a precious, beautiful family and that this child will be loved unconditionally.

    What a story – and think how many people this child will have in their life, how much family to love them. While it has presented many complexities it will be a great strength to have a dedicated group of people, who have already travelled such distance together, to be there to welcome this child and guide them through life. Who could ask for more?

  13. Thinking of you. Waiting with you.

  14. You are totally making sense. I will be counting the weeks until this beautiful baby comes into your life. I too have been having to think about how regardless of the way we get our child we are being chosen to parent and love them. I hold on to that as my strength and my energy to take on this precious crazy experience.

  15. It does make sense. This is another amazing post. I am in awe of all of you. What an amazing extended family you are all creating.

  16. What you write does indeed make perfect sense, Luna.

    I too agree with shinejil – you should write a book. Your account of your developing relationship with K has taught me so much about what constitutes a family. As you so memorably wrote some time ago, love truly does expand.

    Thinking of you as you count down through these last few weeks.

  17. This post warmed my heart. Thank you so much for sharing this time with us… letting us watch as your family grows, and helping to take some of the fear out of open adoption. I’ve learned so much from your story and what it means when love expands.

  18. I think your description of being entitled to parent makes perfect sense. I have to imagine the moment of the birth will be an explosion of emotions and will you feel connected–yes–in the same way that the other parent feels connected when the pregnant parent gives birth–I think Josh’s heart literally exploded out of him in seeing the receptacles of all that love for the first time. And I think it was the moment where everything equalized on earth and we all stepped onto the same ground of knowing and loving.

  19. I just found your blog and although our journeys are not exactly the same they are similiar with infertility and loss. We are also about a month out from our second possible adoption. It helps me to know there are others going through the same thing so thanks for blogging! I will be following your blog and sending so many positive thoughts your way. I can’t wait to hear the good news!

  20. How’re you doing? You have been so amazing in your support of K, regardless of the outcome . . . I want you to know that I am here to support you, as you support her.

  21. Love this post.

    I too am old enough to be my son’s first mother’s mother. In fact I have a funny feeling I may be older than her mother. In an way, I feel like I have adopted H along with N though I would not say this out loud because she is a fiercely grown up independent sort and yet having been that age and also that kind of young woman myself, I am now acutely aware of how vulnerable she is. Vulnerable in a way that she herself won’t be able to see until she is much older.

    Adoption creates some amazing bonds; some surprising ones too.

  22. Luna – I haven’t commented in a while, but I have been reading. I continue to be in awe of you and your composure and insight throughout this amazing journey!! I just am so happy that you and K (and all the rest of the extended family) have found each other. It just seems like there is such a huge amount of mutual support there, and it’s inspiring.

    I second (third? fourth?) the idea about you writing a book!

  23. […] baby’s parents. We took a birthing class together and helped K prepare as best we could, and we all became empowered to welcome this little soul to the […]

  24. […] year ago, K was uncomfortable in her own body, dealing with unwelcome drama, and preparing for birth. She had left her life behind to live at home until the baby was born. Her friends didn’t get […]

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