Conversation around adoption seems fraught with compare and contrast. The push and pull of biological and adoptive moms lurks under the surface, no matter how open minded and enlightened you are. It just is. But when I started really thinking about it, we’re much more alike than different.
Two kinds of women, too often placed on different sides of the fence. Just look at how much we have in common.
* Women who love these children. Whether that means love them enough to carry them to term or wish with all their might they were able to raise them, there is love.
* Women who are afraid. Afraid the child will think the worst of them, afraid they’ll never get over the loss, afraid of an uncertain future.
* Women with hopes and dreams. Things they want for their own lives, along with the hopes and dreams they have for these children.
* Women with worries. About making the most important decision in their child’s life. And later, everyday worries: is he eating the right things, getting enough sleep, making friends, doing well in school.
* Women who know joy. A beautiful baby and the chance (no matter how long it lasts) to spend time with that child. The power of being a mother.
* Women who know sorrow. Making a painful decision, the ache of separation, learning to live with their lost joy. Even women who allow their children to be adopted at birth experience the sorrows of becoming a parent.
* Women who love these children. Women who adore the little (and big) ones who make them mamas.
* Women who are afraid. Afraid the child will love their birthmom more, afraid they’ll make a mistake a “real” mom wouldn’t make, afraid of how much of their child’s past is unknown.
* Women with hopes and dreams. An excitement about who they’ll be as a mother. The hopes and dreams they have for their new family, for the child they’re honored to parent, and for the new world they’re entering.
* Women with worries. About allergies and nutrition and potty training. Reading and learning styles, friends and fights. Worries that shift but last for a lifetime.
* Women who know joy. The immeasurable joy of becoming mother. The irrepressible joy of loving their child.
* Women who know sorrow. Sometimes it’s the sorrow of releasing their dream of getting pregnant, or the sorrow of adoptions that fall through. Even changing their vision of what their family will be can break a heart.