Birth Moms

I'm not sure what the politically correct name for them is now.

First Mom?  Birth Mom?  Natural Mom?

Either way, they gave my children life and I've been thinking about them a lot lately.

In a few days we will celebrate my most favorite day of the year, Josie's Gotcha Day.

The day she came home and we traded in all day Law & Order marathons for diapers and baby grins.

It's a day that is etched deep in my memory.  I remember every little second from when Andrew called to say she was on her way to watching her fall asleep in our bed wondering how such a small thing could answer such big prayers.

It's the day I finally got what I had waited 24 years for.

But under all that joy and celebration, there are always moments scattered throughout the day that it hits me.  My gain was another woman's horrible loss.

Foster Care is funny that way.

The rational side of me knows that Josie's and Gabe's birth mothers had their parental rights severed for a reason.  They made horrible choices.  They were mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally not able to care for the specific needs of these two beautiful kids.

But then there's the side of me that is a mother.

The side that watched them take their first steps and gets to hear them say "Mommy" and know they mean me.  The side that sees those first morning smiles and knows when a bit of sass is really just an overtired girl.

And I know that those other two women, the ones that gave me my greatest joy, are missing out big time.

I wonder if they think about them.

Does she wonder if Josie looks like her?  Does she think of him on his birthday?

There is so much, everything, that they don't know about them.

Josie and Gabriel have very different Birth Mom stories.

Josie was born to a 36 year old woman who had spent her entire life in and out of foster care herself.  Her mother was a prostitute and her case file is full of horror stories about her youth.  She fell out of a second story window at 2 and wasn't brought to a doctor.  She was abused and neglected and, honestly, didn't stand a chance of becoming a functioning adult.  Josie was her 6th child.  All of them were removed by DFCS and adopted by other families.  Josie was born in the back of an ambulance after receiving zero prenatal care.  The woman who had given birth to her minutes before, denied that a child had been born and checked herself out of the hospital, leaving my sweet Josie behind.

Gabriel was born to a woman who I honestly believe wanted to care for him but just couldn't do it.  She was young and uneducated.  Unprepared for the medical complications that his tiny heart were sure to bring.  She tried to get her life on track but, for whatever reason, just couldn't make the right choices.

Two women, with very different stories, and I'm raising their offspring.

And as I celebrate the day my world was made whole I try to remember them.  Their loss, whether they are aware of it or not.

I will probably never see either of them again, but I am thankful for them.  For the nine months that they cared for my babies.  For not aborting them.

For giving them life and, in turn, giving me mine.


My name is Kristen! said...

What a powerful post!! Brought tears to my eyes. What amazing gifts you were given indeed!

kimmer said...

This is so beautifully written...straight from your heart. As their grandmother, I am truly grateful for these two amazing children in our lives. They are exactly where they are meant to be now. I feel so blessed and I am forever proud of you and Andrew for your loving hearts!

Sarah said...

Even though our story is a bit different, I often wonder too about the birth moms of my boys. I pray that my boys can grasp hold of the significance someday. A birthmomma's choice for a better life....

We are so richly blessed by them!

Kelli said...

It's an interesting thought process. It's not a place I go often, but thank you for guiding me there today. I am thankful for the woman who brought my boy into this world and in turn made me a Mama! Thanks for the perspective, Nicole. :)