Yesterday we framed this portrait of six-month old Bee being held in her mother’s arms. I’m fairly certain that the instant she saw it, it became her most precious possession. Our talented friend, Katie, drew it from an invaluable photo, the original of which is kept in our fire safe.
Bee shared this photo on Facebook yesterday and asked me to type the status to go with it as she dictated to me, “Thank you to Katie Smith for drawing this picture of me and my Mom. I love it!” I asked, “Do you want me to say your ‘Ethiopian Mom’?” She answered with surprise and certainty, “No, she’s my Mom.”
And I find myself once again standing with one foot firmly planted in each role. I’m the adoptive mom who feels the pang of my child having another mother she fiercely loves. And I’m the birthmom who wants to cheer for her strength of conviction.
This is unsettling at times, and I believe this tension helps me love my children well. I cannot deny their histories or disregard their deep connection to their first mothers. My children may have only known their mothers for a short time (some longer than others), but it makes no difference. The bond that forms between a mother and child is made of fibers that cannot be broken.
I know it well because I live it; my son and I do not, or perhaps cannot, let go of one another. We’ve been reunited for many years, and our relationship has had challenges, but there is a God-given bond that cannot be broken. Distance, years apart, months of no communication – they don’t matter. He has a mother who loves him dearly; in fact, he has two. Two mothers, one son. That is the reality we live with and while it is unsettling at times, it is the truth – and the truth sets us free.
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