I think of Matthew’s birth mother, or first mother, a lot. I have to admit that lately I think of his foster mother more simply because her existence is so much more concrete to me. I have pictures of her, I know her age, and all about her home. I have pictures of her holding Matthew and clapping on his first birthday.
I do have some details about both of Matthew’s parents that I will share with him as he can understand them. The paperwork tells a story and sums up the reasons for Matthew’s relinquishment in a short paragraph. I have no idea how much of what is written is true, and I have no idea who wrote it. But I do know that there is no way that the whole story can be told in a short paragraph, and that there is no way that it is as simple as it sounds.
I know, as a mother who has given birth, that there is no way a day passes that she doesn’t think of him. Does she regret her decision every minute? Does she still feel she made the right choice? When someone asks her if she has any children, does she hesitate, unsure how to respond?
One day, I hope that Matthew and our entire family have the opportunity to meet his birth family. I want them to know that he is safe and loved and that as far as we are concerned, because he is our family, they are our family.
I came across this essay today written by a birthmother. It is raw and honest and if you are an adoptive parent, you should really read it. It is long, but as I said earlier, the story of a birth mother cannot be stated in a short paragraph or wrapped up neatly in a tiny package. Here is an excerpt:
I was dressed, showered, and ready, but sitting in the rocking chair having my final moments with my baby. I know that I did not feel that I could physically manage to do it. I had no clue on how I was going to be able to walk out of that room and away from my baby. I think I said something to that effect. I doubted if I really could. We took some last photos, and I knew that they were all waiting for me to do it. There were people watching, but they were trying to let me find the moment and strength. Finally, one of the nurses got the bassinette for me and brought it in. I am thinking she was kind of pushy and brightly insistent on my putting him in. I held him and I cried now. No longer strong, no longer brave, just broken. And somehow, I walked over to the bassinette and placed him in. Somehow, I communicated that they could walk him out. And somehow I stayed within the confines of my body and managed to hold myself upright as she pushed him out and closed the door.