Another’s Loss Is My Pain

IMG_7447His fifth birthday has rendered me contemplative.  Perhaps all birthdays do to some extent.  But this one has pulled at me decidedly and fully.

At first I thought it was because he’s my baby.  The baby.  My youngest and my last.  Watching transition after transition, milestone after milestone has left me more than a little not to mention noticeably brooding.

But I realized tonight it’s not that at all.

It’s because I’m thinking about her, about his birthmother . . . and how five years ago tonight a very young woman made a very courageous decision, took an unparalleled leap of faith.

It’s so easy to get lost in the mire of stereotypes—of presuppositions and prejudice, to put birthmothers into a single, constricting category.  As a society we still have not disengaged from the verbiage that limits our thinking about adoption:  mothers giving up their children . . . the phrasing alone speaks of quitting, of desertion.

But tonight, on my youngest son’s fifth birthday, I am struck particularly by the enormous sacrifice his birthmother made, the selflessness of her decision, of my colossal luck that she chose for him this life, his life.

And I am pained by her loss tonight.

Because I know him and she does not.

Because this is suddenly so hard, and I never knew it would be.

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2 thoughts on “Another’s Loss Is My Pain

  1. Though our adoption circumstances are different, I understand that pain. As I watch Lilia grow into this beautiful, bright young woman, I wish somehow her birth mother could see how well she is doing. It has always broken my heart a little to realize (in our case) that she would never know her and even know happened to the child she gave birth to and was brave enough to leave in a place that she knew someone would find her. I am the incredibly fortunate one that gets to be Lilia’s mother and her birth mother has to spend her life wondering and having the incredible loss. As a mother, there is no way that i couldn’t feel that pain for her as well.

  2. Thank you for capturing this. This has been on my mind since I picked up my son (now 6 1/2) from the hospital on his 3rd day of life.

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