Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Four Weeks

It has been four weeks since I was a mother. I miss my baby.

It feels like years since I placed Roo. How has it only been a month? She is three months old now and holding her head up like a pro. What happened to my teeny-tiny little newborn? She has grown so fast.

Every Wednesday I think about her, about how long it's been since I placed her, and about how different both of our lives are. It seems a bit strange to go back to LDSFS for the support group every Wednesday night - the place and the day that I signed away my rights.

Like a war veteran, I have flashbacks. I walk out to my car in the parking lot after group and all of a sudden, I am holding Roo, sobbing, looking from her parents' car to mine and back again and realizing for the first time exactly whose car Roo was going home in, and to whose home that car would take her.

Or I will be sitting in group and S will use a word or phrase that takes me back to that night, to the ninth, and I forget which room at LDSFS I'm in and what exactly is happening and why I'm there.

In a way, I am a war veteran (although I apologize if that seems an unfair comparison). I fought a war against my instinct, against my heart, against my very being. The problem with fighting against yourself, of course, is that whether you win or lose, you lose.

I won and I lost. I won in the sense that I was able to set aside my every instinct to mother my precious baby, and I lost in that in doing what was the very best for Roo, I lost her. No, I didn't lose her. I hate that phrase. I hate it when people refer to a death as a loss. "Oh, you lost your father?" That sounds so irresponsible, as though I have misplaced him. I didn't lose him. I know exactly where he is.

And I didn't lose Roo. Had I not been strong enough and kept her, I think I might have lost her. Maybe not this year or next year or in five or ten years, but I think that at some point, whether emotionally or spiritually or physically, I would have lost her. In placing her with her parents, she was found. I found out who she is, who she is meant to be. Not my daughter but theirs.

I miss her dreadfully. I ache with it. Every so often the gravity of what I did will fall upon me and I almost can't breathe for the weight of it on my soul. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. Being a good mother means doing what is best for your child, no matter what it does to you. I'm not Roo's mommy anymore, but I feel like because I did what I did, I am the best mother in the world.

A lot of people I know seem to think that when adoption is the right choice, there will be a certain peace and joy in it. And to a small degree, they are right. I am so happy for P and M. I am happy that they got the baby they were meant to have. And I don't wrestle with my decision so much anymore. I made it, and it is done, and it was right. But for the most part, when adoption is the right choice, it's not the birth mother whose peace and happiness indicate the rightness of the choice. I think it's the peace and happiness of the adopted child and the adoptive parents that matter.

Which isn't to say that a birth mother's feelings aren't important. But I know that I made the right decision because Roo is happy and loved and content, not because I feel all hunky-dory about adoption. I don't yet have that exponential degree of peace that I had hoped for. I'm still praying for it and working on it. It sounds cliched but I can say in all veracity that that kind of peace is a journey, not a destination. There are good days and there are bad days. I'm finally getting to the point where there are more good than bad.

I think the biggest difference between now and four weeks ago is that while I have always known that P and M were meant to be Roo's parents, I am no longer devastated that that means I am not meant to be her mother. I have learned to be grateful for the time that I had to be her mommy. I would not trade it for anything in heaven or earth.

I am not Roo's mother anymore. I am her birth mother. And I'm starting to appreciate what a nice thing that is to be.

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