Thursday, March 15, 2012


Last night, I had an emotional earthquake.

It wasn't as scary as it sounds. There were no aftershocks. Once the initial seismic activity stopped, I regained my balance. I was fine. I've weathered this kind of storm a few times before, and I have always been better and happier for having been shaken up a bit. Last night was no exception.

Here is what happened.

I was thinking about taking an Advil for my toothache. I was sort of surprised that I even have any Advil, because I pretty much never take any medicine anymore. If I'm sick I take antibiotics, but rare is the time I take so much as an aspirin. This wasn't always the case; before I had Roo I was taking seven different prescriptions for depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia and migraines, and I was quick to take NyQuil or a decongestant or whatever I needed.

Then I found out I was going to have a baby, and I had to drop all 7 prescriptions. I probably could have taken a Tylenol or something safe like that if I needed it, but at the time I figured my baby was starting out at a disadvantage having me as her mother* and I wanted to do everything I could to make sure she was healthy and grew right.

Once I got out of the habit of taking medicine for everything I never really got back into it. Drugs have never worked particularly well for me; my pain tends to be stubborn. Besides, I live alone, and have you ever tried to buy a small bottle of an over-the-counter medicine? If I end up taking 96 Tylenol before they're out-of-date, I think I've got bigger problems. I buy bottles of 24 and end up throwing 20 away because they've expired too quickly.

Anyway. I actually had Advil in my bathroom cupboard, and I was going to take one and I was thinking about how I don't ever take medicine anymore and why. And it hit me like a blow to the solar plexus - the magnitude of what I have done. My emotional ground shook.

I had a baby - a child, a little person that I grew in my womb and who shares my DNA - and I placed her for adoption. I had a baby. I had a baby, and I am not her mother. Someone else is her mother, even though I grew her. And for just a second, I thought, I'm not sure how I feel about that, even though I should have figured that out in the past couple of years. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about that. Happy? Sad? Abnormal? Somehow cheated?**

I had a baby, but I don't have a baby. That is HUGE! How did I do that? How could I do that? How am I okay? I love her so much! My love for her is bigger than anything I've ever felt before. She is the most precious little thing in the whole wide world. And I am not her mother.

And it's okay. I'm okay. Roo ... Roo is more than okay. That's why I'm okay, why I settled on "happy" as the way I should and do feel.

This choice I made, this huge thing I did, wasn't for me or my piece of mind. It was for Roo and Roo alone that I chose adoption. I've never doubted that I did what was best for my little girl. People can say what they want, judge as they see fit, but I have never known anything as deeply as I know that I made the very best choice for Roo and that she's where she belongs. I would do it again in a second.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, has the greatest magnitude of all.

*I felt she was at a disadvantage because at the time I found out I was pregnant, I was not at my healthiest, mentally, and I had a lot of growing up left to do. By the time she was born, I was in a much better place and I think any perceived disadvantage had disappeared.

**For the record, I do not feel cheated. Roo's not mine to raise. If I ever feel cheated, it's that I'm not a mother, period. Not because I'm not Roo's mother. Any feeling of being cheated comes from being crabby about being single and childless and closer to thirty than I'm completely comfortable with.


Monika said...

You hit the nail on the head. We were just talking about little things coming out of the middle of nowhere and shaking us to our very cores tonight at birthmom group. And for the record, no amount of you saying it is going to change the fact that you're Roo's mother. By blood. That does NOT diminish her mother's role in her life one bit. But just because you're "birthmom" instead of just "mom" doesn't make you any less of a mother. :) (My two cents - take it or leave it. I mean no insult.)

. said...

I never comment here...just lurk, but I find it amazing and fantastic that your becoming a mother changed you so dramatically that you went from 7 meds to none and not even thinking about them and, I presume, therefore not struggling (or not struggling much) with the conditions those meds were supposed to treat. I really believe the LORD has healed and helped you supernaturally. What a great "earthquake." Many more great blessings to you.
Shan in CO - ps...thanks for your great blog - as an adoptive mom, I love reading your insights!

jj said...

I agree with Monika - you are Roo's mother as is her amother. I consider both my mothers to be my mothers and would be upset if they didn't also consider themselves to be so. In regards to being her mom, that is different, that is a title entirely up to Roo to decide. In fact, everything is really up to Roo in the end, isn't it.

Btw when I read this:
"I love her so much! My love for her is bigger than anything I've ever felt before. She is the most precious little thing in the whole wide world." it made me think that little Roo probably felt that about you in the first 7 weeks of her life (and you literally were her life for the 9 months before). Adoption professionals can quite often make emoms feel that she is unimportant TO her child in her own right and I hope no-one made you feel that.

Unknown said...

I love to read your blogs, You are an excellent writer. You write from the heart and are captivating as you tell your life stories. I also lost my father, 2 months ago. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer stage 4. He died with in 3 weeks of us knowing this. But God blessed me with an amazing FATHER. He was just 2 weeks short of being 88. I have been told often by my husband that I am JUST LIKE my FATHER. In all ways. Actions, laugh like him, talk like him. I first told him no way. Now I am so PROUD that I am the boy he never had. :) Keep writing I so enjoy reading your blogs. Lucy Franklin, CPAC of