47 years ago, a wonderful woman who was not able to carry a pregnancy to term, had a newborn baby girl placed in her arms, and a love story unfolded that spanned 40 years.
People seem fascinated when they find out I’m adopted. It was always such an inconsequential thing to me. A detail. My mom was my mom, my dad was my dad, and I never gave it much thought.
My parents made a point of openly discussing the fact that I was adopted from a very young age, so it was a very natural, non-dramatic thing for me. I was told that my biological mother was single, and loved me enough to want the very best for me, so she made sure I was placed in a home with two parents.
My parents went on to adopt a baby boy two years later, and then months after that, ironically became pregnant and gave birth to a second baby boy. So I grew up with two siblings, in a sweet little house in North Florida. My father was a machinist, and my mom kept other children at home, and sewed and baked for extra money, so that she could stay home with us. We didn’t have much money, but it was a happy childhood.
Years later, my mother and I had the typical turbulent relationship common in the teenaged years. But by the time I went to college, I was calling home every other day. There was just no one on earth that reveled in the minutia of my life like my mother.
Years later, when I got married, she made my wedding dress. It was a labor of love, and she told me afterward that she alternated stitches and tears.
I went on to have four girls myself, and my mother was a doting grandmother. She taught my girls to sew, and enjoyed making the same bunny cakes for them each Easter that she’d made for us growing up.
Seven years ago, I got the call that my mother was rushed to the hospital with a life threatening complication of diabetes. I rushed to her side, and rarely left the hospital for the three weeks that she was ill. We lost her in December that year, three weeks before Christmas. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced and I miss her every day. But I am so enormously grateful for all the years that I had with her. She was my best friend, my greatest cheerleader, and a wonderful role model to me as I mother my own children.
I often reflect on the tremendous amount of time, energy and sacrifice children require, and the fact that a woman who did not have to, spent four decades loving me with everything in her. Contrary to the idea that adopted children may feel abandoned, I felt so loved, so treasured, and so wanted. I give thanks every day for my biological mother who cared enough to want the best for me, and made the supreme sacrifice of making sure that I grew up in a loving family. She made the right decision, and I’m so grateful for her wisdom.
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