Friday, January 1, 2010

Family Ties

Abigail with mama

There is this scene in the movie step mom. Julia Roberts (the step mom) and Susan Sarandon (the mom) are in a restaurant. Susan has recently found out she is terminally ill. There has been an ensuing battle between the two to have the children like them more. However the words from this scene are what I am trying to describe. It will be a paraphrase. Julia confides that her biggest fear is that on the little girl's wedding day she will be there helping her get ready and the little girl will be sad and want her mother. Then Susan Surandon confides that her biggest fear is that on her wedding day she won't say I wish my mother was here.
This is exactly how I feel. Sort of. Being an adoptive mother has meant this raging battle inside of me. I want Abigail to know about her birth family. I want to teach her how awesome they are and how much they love her. However this other part of me is afraid that one day she will like them more. That I will not be enough for her and she will want her tummy mommy on her wedding day.
I know there is room for her to love us both. There is even room for her to want both of us there when she gets married, but never the less, this is me being honest, and this is my fear. So a week before Christmas we got a phone call that Abigail's birth mom had a Christmas present for her. The loving kind part of me called and said that if she would like to meet us she would be welcome to watch her open it. I was being sincere, but still didn't think she would say yes. She did say yes though.
So on Tuesday a very nervous mama and papa showed up with a little girl that is ours, but we also share. Abigail hasn't seen her birth mom since she was two days old, and I'm certain doesn't actually remember. We do have pictures of her, and we talk about her, so I wasn't sure if she would feel the familiarity or not.
My heart was racing and there were butterflies. I wanted this for my little girl, but also was sort of afraid that she would cling to her birth mom. It was an unfounded fear, but it was there. So when her tummy mommy and birth father arrived we went in a private room. Abigail sat on my lap and opened presents. She flipped through the book she received. Her tummy mommy started to tear up.
I too then started to tear up. I love her birth mom. She was a great friend for the three months before Abigail was born and I miss our laughing together, and enjoying Big Mac's. I too started to tear up. She said she was going to go before she started to cry and thanked us for letting her watch Abigail open her presents. We all hugged and I told her to let us know if she wanted to get together again.
So although my fears were completely proven false, there is still a part of them that is there. I am Abigail's mama, and that day she clung to me like that was true. However there will come a day when she may want more biological connections as well. And although it is hard for me to fully be okay with that, I also really want that for her. I want her to know that she looks just like her birth mom. I want her to know where she got her eye color, hair texture, and height from. I can give her lots of things as her mama. I even have tried to write down every story her tummy mommy told me. There will always be something though that she can only get from those biological connections.
So although I may never fully figure this balance out, I will continue to attempt what I think is best for Abigail. Her birth mom also gave Jason and I a card. It has been the thing that has reminded me that no matter what happens in the future, I need to be as unselfish with our little girl as her tummy mommy was when she asked us to be her parents.

The card says "You're Amazing, and I'm so thankful to have you in my life." One the inside her tummy mommy wrote a message to Jason and I, "You're two of the nicest people I know, I'm truly blessed my little girl have great parents. Love, V."

I hope that as the years go by I can have a heart like hers.

1 comment:

  1. she will also realize that it is you who have loved her and given her all you can - she will eventually be old enough to read you blogs about your fears for her and she will love you even more for it. youre right andrea - she will want to know about her tummy mommy, but you being willing to do that for her will only make your bond with her stronger. dont be scared, you are exactly what a mother should be. i wish that i was more like you!