This girl turned 13 years old on Thursday. On March 20, 2015, she will have lived with us for five years.
She had another mother for the eight years prior to that day. Her relationship with her first mom is hers to share with you should she ever feel ready. It is private. It is personal. It is hard. It is beautiful.
At the beginning, it was non-existent. I won’t share the details of what occurred, but there is grief and loss in adoption, and I think you can imagine what being handed to strangers did to our sweet Giggles. She is so very strong, so very brave. She needs me to be equally as strong and as brave. Giggles taught me to set aside any feelings I might have about sharing my role as her mother aside, and to embrace the woman that she called ‘mom’ before me.
I’m coming to you all from a place of experience today, as the mom of an older adoptee, to ask you, to plead with you, to hold on to any roots your child might have. I know how easy it is to want to be the one and only for your child, especially if you struggled with infertility and this is, finally, your moment to be a parent. I did this with ResponsiBoy. I rejoiced in his babydom, my chance at loving this sweet little being, and I didn’t think about keeping him connected to the woman who had loved him first. We have gone back now, opened the relationship as much as possible, and tried to set the pain aside. I have promised all my kids that I will help them, with no judgment or jealousy, to keep any ties to their biological family that they have, to dig deep and seek them out if we don’t know them. This is about them, not me, and it is my job as a parent to put my children first.
On Thursday, I spoke with Giggles’ birth mom at length. We texted back and forth, PMd on Facebook, and rejoiced in our girl becoming a teenager, a young woman who we will both launch into this world before either of us is really ready. I never would have chosen this woman, she never would have chosen me, but we are family now, and I adore her for sharing her precious girl with me for as long as time allows.