Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A discussion between two mothers

This past weekend, I talked to Olivia's birthmom on the phone. We had recently sent her photos, and we usually chat after she receives the photos so she can catch up on Olivia's recent accomplishments (so accomplished is my baby, you know). She has three other daughters whom she is parenting, so she knows about milestones and activity at various ages.

We had a really great conversation. She asked about what Olivia is doing now...crawling, standing, etc. I told her about how mobile she is and about our earlier scares about climbing and thinking she might try to climb out of her crib.

And she told me that all three of her daughters were climbing out of their cribs around this age and crawling down the hall.

Hmmm... after more discussion, it became apparent that Olivia's active nature is pretty similar to her biological half-sisters. I'm a wee bit concerned (again) about the climbing out of the crib thing (which she hasn't actually done yet, but she IS getting more bold). But other than that, I think these discussions could prove quite useful in the future, especially if I can gain some insight on what antics I can expect out of Olivia as she grows.

I feel privileged to have a good relationship with Olivia's birthmom. We are even planning to meet her the next time she is in the area (she still lives in a neighboring state, but her family lives in a city close to where we live). Even though I am Olivia's Mommy and I don't intend to share that label, I do have a great deal of respect and affection for the woman who courageously carried her, gave birth to her and entrusted her to us.

I have always been impressed with Olivia's birthmother. Yes, she's young, unmarried and was mother to three before she conceived Olivia. But she's trying so hard to do what is best for herself and her kids, despite her earlier decisions. It is so obvious from the way she speaks about them that she loves her kids. She's a good mommy, just trying to make her way through some crummy life situations.

My husband made a comment to me after I was telling him about my conversation with Olivia's birthmother. He said that he's always irritated by well-meaning people who look at Olivia and say, "What a lucky baby" if to say, "You poor, unfortunate thing...born in poverty to a woman who didn't want were lucky to find such great parents." Whether they mean that or not, that's the way it often comes across.

And that just rubs me (and my husband) the wrong way. We feel like WE are the fortunate ones...fortunate that we were in the right place at the right time, that Olivia's birthmother entrusted us with Olivia, that she was willing to sacrifice a lifetime of parenting this beautiful child so that she could give her a life that she herself couldn't provide. Yes, this is the one child she didn't keep, but she knew her circumstances would make life much more difficult for this child than for the other three. So she chose to give her a new start. And that MUST have been an excruciating decision.

So really, I don't mind keeping in touch with this woman and even getting together with her once in awhile. I am so grateful to her for her selfless decision, and for this beautiful child. I never want her to regret her decision, and I want her to always know that Olivia is safe and loved. When Olivia is older, she will come to understand the great sacrifice her birthmother made for her, and I pray that she will be blessed by our ongoing communication with the woman who gave birth to her.


Jen said...

Yeah, I don't think it was luck. Maybe grace, and it was for everyone involved to come out with the best solution.

Lizzie said...

You have an amazing view of the situation - I can't imagine the excruciating decision to give up a child either. With all of the emotions involved... Either way, Olivia IS lucky to have you just as YOU are to have her. What a blessing that the choices that were made were made.

maggie said...

I don't know if I am grown up enough to have that kind of relationship with a birthmom, even though I think it is the BEST THING. There are so many adopted kids who don't have that- Olivia IS a lucky girl.