I am not his only mom. He wasn't born to be mine. We were not made for each other. This is reality. If life were fair, he would still be with the woman who gave birth to him. She would have been the mom he needed her to be.
But she wasn't, and they didn't get to keep one another. That horrendous loss in my son's life is my gain. Everything about that seems wrong, and yet that is reality.
My son loves another mother so deeply it hurts him. He loves her because she is his mom, too. Having four of my children through adoption, I have dealt with this reality so many different ways and so many different times. I have had times of hurt, joy, sorrow, jealousy, shame, insecurity, anger... you name it. The list goes on. If it can be experienced, I've felt it.
My son loves me. I know this. I am there for him through all the crap, I deal with all the junk, and I hold him tight when life is hard. I am the one that is here every day packing his lunch, helping with homework, making his meals. I should be called his mom, I've earned that title.
And yet, he loves her too. Maybe even more than he loves me. Or maybe not., I don't know. But he certainly loves her either way. I am learning to embrace that.
If I don't allow him to love her, to express his love openly to me, our relationship will be stunted. If I don't allow him to grieve openly to me, I will hold him back. If I don't embrace her as a person, and let her into his life as much as is healthy, I will hurt him. If I don't validate his missing her, I shame him.
On my 4th adoption, with 3 different birth moms, slowly but surely, I am figuring things out.
It is not my job to replace her, to swap one mom for another. It is my job to love him. My son. If he loves her, I must love her, too. For him. Because he is worth that.
Rachel is a 32 year old mom with 6 kids married to the best man she knows, Joey. Her kids are 2,4,7,16,20, and 21. God keeps bringing them teens and asking them to adopt them. Like crazy people, they keep saying yes. What could seem like the worst possible age to adopt in the world, has become God's beautiful redemption story playing out right before their very eyes. And it is good.