By James Muscolino
With adoption comes many anniversaries of sorts. Various days on the calendar that are circled and remembered. Needless-to-say, there is the day of your child’s birthday, the day you leave the hospital with your little one after the legal paperwork is signed, the day in court where you officially become parents (otherwise known as “Gotcha Day”). These are all significant days on the path to an adoptive parents journey to parenthood. On this day, one year ago, marks the day that we were contacted by our daughters birth parents for the first time.
I imagine it is similar to a woman finding out she is pregnant…although I obviously have nothing to compare that to. When we were chosen, I certainly felt like I had peed on a little stick and 2 lines appeared! It was 10:30am on January 31st 2013 and we were signed up with Lifelong Adoptions for just under 5 months. I was sitting in the same exact spot as I am now writing this post, working on my computer, when I received a call from our Birth Mother Coordinator. “You guys were picked by an amazing Birth Mother”. Indeed we were.
I’ve never spoken much about the Birth Parents in my writing because I have always maintained that information should be kept private for our daughter. Inevitably, the day will come when we need to share that information with her, and when we do, we wish for her to be the first one to know everything there is to know about them. How truly unfair would it be for her to be the last one? Nonetheless, what I can say is that my partner and I had a close relationship with the Birth Parents. I was especially close to the Birth Mother-so close that I am haunted everyday when I look at our daughter because she looks just like her. Beautiful. While we do not talk to them presently, my need to find closure with them still lingers about. Maybe it will always be there. I have this overwhelming feeling to say…
It has been one year since you invited us into your lives. Almost 6 months since we were all in the delivery room together watching this human being, whom we all love, be born. Every day, when I pick her up out of her crib, I thank you. Every day, when I hold her, kiss her, when we spoil her and when I watch her play with her Papa, I thank you. What an incredible, selfless, courageous gift you gave us. I understand all the reasons why you chose adoption, why you chose us, and so will Reagan. I’ve said thank you a million times and it will never be enough.
The first email we received, to the first phone call, the first visit…Many adoptive parents begrudge all the “work” it takes to form that relationship with the Birth Parents. We opened our door to these strangers and welcomed them into our private lives, to a certain degree, in the hopes that they wouldn’t change their minds in the end. It is emotionally draining and indeed “work”. However, my partner and I wanted to know these people and wanted to care for them. We wanted to know their likes, dislikes, their family history, what made them tick, what their favorite colors were. I want to be able to answer Reagan when she undoubtedly asks “Does my voice sound like my moms?” and be able to honestly answer her.
I had made some promises to the Birth Mother throughout the months of her pregnancy. Some of them being from the way we would parent and the choices we would make in raising Reagan to the, what seems so insignificant to us but so important to her, promise of spoiled Christmas’ and home-cooked meals for Reagan. In fact, some of these promises I had made has caused some “butting of heads” with others who wonder why I won’t budge on certain issues. Well now you know why. It must be understood that the first contact that was made to us a year ago today was a gift. What they gave us was a gift. I would much prefer to go head-to-head with others than to reneg on promises that I had made to the woman who gave us such a gift.
A year ago today also marks a poignant point in my relationship that I have with my partner. Because if it wasn’t for our relationship, the type of relationship that we had conveyed to the birth parents in person and on paper, they would never of gone through with this adoption. When they picked us, they picked us and the couple that we are together. All the differences that make us up individually they saw enjoyed and knew that those differences would give Reagan the best of both worlds. So kudos to us today as well!
In the Birth Parents first email, they stated: “We are positive that you will be perfect parents for this baby.” and further down the email it went on to say: “I love the fact that you live in Texas, your house is beautiful, and you have a big family that seems very close, which is important to us. You guys seem so awesome and we can’t wait to talk to you. Thank you both so much for giving us an opportunity for our son/daughter to be raised and loved and cared for.”
…there were certainly 2 lines on the stick…
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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