As blessed as we have been to get the honor to raise S, we also recognize that is another side of adoption. The choice. The heartache. The consequences.
The loss. The loss. The loss. The loss.
We cried as S's adoption was finalized in court. We recognized that our gain, was her birthfamily's loss and it was heart wrenching. We cried for the siblings she would never know. The grandparents who will not get to watch her grow or listen to her laugh. We cried for the father who met her just twice. We cried for the ache that lives in her birthmother.
So even though we grieved for S's birthmom, her other children, and extended family we also grieved for S. When her birthfather died - we grieved for the man S would never have the opportunity to meet. (If she had chosen to). Even with the recognition of the heartache and sacrifice, I was unprepared when a package arrived from her birthmother.
Included in the package were updated pictures of S's siblings. More information about her birthfather's death.
And a few cards.
Those cards were written to S using her birth name. A name that we never use, but one that we refer to in communication with her birthfamily. They were signed....
Love, Mommy and Daddy
Believe it or not, I didn't fully comprehend until that moment that someone else also considers themselves to be her Mommy. I mean, I knew that, but I didn't get it. I didn't get how complicated this whole adoption thing was - for all of us.
As I struggle to identify what this all means, I wonder how I am going to explain this to S someday in the near future. And I wonder how the lessons we've learned so far can help in our upcoming adoption.
Adoption is a bittersweet, loving, heartbreaking and joyous miracle.