I Did Not Cause Her Pain

Usually for Thursday’s Transforming Truths I focus on a religious realization that has been gained through the struggles we have been through. For the past week and a half I have had a discussion with Little-Flower’s birthmom burning in my head. Although today’s post is lacking a religious theme, it was certainly a transforming conversation.

We had the fortune of celebrating the holidays with Little-Flowers extended birth family a couple of Sundays ago. I am always taken aback at their generosity and how incredibly welcoming they are to us. Like one would with family, it seems like one get together blends into the next and even if it has been a few months, we pick up right where we left off. They accept us as if we had always been members of the family.

After the crowd had thinned a bit, I sat with Little-Flower in my lap entertaining her with discussing the colors of the markers. Mama-D, her mom and grandmother sat in the room with us as we enjoyed watching Little-Flower’s mind absorb what I was showing her. I am not sure what brought it about, but Mama-D relayed a conversation she had with a customer a few days prior about society needing more parents who are able to be in the home full-time.

As the conversation flowed, it became apparent that Mama-D is happy that through adoption she was able to provide that to Little-Flower. The realization that she remains happy with her decision struck me.

So often, I worry that Mama-A and/or Mama-D regret their decision. It is not something that either of them has ever in any form indicated, but more of a fear of mine. Knowing that the joy I am able to experience everyday has come at the cost of someone else’s pain never sits well with me. Somehow, I feel as if I caused their pain.

I attempt to remind myself that I did not make the decision to make an adoptive plan. I did not make the choice for them to live with the pain unique to a birthmother. It’s my readiness to absorb their loss that haunts me. I know it is not overly logical, that if not us then another adoptive family would have stepped in. But, it creeps in the corners of my mind that if we were not so ready and willing would the choice still have been the same?

In that moment as I was absorbing Mama-D’s words, the logic of knowing that I did not cause her pain combined with the realization that I was actually an outlet for the very pain I fear I am party to. It struck me that hubby and I were a tool for Mama-D to provide for her daughter the life she envisioned but knew she was not able to provide.

I can’t pretend to know all that Mama-D feels about her decision, but seeing her peace, maybe even happiness with the decision she made has been calming to the parts of my mind that feel guilt for the privilege I live with each day. She is getting to watch her daughter thrive in the environment that she wanted to give her daughter but was not able to firsthand.

It was a profound visual of what adoption can be. I could never give our daughter breath, but had a life for her to live. Mama-D could give our daughter breath, but not the life she envisioned. Together we get to opportunity to mother this amazing little girl. It gives me hope and makes the picture much more beautiful seeing Mama-D at peace. I did not cause her pain. I helped to sooth it.

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