Welcome to 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days, hosted by Portrait of an Adoption. This series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying adoption experiences and perspectives.
One Mother and Another
By Mary Hermanson
One Mother and Another
You are not mine.
You were entrusted to me
By God our Father,
From one Mother
To discover the true You.
Granted by God,
Gifted by one Mother,
Guided by Another.
It was an easy start,
And then not so.
Navigating murky waters,
Where no one knows what it is like,
To be figuring out who you are,
To be wanted and desired,
Yet feel unworthy, unwanted, abandoned.
Learning that the world can be cruel.
It can pick labels,
Tells you you’re unwanted,
Makes you feel less than whole,
And judges without knowing you.
It can act small and spiteful
while being large and overwhelming.
But you’re getting through.
You are finding you.
You are love.
You are kindness.
You are laughter.
You see that anything is possible.
When you navigate the difficult,
You find your hope.
You find your footing.
You find your core.
And you realize that
Each of us matters.
Everyone has purpose.
All deserve dignity.
You were always wanted,
By one mother and another,
Before and after,
Forever by both.
You are always loved
By God our Father,
This is our adoption story, one Mother and Another. We came to adoption after a short stint with infertility. For us, infertility was full of anxiety, adoption full of hope. One cloudy, the other bright. The transition was easy and the journey not hard.
We found each other through an agency. We were lucky. We were surprised. The wait was not long.
We met her when she was eight months pregnant, and she made a plan for birth. We are glad to know her story, those who need to know, they know it. It is not ours to tell otherwise.
My husband and I were in the hospital room when he was born. I held her head up as she pushed. My husband stood behind us both, the steadfast strength he’s always been in this circle. It was scary. It was magical. It was awkward. We are glad to have that moment to share, one Mother to Another.
I call his birthmother my angel. She calls me her savior. Today neither of us would be where we are without the other. A chance meeting? I think not, for the world had plans for us.
We are two individual stories, intertwining and unfolding, coming together and separating, later to rejoin again. Back and forth, forever connected. One Mother and Another.
He was easy as a child. He has always known his story. Children’s stories are cute and it is simple when they are little.
Middle school took us by surprise. It was difficult. It was hard to keep close friends; he struggled in school and had issues with teasing. To many, he was his friendly, outgoing, goofy, self. Teachers said there is no problem – less class clown, more effort.
Inside he was hurting. I wish I had seen it then like I do now. I would have tried to fix it. I’ve learned some things have to be worked through; they cannot be fixed.
He met his birthmother and birth sibling in 7th grade. That helped settle some reality, but it was also overwhelming. He desires a relationship with his siblings but is not always sure. It is not easy as we live different lives and grown-up people’s realities. Some he understands, many he does not. It’s a lot to navigate when you are twelve, this one Mother and Another.
By the end of 8th grade, it was clear that he lacked confidence and had negative feelings about himself. “How can I be likeable when I was/am not wanted?” How much of it is just middle school, crazy puberty and raging hormones, or, is it adoption? These questions raced through our minds, searching for answers.
He (and we) persevered. As a high-school sophomore, he is suddenly thriving. He is more grounded in who he is and what he wants. He’s gaining confidence and getting his footing.
What feels sudden, however, was not. There were many ups and downs and twists and turns. We’ve seen poor choices, smashed doors and damaged things. There has been yelling and tears, a few broken hearts.
There has also been redemption and renewal – laughter, joy, kisses and lots of hugs. Lots. Of. Hugs. Life grows and mends. I’ve prayed every day. Today there is peace. Love lasts longest. One Mother and Another.
He is discovering what he is interested in, what he is not, and what he is capable of. Slow and steady, he is figuring out who he is and who he wants to be. He is recognizing what brings out his best self. This is all what we each need to find – no matter how we come into this world – it is the only way through it.
The journey continues. We have gotten through this difficult period. Was it difficult because of adoption? We will never know. My husband and I have come to think that adoption is never the only thing, but adoption is a part of everything.
His story goes on, and like any family, we will navigate difficulties again. Adoption will always be a part of it, but adoption will never be all of it.
I think of it as his story, but it is mine as well. Not only is he discovering who he is, what he is capable of and what his purpose is, I am finding me and mine as well.
Both One Mother and Another.
Bio: Mary & Craig come from a family where family is a priority. They always wanted children and adoption came relatively easily to them. Middle school and the tween years, however, brought lots of questions about identity. It does with everyone, but how much does adoption play into it? It is another layer to children figuring out who they are and where they fit it. It is also an added layer to adult lives, navigating families, and helping children in confidence and to discover themselves.
* * * *
Carrie Goldman is the host of Portrait of an Adoption. She is an award-winning author, speaker, and bullying prevention educator. Follow Carrie’s blog Portrait of an Adoption on Facebook and Twitter
To continue receiving posts from Portrait of an Adoption, simply type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button.