Saturday, November 9, 2013

the other side of adoption...

Adoption can be so one-sided,
with attention only given to the family rejoicing.
"It's so wonderful!" the saying goes,
but do they really understand?

My joy was paid for by someone else's pain.

Adoption brings SO much joy,
and it is certainly worth celebrating.
But may it never be praised so flippantly,
forgetting how and why it came to be
in the first place.

Last night it hit me in the face,
and my tears poured out almost endlessly.

She knows what day it is, too.
She is remembering November 8th as well.

But it's not a day of parties and cake.
It's a memory and a child to mourn.
A child!
Her arms are empty.
And ours are so full.

She stares at the pictures.  She reads my monthly updates.
Does it add to her pain?
Does it relieve her to see his smile?

I can't handle the injustice of the situation.  It's not right.

I didn't conceive him.
He was not born of me.
But another's child, another's son
Becomes my very own.

No one talks about the guilt,
about how there are times
when I feel like I'm standing in the middle
of a mama bear and her cub.
Like I've ripped him out of her arms
and left her to grieve alone.

I remember these feelings before,
as I watched Megan mourn the loss of her daughter.
I felt unworthy of this calling,
as if I had stolen another's child
and made them my own.

Last night, the flood gates opened again
as I wondered what she must be feeling
on the anniversary of such a heart-wrenching day.

Without her pain, there would have been no party.

This time things are somewhat different,
Because I don't see her grief,
and I can only wonder.
I wait and long for the day
she is ready to reach out to us again.

If that day ever comes.

The insecurities plague me at times.
I wonder how I'll ever be good enough
to raise this son
who, biologically, wasn't supposed to be mine.
I can't let the colors of our skin
whisper the old, former lies to me
that tell me I shouldn't be his mama.
And that I can't be his mama.

I know the truth:
that matching colors and cultures don't make a family,
that she will be everlastingly grateful for us
for raising her son as our own
and giving him all that she couldn't at the time.

I know that this was in God's plan,
and that He uses brokenness and difficult situations
and redeems them for His own glory.
I know that's how He chose to form my family.
But why am I the recipient of such a gift as this?

I don't want to forget, I don't want to pretend
because it makes me all the more grateful
for the children He has bestowed upon me.
Let me always remember
she traded her joy for my sorrow.

That is the other side
of adoption.


  1. Great post Amy. It is so easy to get caught up in our happiness and forget about the pain our birth mother's went through. Adoption is such a wonderful blessing from God. I pray daily for our daughter's birth mother. Your family is precious!

  2. Thank you, Amy, for remembering us, the birth moms. God is doing a marvelous work in you and in your family.

  3. oh amy. thank you. such a poet with words. such a brave brave woman sharing this hard stuff. crying and rejoicing with you, hurting for her. oh jesus comfort her. thank you for her.