As I held his perfect little body against mine, grief for Sam's birthmother came crashing over me. I wept, wondering how she'd found the strength and courage. When she placed that child in my arms, she must have felt as though she were giving birth a second time. The mama I became the moment my first child was entrusted to me is the mama I would have become no matter what....The baby himself made the mother, not the cell tissue he was made of. Joy is not uterine-dependent.
Now, as a mother through adoption, I find myself the recipient of e-mail after e-mail from friends of friends who are exploring adoption....They want to know if they will love an adopted child as much as they would love a biological child.
Adoption is its own gestation, I sometimes respond....the wait...for a referral...brings a physical and emotional shift in your heart and body. When the wait ends...you enter a final trimester of hope and terror. When you deliver, just as when you adopt, the placement of a healthy child into your arms is not a certainty until that baby is there with you, breathing quickly, and with a softness so precious you think it can't possibly be real.
Those mamas whose pregnant bellies I envied, whose baby showers I sat through in silent rage, had nothing over me in the feelings department...
[NOTE: This woman has one adpoted child and one birth child, and here, she speaks of the difference in mothering...or lack thereof]:
There is no difference in the way I run to one when he bumps his thick head, or crumple when the other tells me that someone hurt his feelings. I felt the same joy when each of my baby boys smiled at me for the first time. When Sam kicks a ball harder than the imp who picked on him in line, I explode with pride. When Marcel sees a picture of Darth Vader and starts humming the Star Wars theme song, I delight in his brilliance.
My boys have completely different, irreverent temperaments, so I respond to each child in a different way. But as far as how I love them, it is the same.
(Source: Adoptive Families magazine, October 2009, "True Love, Times Two," by Catherine Maryse Anderson, pp. 23-24)