Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What makes a Mother?

This is the question I have been asking myself for quite awhile now. Are you a Mother simply because you gave birth? My answer is "absolutely not". I didn't give birth to my daughter in the traditional sense but I am definitely her Mother. How do I know this for sure? It's actually quite simple. I am the one who stays by her side when she is sick, that soothes the tears she sheds, who delights in every new discovery that she makes about herself and the world around her. I am the one who grew this child in my heart for 3 years and 8 months. I am the one (along with my husband) who experienced loss in order to receive the gift that is our daughter.

I dread the day when our daughter says the infamous words: "You're not my REAL Mother". I already have my reply to this question which is: "Do I look real to you?". I know that the day will come when my daughter will ask many questions about her birth family. Right now, we continue to make her adoption a part of her every day life. We talk about her birth family all of the time and explain to our daughter that the adoption plan that was made for her was done so because her birth mother loved her so much that she chose my husband and I to give her the life that she couldn't.

The beautiful thing about open adoption is that our daughter will know who her birth family is and will have contact with them throughout the years. There will be no secrecy. Our daughter will know that she was our chosen child and that she is special because she has more branches on her family tree than other kids do!

I am still learning what it takes to make a Mother. Will I ever know all the answers to this timeless question? Time will only tell...