This past Tuesday I had the amazing opportunity to sit on a panel of other birth moms, birth dads, adoptive parents and adopted kids and share my story before a group of prospective adoptive parents. As I looked out and around I saw eager faces, couples excited and scared for the journey ahead of them. I had no idea what I was going to say. I had no idea what these people even wanted to hear from me. I have told my story so many times that I figured it would just come naturally to me, but as I was sitting up there I got nervous and felt completely blank. Thankfully, another birth mom whose daughter was now 7 years old, shared her story before I did. As I listened to her I related to a person more than I think I have ever related to anybody. Quite frankly she was bringing tears to my eyes. After hearing her speak, I knew exactly what I was going to say and I expected to blubber my way through my whole spiel. Two other people shared, an adoptive mom and her adopted daughter, and then it was my turn. The first line of my quickly rehearsed speech came out and then I just blanked. I forgot everything I wanted to say, every emotion I had been feeling. For a split second I freaked, then I just went ahead and said what was on my heart and what I felt would be beneficial to the 10 couples who were staring at me. For my first time on the panel, I think it went pretty well. I truly enjoyed listening to every single person share their journey. It was a blessing to hear a variety of experiences and absorb the beauty of this dynamic God has created through adoption. It's definitely not the easiest dynamic. Every person in that room has experienced their fair share of brokenness, grief, and pain. Yet they also have experienced their fair share of joy, happiness, and thankfulness. I plan on sharing on another panel if I am provided the opportunity.
This experience, as rewarding as it was, reminded me of the difficult dynamic of my situation. The other birth mom that shared her story shared that she had originally been pretty close to the adoptive family and saw her daughter often, but slowly over the years that relationship faded and she now sees them just once a year. My heart slightly sank at the thought of that. Ok fine, I'll be honest, my heart COMPLETELY sank at the though of that. I love Grace, but I also dearly love Liz and Eric. They became my family. There are some changes already occurring, as they naturally should, but will the day come that I only see them once a year? I know I will cross that bridge when I get there, but that hard dynamic of adoption sometimes weighs on my heart. What if one day they don't want me around as often? What if that day starts now? So many things I know that I should not worry about. God has brought me this far and blessed me tremendously and I know He will continue to do so, but that nagging feeling still can get the best of me at times.
Here's another dynamic that I rarely considered while pregnant and in my own little private survival mode. This adoption does not just affect me. It affects those around me, namely my family and my best friends. My parents have a granddaughter, my sister a niece, Stella a sister ;) and my best friends a baby (niece) that they got to know so well as she grew in the womb. Each and every one of those people had to let go of Grace too.
In no way I am hinting at any feelings of regret. I know with every fiber of my being that I made the right decision. I know that I am supported by every single person I know and love and even by strangers that have heard my story. I am merely just reflecting on some truths and trying to be as real as I possibly can be.
Adoption is an absolutely wonderful and beautiful thing. Every day I am thankful for the role I have in this dynamic. I wouldn't go back and change a thing. Sometimes the most beautiful things in life are the things that aren't the easiest. I know that to be true and it pushes me through the difficult realities of this dynamic of adoption.