Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Benjamin

My Benjamin is a year old today. A year ago he came into the world and changed my life forever. For the better. So many things I thought I knew about being a mom, so many things I thought I knew about life. But really, I was so clueless. I didn't understand when he was born. All I knew was that I loved him so deeply, that he was so beautiful. That I would find a way to make it work. 

I was ill prepared for the force and power of my love for this tiny human. Sometimes people say to me, if you loved him enough, you would have kept him. Oh, how wrong they are. I don't hold it against them, they don't understand. How can they? 

Placing him has NOTHING to do with not loving him enough. Placing him taught me what it means to love ENOUGH. I loved him enough to accept that I was not what was best for him. I loved him enough to let him go. Not many can understand that, and I don't care. I know that I did the very best thing. And when he's old enough, he'll understand that loving him enough was NEVER the issue.

I spent a lot of time this past week being angry and resentful. Angry at the women in my life who are not birth mothers, yet try to be there. Angry at them for trying to help me see the other side of this. Angry that they didn't understand what I was feeling. I was certain they were invalidating me, and it was hurtful, and I got mad. I shut them all out, and let the anger simmer. Healthy? No. But sometimes, we are all human and we get stuck. I spent the week angry at Drea, and Jason. At myself. Angry at them for being so happy, I mean, how could they feel such joy when I was feeling such pain? But I had to realize, how is that fair? How can I expect them to spend their time acknowledging and feeling bad for my grief? I didn't place Benjamin with them to make them spend every holiday and milestone feeling bad for me. I didn't place him with them so that they could "understand" what I'm going through.

Flat out, they DON'T understand. They aren't birthparents, so they just can't understand that side of it. And that's okay. I can't expect the people in my life who have not placed a child to get what the passing milestones feel like. And I can't get angry with them when they don't. Because on the flip side, I don't understand their struggles. And they have every right to celebrate and feel immense joy at the little boy they have to call their own. They are reaching a milestone that's been a long time coming for them.

Today, I did grieve for a while. I cried all the way to work, and was promptly sent home by my incredibly compassionate boss who remembered what today was for me. I cried on the way home. I laid in my bed and thought of him until almost noon. And then I decided it was time to be okay. It was time to be thankful that he's here at all. I let myself wish for a moment I'd parented him. But how selfish would that have been? I don't want to, and choose not to, think about where we'd be if I'd parented him. He's in a good place, with seriously fantastic parents. I won't say it was easy, but I tried to celebrate that today. 

He's not with me, and that is rough. But I can choose to take comfort that he is where God created him to be. He will never know the pain and fear and heartache I went through. He will only know that parents who love and protect him and treat him like the gift from God that he is. 

I love you, baby boy. Happy 1st Birthday. I love you more than words can say. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Today, or rather this weekend.... huge firsts for me as a birth mother. I won't lie, I was quite nervous about it. I was afraid of how my first Birth Mother's Day would affect me, even more afraid of my first Mother's Day without Benjamin. A big part of me was certain it would be hard, even though I still have Jack with me. So I prepared myself for a rough weekend

What I got was so amazing, and surprising. Jason and Drea really have no obligation to me. They don't have to show me their appreciation or love, they don't have to include me. But they do. I was celebrated on Saturday, my first Birth Mother's Day. The entire day I had facebook and texts from Drea to tell me Happy Birth Mother's Day and express their love for me. I got to see my little B, who is just growing so fast. I got to go to dinner with them and have a wonderful time. They brought me a beautiful card and flowers. And gave me a personalized gift that means more to me than I can even express. The overflowing of joy and love for them as I read it was unreal. I couldn't help crying as I took it in. How lucky I am that these wonderful people are Benjamin's parents? To have a day JUST to be celebrated for my sacrifice was truly amazing, and I will always treasure this "first". Not something I thought I'd be saying about it, but man am I grateful.

Mother's Day wasn't the horrible day I'd feared. I was prepared to be sad and feel empty all day, to miss him so much I wouldn't be able to enjoy Jack. But that didn't happen. Because of the love and celebration that was given to me the day before, Mother's Day was a joyful day for me. I got to know that because of my choice, Drea celebrated her first year as a mother. She got to hear those primary kids sing about mothers, and instead of fighting tears, she got to cuddle her own son and soak in his spirit. She got to know that in just a few short years, her own little boy will be smiling at her from the front of the room, singing to her. How special is that? She got to wake up today and celebrate, and I am SO thankful for her ability to do so. She DESERVES to be celebrated. She's been that boy's mommy from the moment he was born, even if it took a few months to find her way to him. She is just as much his mother as if she'd given birth to him. And even as I celebrated my blessing and enjoyed my day as a mother, I thought of her, and thanked God for her. And celebrated that Benjamin has a truly fantastic mother. 

So I loved this weekend. I loved every moment of it, and there was really no room for grief. Benjamin is where he is supposed to be, and that is cause for celebration. So Happy Mother's Day to the most amazing mother I know.