Family / Kids / Parenting

He grew in my heart

MoBabes

blackly PHOTO CREDIT: MOUTHS OF BABES

This is cross posted from valuably Mouths of Babes.  Angie is a single mom of four kids under the age of five!  Wow! I struggle to blog with one toddler, so she pretty much amazes me.   Not only that, but the posts are filled with humor, heart, and beautiful photos.  ~ Clare

 

Today is the two-year anniversary of adopting my oldest son.  The journey to making him mine was long, stressful and a very emotional, to say the least.

My ex and I became Elias’ foster parents when he was 14 months old, two years before his adoption became final on August 16th 2011.  In those two years we endured court hearings, sporadic visits with his biological mom, multiple case workers and never knowing if he would be ours forever or leave us at a moment’s notice.  It was a lonely time. I found a foster parent support group and still felt alone. The group full of foster parents going through what I was going through or worse. I did take some comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone, but hearing the horror stories and learning about the uncertainty that goes along with being involved in a broken system, made my fears more of a reality. I clung to hope, hope was all I had and I wasn’t going to let it go.

Hope was my friend and it’s what kept me from falling apart so many times. That and looking into the eyes of a little boy who knew nothing about what was going on and only that he had a safe home with two parents and a brother who loved him. His innocence grounded me and scared me at the same time. I would pray over and over again that he would never be ripped from another home ever again. I prayed that if he had to leave us that he would at least go somewhere safe and to someone who loved him as much as I did.

I was more often than not, an emotional wreck but it was all worth it. Today, I could say that a million times…it was SO worth it. I remember the first day I met Elias, I knew virtually nothing about him and had only received the call that we’d be getting him, the day before. He was so happy despite the horrible things he had been through. He sat on my lap, taking in his new surroundings, and I wondered if I would ever love him the way a mother loves a son. I feared that maybe we wouldn’t bond or worse, that he would never accept me. I don’t remember the exact moment it happened, but not more than a month later I remember telling someone, that I was totally in love with him and that I was sure he was meant to be my son forever.

Adoption is an amazing thing. There is a difference between the love for a child you adopt and one that you give birth to, at least in my experience. I had to earn Elias’ trust and love. It wasn’t given to me just because I took care of him and called myself his mom. He made me earn it; he made me work for it. And when the day came two years ago, when we stood in front of a judge for all of maybe five minutes, I became his mommy for life.  That was all it took to adopt Elias, after all that time worrying and hoping, five minutes and a few signatures on some paperwork. The fear that hung over my head like dark cloud for two years had finally lifted.  There was no turning back, he was mine.

Today, my loving and bright five-year-old has taught me so many things these past few years. He has taught me that the love and the bond between a mother and son has nothing to do with DNA. He taught me patience and that good things do come to those who wait.  And hope. He taught me and STILL teaches me, that even when things seem like they will never get better, that you will never leave the dark place you are in, there is always hope and more often than not, something beautiful on the other side.

“Not flesh of my flesh nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you didn’t grow under my heart but in it.”  -Fleur Conkling Heyliger

 

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2 Comments

  1. “There is a difference between the love for a child you adopt and one that you give birth to, at least in my experience. I had to earn Elias’ trust and love. It wasn’t given to me just because I took care of him and called myself his mom. He made me earn it; he made me work for it. ”

    This is a lovely quote. I think sometimes there is pressure not to acknowledge these differences, but they are real (for those of us who feel them). It’s not exactly the same at all, but I feel a real pride in my relationship with our daughter (who my wife gave birth to and with whom I do not share a genetic link), partially because she and I built it out of what felt like nothing at the start.

  2. Pingback: Shake it off | Musings from inside, outside, and underneath

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