“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” —Sophia Loren
“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” —Oprah Winfrey
“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” —Tina Fey
“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” —Robert Browning
“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” —Maya Angelou
It was a good visit. It really was.
I believe very strongly in open adoption. I do not hide the fact that Miranda was adopted. I speak openly and freely about adoption. And yet I dread these visits like you would not believe.
There is no handbook for how to handle these situations. There is no way to know how to behave. So you have to trust that you will just do the right thing.
We always give M several dates from which to pick. We give her a range of times and ask her to choose what works best We ask her to decide where we should go. We want her to feel in control of the visit because we feel that will make it easier for her.
The fact of the matter is, though, there is nothing easy about these visits. They are a little bit awkward and little bit uncomfortable. Miranda is the common thread between us and yet we can't really rely on her to carry the conversation!
After the initial greeting, we all usually loosen up. Miranda goes to M and gets her hold her and make a big deal out of her. She lets herself get smothered in attention and love and handles it all very well. Then there is play time. Then there is catch up time. We all relax some more and find our rhythm.
In every visit to date, there are always tears. I am not sure if they are tears of joy that M knows she made the right choice for the child she created? I am not sure if they are tears of sadness for all that she is missing in Miranda's life? I am not sure if it is a combination of all of those elements, plus more. I just know it always breaks my heart.
We parted with the promise to send pictures from the day and to set up our next Skype call around the holidays. We all gave hugs and said our goodbyes.
I feel fiercely protective of Miranda all the time and I worry about how we are going to explain all of the intricacies of her life as she gets older. I worry about Miranda having two moms. A birth mom and a what? Real mom? Practical mom? Everyday mom? Or just plain old mom? You know what? I do not need a title. Plain old mom sounds good to me. Very good, in fact.
I guess the rest we will figure out along the way. When we get it wrong, we will learn. When we get it right, well how sweet that will be!