It's early in the morning on August 1st when I sit down to my computer. First, I invoice my largest freelance client for the work I did last month. Next, I e-mail my daughter's birth mother.
Since today is a Tuesday, Miranda has camp. Gary brought her in today and by 8:15, I have finished both tasks.
The month has barely started, and I am ahead of the game.
It's been four years since we adopted Miranda. Close to five years since we decided to use open adoption. While we know it is in the best interest of our daughter, I know many people wonder how we can do it.
To us, it's simple. One day, Miranda will want to know how we came to be her parents. She may have questions about her birth family. She may want to know certain things that Gary and I just don't know. In those cases, we can direct her to M, with whom we visit twice a year, send monthly emails and have Skype calls when it works with all of our schedules. M can attempt to fill in the blanks.
It's not the traditional way to parent. It's not the easiest way to parent. I think, however, it is what is best for Miranda. And in the end, that is all that matters.
As a parent, your needs often come second. Or third. Or last. It's an adjustment, for sure. It's also what is right and fair for the child or children you are raising. Whether they came from your womb or not.
I wrote a piece on foster care and adoption that should be out later this week. In it, I mention how "love makes a family - not blood." I stand by that. I really do.
Sometimes I wish that I was the only mom in my daughter's life. Sometimes I wish I did not envy her birth mother for the time she got to spend with my daughter before she was born. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself that the daughter I carried is not here with me.
Instead of shaking it off and telling myself to get over it, I am learning to face the things that I do not necessarily want to see. There is only so much I can control and trying to change history and alter the past is not going to do anyone any good.
I was meant to be a mother. Allie, my sweet butterfly, who flutters around so vibrant and bright and Miranda, my precious rainbow, who teaches me about unconditional love, infinite patience, and sweet compassion. I was meant to mother them both.
The rest is just background noise. I can let it in when I need to, and I can tune it out when I need to. That's what works best for me.