Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

You grew in my heart.

*Oh my, I have been talking adoption a lot lately, yes? Not in the light and airy #adoptionrocks way either. It's just that as I've been preparing to share our story at the Embracing Orphans Retreat, I've spent many hours revisiting and pondering and considering the topic. I understand if you are weary of it. If so, please, stop reading now. Because here goes another "one of those" posts. I'm kind of on a roll....☺*

Those words are said a lot about adoption. "You grew in my heart instead of my tummy." As if it can only be one or the other. As if one mother gave birth and the other gives nurture. Period.

Our Meadow and Flint were both the youngest of 5 children when they were relinquished. (Meadow's father has since gone on to have at least one more child, who lives with him and his second wife, Meadow's aunt.) I think about my 5th baby, my sweet dolly Clover. (The one who owns my heart and blithely wraps me around her little finger then pulls me whichever way she wills, and I follow....with joy.)

How would it feel to release her for another family to raise in hopes that her provision would be ample?

Has it helped me (or simply haunted me? I can not be sure!) to turn the tables to try to understand where I would stand if the shoe were on the other foot? What if I, loving my baby girl desperately from before she was born, chose to give her up for adoption because I believed it was in her best interest? How would I feel about her adoptive mother telling her that while I gave birth to her, she was "born in her heart?"

What I always wind up coming back to, is that this sentiment fails to acknowledge the truth that while the child did in fact grow in someone's tummy, she most likely grew in her heart too.

She probably also grew in the heart belonging to her mommy that gave her birth. The mommy that tenderly stroked her expanding belly. The one who came to realize one day that she was expecting. The woman who felt the first flutter. The one who lie awake waiting for her baby to kick so she could be certain she was still alive in there. The one who prayed and worried and fretted over how she would feed and care for this little one. The one who was ultimately willing to set her own desires to witness her beloved's growth aside to give her daughter what she could not provide.

I wonder if the expression tends to minimize the heart of the woman who brought forth life, and selflessly gave it over for another to hold. Her devotion, her love, her affection, her heart for her child is not to be overlooked.

If I gave my daughter up for adoption, I would long for her to know that at the same time she was growing in my tummy, she was also growing in my heart...

And I would pray that her mother would tell her so.

Dolly with her spinach smoothie. ~

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