In This Moment
Last week I took my daughter to see her favorite singer, Taylor Swift, at a concert here in Oklahoma City. We were laughing and having a wonderful time before the show, and then the lights went down and there was that “moment” that I have experienced over and over again since Anna’s adoption – where I am completely overcome with emotion at getting to be her mom.
For me, these moments often come at the beginning of certain events – her first Disney movie, her first dance recital, the first time she proudly waved to me on stage during a school spelling bee. Time seems to stand still, and I get a feeling so sharp and piercing in my heart that it brings tears to my eyes and leaves me breathless.
Don’t get me wrong. I have moments like these with the kids I gave birth to as well…..but there is an added intensity with my children who were adopted. That night during the concert, I tried to sort through some of what I feel when these moments occur. I kept coming back to the realization that someone else carried my daughter in her womb – someone else brought her into this world — and that someone is a person I will never know. I am getting to share all of the beautiful moments of Anna’s life, but with no way of letting her birthparents know she is doing well. I have been given this unbelievable gift, with no possible way of expressing the depth of my gratitude to those who gave her life. How often do they think of her? It would be impossible for anyone to carry a baby to term and then not wonder if that child was okay. I would give anything to somehow let them know she has grown into this amazing and beautiful young lady, who is happy and so completely loved.
In moments like these, I can’t help but think of Anna’s beginnings as well. She was so tiny at her adoption – weighing just 12 pounds, and so sick when we returned home that she ended up in the pediatric ICU days after our arrival to the US. I think whenever she has times of complete unbridled JOY, like we were sharing together at the concert, I look at her face and am overwhelmed with gratitude that she is here on this earth. It takes my breath away, and I can only lift up thanks to God that I was somehow allowed to share my life with her. I don’t know what I did to deserve that honor, but I never take it for granted.
How about you? Do you have moments where it is hard to even take in that you get to be your child’s mom or dad? Are there certain times or events that trigger those feelings? Do you think the great “unknown” of birthparents in China adds an extra layer of emotion to adoption from that country?
Amy Eldridge is the Executive Director of LWB and the mom to seven wonderful kids (two from China).