This I believe…
I am a mother.
I learned that my son would join us when he was three days old. From the moment that my husband and I said, “We want this child” – my son was mine.
I met my son when he was six days old. He looked up at me in the NICU and my heart belonged to him. Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, asthma, reflux, fears of OH MY GOD what have I done. I am now mother to a new person with an opinion all his own. When do I get to SLEEP? Fears of – will he walk, speak, eat? But none of the concerns changed my overwhelming love for him.
We never had a pregnancy or a baby shower. We never had the joy of talking about what our child might look like. I am fine with that. I believe I am a mother regardless.
When we are out women will ask me, “Is he yours?” These women must know that this child was never in my womb. My son does not have my eyes, his father’s chin. My son is black and I am white. But, these people can’t realize how much we gained when my son joined us.
I believe I am the mother to a black child the color of glorious, gorgeous, satin dark chocolate. And it is perfectly obvious that my son does not have any genes from a white, freckle-faced woman.
When he was three months old, my mother explained to a friend that I was okay with everyone taking part in my son’s life because he had ‘no mother’. I was furious, in a way only a mother could be. I calmly explained to my mother that I am, was, and always will be a mother to my son. He is my child. My joy. No other woman will ever have this honor.
We are in the process of adopting my son. He is not yet my son – legally. But if I die today he knows, I know, my husband knows, I am his mother.
What defines a mother? I have found it to be more than genes. I cry for him when he gets hurt. I yell in frustration when I am tired and my son accidentally whacks me with a toy. I love snuggling with my son.
I felt the pain of going to court, knowing that his birth mother might show up and the judge may say that I have to share my son with a woman I do not know, whom my son does not know. I felt relief when she did not show up to fight for my son. I cried for him – because his birth mother walked away. She left the most beautiful, wonderful, smart, funny child in the world.
My son’s birth mother gave me a gift. The right to say, “He is mine” full of pride and joy. The right to know… I believe I am a mother.
And a good one at that.