“He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine, and so together, we are motherhood.” Desha Woodall
Last May, my husband and I, nervously and excitedly, stood in front of a large nursery window, in a dark hushed hallway, eagerly awaiting to see our daughter for the first time, miles and miles away from home.
Our hearts were beating out of our chests as we watched the clock.
Waiting. Time literally stood still as we held our breaths.
You see, our fourth born wasn’t created inside my belly. I didn’t feel her grow or move within me. I didn’t have morning sickness. I didn’t have late night cravings for Big Macs and fries. I didn’t get to feel the pangs of labor. I didn’t get to bring her into this world.
I didn’t even get to see her come into this world. But that’s ok. I know those moments were never meant to be mine.
They are her moments. Their moments.
She carried her, she kept her safe within her womb, and her body is marked with stretch marks and scars barring evidence of the life she gave her.
Yet. I’m still Mama. Her Mama.
I became her Mama by her birth Mama’s careful and thoughtful choosing. She wrote her name on legal documents with purpose, with a plan, with a wild kind of love that is beyond my comprehension.
Motherhood. It is so many things, isn’t it?
She is hers in a way she’ll never be mine, but that fact doesn’t bother me.
This is adoption. This is my motherhood.
Before entering the nursery, a nurse fastened the second parent bracelet on my wrist, it was all I could do not to fall to my knees in that moment. Her birth Mama gave me that hospital bracelet so that I could go to my daughter and be with her. So that glass didn’t separate us. So that I had direct access to her. So that I could hold her in my arms and love on her, as a Mama does. I’ll never part with that bracelet as it symbolizes so much, and marks the first moment that she shared her with me.
In the nursery, nurses were bustling all around caring for other babies, but all that fell into the background as I set my eyes on the sweetest little baby.
I gathered her in my arms and promised her what I promised her birth mama; I promised to love her forever and ever. I promised to be the best mama I could to her, for them both.