Sunday, November 12, 2006

I *Heart* My Sister-In-Law

Always the eloquent writer, my sister-in-law left this comment on my "Fears" post:

Your fears are understandable as a potential adoptive mother but they are not unlike the fears experienced by a biological mother. Becoming a mother IS a scary thing despite all the wonderful outcomes. The reality is that NO, you and Jake will not ever spend the same kind of 'alone' time as you do now. Once you have a child it will forever be different. You will become a unit of three, a tightly knit bond, and something automatically turns on in your heart and soul that makes you a mother above anything else. Even when you are away from your child, enjoying that precious alone time with your spouse that you will so greatly miss, you will both find yourselves wondering about what the little one might be doing at that moment. But don't forget that all those things you love doing with Jake - sleeping in late, snuggling in bed and watching silly cartoons on Saturday mornings, going to live events, movies, and just 'hanging out' - your child will do all of those things with you and it will become a normal part of life. There is no turning back from motherhood; every mother will become a mother for life, no matter what the circumstances. It's inborn, it's instinctual. Adoption is only one of the many, many different ways to build a family. Several of my cousins were adopted by my aunts and uncles and that is not even a consideration among us. It's like saying someone is Caucasian or female. The fact that a person is 'adopted' is only one dimension to the lifelong evolution of a person's unique personality and character. A family unit is bonded from the beginning, and your own journey into motherhood will be wonderful, frightening, exhilirating, mystifying, exhausting, intriguing, and ultimately satisfying. No mother escapes from those pesky feelings of guilt, the feeling that you are being judged by anyone and everyone, watching your every move and comparing it to other mothers, better mothers than you. You will look at other mothers in a completely different way; you will find yourself comparing your mothering skills and questioning your own decisions. Though you'd rather not admit it, you will always wonder if you're doing the 'right' thing, and if you're a 'good' mother. It may be a common fear especially among potential adoptive mothers because they may feel that they are being held to an even higher standard than biological mothers. I would like to say that it's a myth, but those feelings are understandable from mothers who have often already encountered disappointing, difficult, or scary situations that may or may not have led them to adoption. You will feel good about yourself when you laugh with other mothers. You will appreciate good examples of motherhood around you. You will be tired and grumpy and feel like no one really understands what it's like to have a 2-year-old tugging on your shirt and whining all day for no reason. You and Jake will celebrate every little moment of your child's life, and you will suffer when your child is in pain. Forever. And yes, you will miss the good old alone time. But it will become a pleasant memory, a story you can tell your child over and over again. "Before you were born, Mommy and Daddy..." And you will never once regret taking that leap of faith, that most feared and reveared journey into motherhood.

She always knows how to make me feel better, and I view her more as a blood sister, than one by marriage. I love you, A.B.W.!!!!


Devra said...

What a lovely response your SIL wrote! She is absolutely right about the guilt, it is normal and it is pesky at times. (children and husbands can be pesky at times too!) Whatever way the MotherShip comes to abduct you, we hope you spend much of it enjoying your child, enjoying your adult relationships and most importantly, enjoying yourself!

wzgirl said...

OMGosh - What an incredible sweetheart, Nat.