Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An Adoptive Birth Memory from Becca

A letter to my son's birth mom, on his first birthday:

I remembering my experience of being in the room when Asher was born. I was nervous and hopeful and excited and filled with wonder and joy and love and even a little fear. All in the space of just a few minutes. I remember holding my breath every time you would push. Thank goodness for both of us that you didn’t have to push very many times. I think I had the best type of out-of-body experience possible. As I watched you give birth, all that mattered was the miracle that your body had created and the amazing thing that was happening. Then that slippery little baby came out and his impossibly small body was all I could think about. I thought something was wrong with him; he was bluish-gray, and no one had warned me that babies don’t really come out pink like they do in movies. But everyone else in the room seemed perfectly calm, so I just waited (for what seemed like an awfully long time) for him to cry or take a breath or give some sign that I would recognize as a good one.

After the nurse took him to the little crib and was wiping him off, your Mom nudged me and told me to go over there. I was still in awe as I watched the nurse work so efficiently. She told me I could touch him, so I reached out and ran my fingers over his. He wrapped his fingers around one of mine, and they might as well have been wrapped around my heart. I immediately felt connected to this tiny boy, whom you would allow to become my son. I remember hoping that this brief moment would be symbolic of the bond that he and I would share throughout his life. That no matter where our lives might take us, we would always feel an important connection to one another.

A few months later I was living the reality of having a difficult baby. I would tell myself that it was his reflux that caused Asher to be so fussy. But sometimes he would cry and cry regardless of the position he was in, whether he was being held, or in his swing, or nestled against my chest in a baby carrier. It was at those times, when explanations and logic weren’t comforting, when I was exhausted and exasperated, that I would force my mind to relive the first few moments I shared with him. I would remember how small and fragile he seemed, and it would help me to treat him with tenderness. I would remember his fingers around mine, and it would help me to realize the crucial role I was to play in his life. I would remember the fear I felt when I thought there was something wrong with him, and I would have hope that this phase would also pass. I would remember how instantly and how powerfully my love for him came to me, and I would feel that love renewed.

It was at the same time that he learned to crawl and move on his own that it was like he became a different baby. He smiled more and even began to laugh at silly little things. I started using words to describe him that I hadn’t before, like “content,” “mellow,” “easy-going,” and even “happy.” After that I haven't needed to remember his birth so often. But as I recall it now, I realize that being there in the delivery room with you and your Mom will likely be the last time I would have such an experience until (hopefully) my grandchildren are born. The gift you have given me of a son is immeasurable. But beyond that, by sharing with me the experience of his birth, I have been able to be a better mother to him. For both of these things, I will always be grateful.

From Becca.
Image from jpgmag. Spotted on Design Crush.


Note from Design Mom: for the duration of my pregnancy, I'll be posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here. I'd love to hear your story or memory or advice, feel free to submit it to


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Anonymous jenny said...

Okay, first, I LOVE that photo.

Second, I am an adoptive mom. I also have four biological children. I will never forget when my {adopted} daughter was about four months old, we were at a party and she was getting passed around quite a bit. I could tell she had had about enough and she started to get a little teary and fussy and squirmy; she looked like she was searching for something. At that moment, her eyes locked on mine and in a room full of other mothers I saw relief and happiness flood into her eyes; she was looking for ME. I was HER mother. I had already felt like I had bonded with her, but at that moment, when she allowed me to see that she had truly bonded with me, and that not just any arms would do-- it truly took my breath away and that memory secured a place in my heart forever. I will never forget it. She KNEW that I was her mother.
I don't know how it is with other adoptive mothers, but after reading Becca's post, it makes me think that there is often that one defining moment where you are powerfully reassured that everyone is where they're supposed to be and who they're supposed to be with.
Make sense?

Thanks for sharing, Becca.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 11:56:00 AM EST  
Blogger Design Mom said...

Becca - Your memory is so beautiful and I love the tone of gratitude you have toward the birth mother — really, really wonderful.

Jenny - Your comment is amazing. I love the idea of "everyone is where they're supposed to be."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 12:14:00 PM EST  
Anonymous In Honor Of Design said...

absolutely beautiful. thanks for posting these stories!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 1:08:00 PM EST  
Blogger Amanda said...

How beautiful! I too am an adoptive mom of 5, our oldest is 4! We are a biracial family and a photo like that speaks for itself! AMAZING!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 1:19:00 PM EST  
Blogger Bekah: said...

Becca, this was beautiful and lovely. It spoke to my heart. Our adopted daughter is 4 months old and bless her little heart has been very colicky. I can relate to your feelings. Thank you for sharing? Do you have a personal blog? I'd love to read it. Please e-mail me @

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 3:14:00 PM EST  
Anonymous kerri-lynne said...

oh, that picture, but even better, your story. I am overwhelmed by and with the beauty of it. we are all mothers, adoptive, birth, and otherwise, and we all work with our greatest might to find our kindness, our patience, our better selves, especially as it pertains to our sons and daughters. thank you, becca, for such a tender reminder.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 3:59:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an INCREDIBLE photo!!!! Thanks for posting/sharing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 11:48:00 AM EST  
Blogger heather said...

i was moved and touched by your story. just beautiful. i loved jenny's post too. i have two biological children, but your stories ring true to me too. i'd like to thank you all for your posts as well. reading these helps me to be mindful of what blessings i have. thank you!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 11:48:00 AM EST  
Blogger Chris10 said...

I cried as I read your post. I am a 28 year old adopting a baby who will be born in about 3 short weeks. I am thrilled and terrified all at the same time. We are lucky to have a birth mother who is letting us be a part of the pregnancy and delivery. I can not wait to hold my son for the first time.
This will be our first child, and he came to us in a unforeseen way. My husband and I felt the desire to adopt, and were going through the process of a state adoption. We were open to older children, and so the whole 6 months of classes and paper work I envisioned myself with a toddler.
A friend of my sister's knew we were adopting, and suggested us to a birth mother when she learned of the situation. We talked several times, but it took a while for the birth mom to decide on us.
While most mothers will think their story starting when they learned that they were pregnant, mine starts in the baking isle at Kroger. She called to tell us we were the parents for her unborn son. No agency, no lawyers ( yet) just a woman giving us the most unimaginable of gifts, while I looked bewildered amongst the coconut and sprinkles.
Although this is not my biological child, he is mine. Whether you believe in God or fate, this child was supposed to mine before anyone knew he existed.
It is so comforting to hear stories like these as I await his arrival.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 8:33:00 PM EST  

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