Before you read this post, I’d like to make it clear that in no way am I saying adoptive parents cannot love their children as much as biological parents or that fathers cannot love their children as much as mothers can. This post is about the depth and breadth of the connection between a parent and their child. How you come into that connection is of no consequence to me. I just happen to be writing it from a mother’s perspective, because, well, that’s what I am and so that’s what I know. Enjoy! : )
. . .
My connection to you was instant. When you were born and they placed you on my belly, I could only say “oh, honey” over and over again. I had one hand on your sticky back and another around your tiny bottom and no moment in my life has ever felt so precious as that one. I carry that crystal clear memory in my heart, another copy in my soul, and yet another copy in my mind, to ensure it’s never lost.
My understanding of that sweet, unbearably strong connection has taken more time. I have slowly come to realize the true magnitude of the job on my shoulders and instead of feeling overwhelmed or terrified, I see that no one on this earth could possibly do it better than me.
This feeling–this lovely, silent secret known only to us, enables me to show you unconditional love so you will recognize it and can give it yourself one day. It makes me the one you trust first and most and gives me the patience and determination to take care of that trust so you will know how it feels and be trustworthy yourself one day. It fills me with a grace unlike anything I’ve felt before (since I was a child myself and felt it from my own mother and father, that is)–a grace I give you every day with soft eyes and gentle hands so that you will understand how to both give and receive forgiveness one day. That is the terrible beauty of parenthood–beautiful because there is no bond stronger, that can accomplish so much and terrible because I have never experienced such awful fear as my fear at the thought of losing or being lost to you.
That is my only prayer, my only wish these days–that you and I get to keep each other. It happens all the time, just watch the news–mothers who have lost their children and children who have lost their mothers. We are fortunate to have such an amazing, loving, and dependable village. I know that if anything were to happen to me you would know love, you would be treasured, and raised well . . . but it wouldn’t be the same. And I cannot even contemplate losing you in words. There’s a great, black hole in my mind where that horror lives and I never look directly at it for fear of giving it substance.
When they strike, these fears, I imagine all of the adventures we have yet to go on, all of the memories we’re going to make, all of things I’m going to tell you, and all of the things you’re going to tell me. And then I send it up, the same prayer every time:
Please, God, let us keep each other . . .