An Inner Heart BattleMay 13, 2018
Today I am reminded of the heart of my adopted children and their search for their identity. I mean teenagers in general are trying to figure out who they are, and it takes years for them to figure this out. But for teens that have been adopted, it takes on a whole different level.
You see, today is Mother’s Day and everyone is celebrating it in some way, including me. My kids gave me some sweet gifts and wrote some amazing things in a card for me. Even a little heartfelt statement from my teens that almost made me cry. And then...my daughter showed me a post she made for her birth mom on her social media. It was a sweet post and in it she says, “I love you.”
She did the same thing last year and wrote a sweet sentiment as well. I had helped her process her feelings and my own as I let her know that it was ok for her to recognize the woman who gave her life. I let her know that having feelings toward her birth mom was normal and ok.
Fast forward to this year and she was comfortable to do this on her own. And to be purely raw here, I wrestled with my own emotions. Not feelings of jealousy or anger, not feelings of whether I was a good enough mom to her. No, I struggled with the feelings of realizing that she may really NEED to meet her birth mom sooner than I thought.
I have always told my kids that if they ever wanted to get in touch with their birth parent that I would help them with the process....when they were old enough, and if it was safe for them to do so. I even put the age of 18 in their minds because that’s when they are legally allowed to search on their own, without me. But now I am facing my heart strings that are telling me it might be sooner than I am prepared for. And 18 isn't that far away anymore. And I struggle...
What will that look like for her? For us? What about her brother? What if he’s not ready yet? What if he is? What if they are rejected by her? What if they are welcomed in? Will I be able to emotionally handle these new family members in her life? Will they be a positive addition to her life? What if they aren’t? And then it hit me....
It doesn’t matter.
It’s about her and what SHE needs. I want to help her as she goes through the process. The emotions can be so overwhelming, and I want to be there for her. It has been important for her to know all these years that I have raised her, that I harbor no ill feelings towards her birth family. I’ve told her that many times throughout the years. She knows her story and how she was adopted. She knows that it wasn’t a selfless labor of love by her birth mom that placed her in my arms. She knows that her story is one of brokenness and great loss.
I don’t want her to feel so concerned about my feelings that she doesn’t seek out what her heart needs. I don’t want her to wait so long into her adulthood that when she finally tries to find her, she’s not around anymore. I don’t want her to suffer the loss of her birth mom twice.
So I find myself starting the conversation with her about finding her birth family. Do you want to meet her? How do you feel about it? I let her know I am here for her as she goes through her feelings…uncertainty, anger, sadness, excitement, self-awareness, acceptance..and many more. I am asking many questions, and answering any of hers. Truthfully, matter of fact, no watering down the story, so she can make sense of it all and of how she feels.
And when the day comes that we finally reach out to her birth family, I will be there to hold her hand and help her through it. And I pray I am strong enough to go through it too.
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