There is rarely a day goes by that I don't think about my youngest daughters birth mother. How could I not? She is forever woven into the fabric of our family through the child she gave birth to. I can take credit for the nurture, but the nature is not mine to claim. Through the years I have had a lot of people tell me how I should feel about the birth mom, what weight I should give her role in the life we live. My response is simple. I should love her. Despite her choices. Despite the pain she caused. Despite the hurt. I should love her. Because by loving her, I am able to fully love her child as my own.
As Mother's Day approaches, it carries with it bittersweet feelings. I feel blessed by the three amazing gifts I have been given and I am thankful that God felt me good enough to mother them. But, I also feel sadness over a relationship lost... that in order for me to receive the fullness of this life...pain had to occur. A mother had to lose her child, and a child had to lose a mother.
I read stories of birth mothers who gave their children the gift of another life. How selfless the act was. How willing they were to carry a baby to term, knowing they could not keep the child. Knowing that someone else would be made complete, even though they themselves would be giving up the right to be. And then there is the birth mother in our story. She fought to keep her child, even though all of her choices reflected an inability to do that, and even though it was destroying the one she claimed to love. She forced a judge's hand to make the decision for her. Her actions were anything but selfless.
Two different situations, two different mindsets, one common theme: Loss. To not recognize that loss, to not acknowledge that in the process of creating new families, grief occurred, would be selfish. I am a mother to a child who was born from another woman's womb. It does not diminish my place in that child's life. It does not mean I am not that child's mother. It does not have anything to do with me. It just is, what it is.
Saturday is a day that has been set apart as a day for birth mothers to be acknowledged. To recognize the role that they have. To honor those that gave the gift of life. I used to despise the thought of honoring my daughter's birth mom. I have every reason to hate her. But in order to love my child, the child she carried and birthed, I must love her. So, Saturday I will think of her. And I will silently thank her for loving her child as well as she could. Because without her, I wouldn't have my youngest. Without her, my family wouldn't be complete.