I have imagined this day since I learned of her. Birth mom. Meeting your adoptive child's birth mom is one of the most rewarding and honored privileges you will know have. Its the missing piece of the puzzle. When we meet Ruby's birth mother in Ethiopia, it was a very hard moment. All I kept thinking and feeling was that I was a big white American woman, I felt like a giant in the room, I felt humble, and yet a little shameful. I felt as if I was taking her child from her. No matter how wonderful adoption can be, there are these times. The times where you know if things were different, this choice would have not been made.
We had been trying to contact her all week and there had been no connection. In Ghana, communication is very much different than we have here. Here you call, email, face book, twitter, text, and if those forms of communication fails then if you really have to you drive out to the persons house. In Ghana if a person does not have a cell phone, or home phone, you are calling the aunt, uncle, sister, cousin, brother. You get my drift. Well no connection had been made. I had come to the terms that I would have to leave Ghana and not see into the eyes of the woman that birthed my new children. I was sad a small relived as well.
Until Friday...she was in town, and she wanted to see me! I got the call right after I came home from the beach, to which I had burnt my face and back because....it didn't feel THAT hot, I don't need sunscreen. yeah.
I sprayed water on my face. Brushed my teeth, got all spiffy. Then took all of that off, and returned to my beach clothing...I didn't know what to wear. I rememberedI felt over-dressed when I meet Ruby's mom because it was the same day we went to the embassy so I dressed up a little. E was with us, G was having her hair braided. PERFECT. I didn't know how she would respond. It was the first time I had E for a nap...he could not sleep in the room with AC so I took the little dude outside on the patio, it was SO HOT and very loud the passing taxis, the people on the street. He feel right asleep. Perfect. I waited and waited and waited. Then it hit me, in Ghana when they say they would be right there, they didn't really mean right now.
E had waken....the bell rang. It was her, along with our interpeter Miss M. I meet them downstairs and greeted them, and saw the sweetest baby boy ever. Little Ishmael, he is G and Es littlest brother. I layed eyes on him, oh my I was in love! She had him wrapped so sweetly on her back, Ghana style. We went into our cozy ac room, bags and kids toys everywhere, I automatically feel awkward. I take out a chair for her and she removes baby Ishmael from her back. I wanted to hold him, but the last thing I wanted her to feel was that I wanted to take him also. I just motioned that he can lay on the bed so that she can rest, and I keept saying ''where is mama...there she is...poiting to her!''....I was overdoing it...It was akward..say something Nat...something smart?! She sayed something to Miss M. it was the sweetest thing when I heard Miss M interpret. Mama had said ''Please lay him in the middle of the bed, so that he would not roll over and fall on the floor!'' Of course...yes, you are right, I will not let him fall on the floor. A flood of emotions over took me. She was a good mom SHE IS A GOOD MOM. Selene and I were goo-gooing all over little Ishameal, and I noticed that E, had starting to jump on the bed, and getting into things. TONS of things. He had seemed to eat a spoonful of sugar, zip zapping around the room. I asked him to come see the baby. WHO LOOKS JUST LIKE HIM!
He didn't want to get close. I could hear his mama say something in GA to him and then motion to the chair I had purposly put close to her for that very reason. He didn't look at her, looked at me and said a very sharp "NO!''. I began my mini-intervew. I am saving the answers for my own childresn privacy. I asked her ''Are G or E named after someone in the family ?'' ''Who did they grow with grandmas and aunties..etc" "How did G get a scar on her lip?'' 'What was G like as a baby, toddler, little girl?How about E?'' ''Can she think of any funny stories she wants them to know?'' and the tough ones. What does she want the kids to remember of her? How about the culture they are from?'' "Does she have any special words for them''....I recorded this one.
At this time, E was all over the place. By know I was conviced that he had eaten a cup full of sugar! I wanted photos close to mama, E would NOT do it. HE didn't even look at her the whole time. My heart was crushed for her. She was sad that she could not see G. Or that G's hair was still being braided. We small chatted for what seemed like an hour. E was getting worse. Opening things he was not suppose to, jumping on the beds, pulling plugs from things, I could tell that her presence was stressing him out. I was sad to do this, but I stood up. I thanked her for her time, I thanked her for her sacrafice of love, I told her I would always speak of Ghana, that she would always be mama to them, I told her I PROMISE to watch over them, that my husband and I would do everything in our power to allow them the opportunities of life. I held back tears.
I walked them down all of them. Came back upstair and held my little boy.
I can never imagine what that would be like on the other side. Whatever I felt, was in no where no way a comparison, nor even close. When people know hear about the way your children came into your family, they want to know the story about how they even came to be available to be adopted. I don't share this story openly. This is not my history to share. I hear ''How can anyone every give up their child?'' I hear '' I would do anything else, than give up my own child!''
I almost want to throw up in my own mouth when I hear these words. We can't even come close to understanding the desperation of these moms, this is a love, one I hope we never have to come to showing, one that no matter how you slice the cake, it hurts everyone. I can tell G and E that their mom gave them up because she loved them and wanted to make sure they would be safe, feed, be educated, etc. Do you think that would matter right now to them? No. Family preservation is the best choice and when the programs are full, when there are no other options, adoption is a choice for so many of these families. I can think of all the horrible things a mother can do to survive, selling her child, it happens.
This mama choose love. For that I love her.
An inexpensive gift idea and a fun recipe!
6 years ago