This year’s Mother’s Day, like many before them, is going to be bitter-sweet for me. Partly because I miss my mom more than I can ever say. Partly because of thoughts of Alexei’s birth mother and foster mother (I know they don’t celebrate Mother’s Day on the same day in China but for many reasons this is the day I think of them both.) But mostly because, although we haven’t “officially” called a halt, it’s been clear for some time that – baring some major miracle – the path to a second child is closed to us.
So I started removing myself from adoption agency email lists and some adoption-related groups. And it breaks my heart a little.
I am blessed beyond measure with a truly awesome husband and the best little boy in the whole world. But there is still a hole in my heart where a little girl or another little boy should be. Removing myself from these areas means acknowledging the reality that I will never hold another baby of my own. And that really, really sucks.
On one of the Chinese adoption groups (which I haven’t visited for ages for reasons unrelated to the above,) there used to be long threads, frequently quite heated and vicious, about whether the wait was harder for prospective adoptive parents without kids than for PAPs who already had one or more. I stayed out of the arguments then – it’s kinda the PAP equivalent of the Oppression Olympics and can only cause hurt for all involved. And seriously, what’s the point of comparing your pain with someone else’s?
I will say that, for me at least, this grief is not as deep as the pain of the wait for Alexei, with its frequently soul-crushing desperation and fear that it might not happen at all. Watching one more Christmas, one Mother’s Day, one more birthday go by without the proverbial pitter-patter of tiny feet in our home at all was harder for me to face than the idea that we probably won’t get to do it all over again. I’d personally take this hurt over the other, thanks very much.
But that’s just my personal experience. Other people may feel very differently and that is just as valid.
The only thing that is harder, for me at least, is knowing that Alexei will likely never have a sibling. I watch him with kids both older and younger and I hurt for him. It’s hard for me, as someone who grew up with sibling both birth and foster, to imagine not having that bond. I still mourn for my little sister and brother who both died too young. I miss my big brother, so far away, though I am proud of and happy for the life he has built in NYC. So it is hard for me to imagine growing up without all the benefits and challenges of siblings.
This is not a knock on only-children: I know lots of singletons who had full and happy childhoods and are (or are becoming) well-adjusted adults. It’s just that I feel like he will be missing out on something special. Not to mention having someone to share the burden of these nutty parents he’s been saddled with.
Anyway, sorry for the rambly depressing post. Here’s something to make you happier and remind myself what it is I do celebrate.