Children are not always born from you, but even when they are not, an unseen umbilical cord exists between that adopted child and the mother. It is hard to describe, but for me, when I first saw my son, I felt elated and fearful, I wanted to scoop him into my arms and announce that he was mine. But another woman had given birth to him, and I knew that she could change her mind, she could take him away with her, and I wanted to hold back, to avoid bonding for fear of having my heart torn apart. As I gazed upon his face, noted his perfect skin, dark, curly hair and the his angelic lips, my heart opened and I prayed for him to be mine.When he first looked at me and cooed, took food from a bottle that the nurses could not get him to drink, I knew the cord was there, the bond was growing.
|1 week old|
My prayers were answered, and a few days later we brought him home from the hospital. I could not get enough of him. I felt in awe of all he did. When he slept, I would gaze at him, noting how he pursed his lips, the sound of his breathing, how he moved while dreaming. When I held him close, I'd feel his warmth, listen to his heart beat, and love how he was so relaxed and comfortable. I felt my heart leap when I heard his laughter. He became a part of me though no physical connection had ever existed.
|7 months old|
I had taken classes in college and knew how children developed, yet I was always amazed at each moment of progress--crawling, first steps, first words--everything amazed me. And seeing the world through a child's eyes opens up so much wonder. I was a doting mother, keeping journals in which I wrote about everything--things, he did , what he said, how he reacted to various experiences, where we took him, how he made me feel--for I wanted to preserve and remember and cherish it all.
I shared with family and friends through my family newsletters I created each month, complete with photographs. I took lots of photographs!
|1 year old|
I cherished each and every moment because I knew you could not go back. When parents do not cherish the gift of their children, it saddens me. When they do not take the time to sit and read a story or build with Lego's, do not share sunsets or gazing at a spider web jeweled with dew, do not crawl on the floor together or sing a silly song, they miss out on so much. Not only do the children gain from the experiences and sharing, but we parents do, too.
So I say to cherish the time you have with them while they are children, while the wonders of the world are new to them. You can enjoy that wonder and be child-like, too.