Saturday, May 12, 2012

She Gave Me More Than a Son

It is a very common thing for women to sit around talking about pregnancy.  In fact, I can't remember the last time I was in a group of women my age when this topic did not come up.  During the height of our infertility and adoption wait, these conversations made me feel somewhat isolated--not angry or miserable, just a little sad and out-of-the-loop.  I remember looking around the room at a baby shower a few years ago and realizing that I was the only woman there who had not been pregnant and given birth to a child.  It's kind of a lonely feeling.

But lately I've noticed that I don't feel that way anymore. When the women around me are talking about pregnancy, I understand what they are talking about.  Sometimes, I even chime in. "When Katie was pregnant..." I'll say and share my two cents on whatever they are discussing.  I love that they all know who Katie is.

Katie made me a mother, not just by giving me the gift of a son, but also by giving me the gift of a pregnancy.  She sent me ultrasound videos, invited me to doctor appointments, let me feel the baby kick inside of her, invited me to spend the last week of her pregnancy with her, allowed me to be in the room when Noah was born, and insisted that I be the first person to hold him.  Her selflessness continues to bless my life.  Katie has given me so many gifts.

When my friends talk about ultrasounds, contractions, pitocin, transition, and the euphoria they felt holding their babies for the first time, I understand.  I understand because I've been there, watching a woman that I love go through these things.  I haven't yet experienced pregnancy and labor firsthand, and I know that I will never truly understand until I do, but I feel like I've gotten as close as a person can get without experiencing it myself.

Because of Katie, I don't feel alone anymore when I am at baby showers or chatting with friends. Because of Katie, I have witnessed what many consider a fundamental human experience.  Because of Katie, I feel like a mother in every way.

Not all adoption experiences are like mine.  Not all adoptive mothers get to participate in a pregnancy, and most don't get to be present at the labor.  I want to emphasize that adoptive moms who have a different experience than I did are just as much mothers as I am--but I also want to acknowledge that Katie didn't have to involve me in any of these intimate events in her life, and I would've totally understood if she had chosen not to, but I am so very very grateful that she did.

The past month has been difficult for her.  She has really missed Noah and ached for him when she sees photos and videos of him on my blog.  She told me that when she sees how big and fun he's getting, it makes her feel so happy and yet so sad, even a little angry, all at the same time.  She feels like she is missing everything.  I told her that I think all of these conflicting emotions are totally natural and are the result of love.  She loves Noah so much that she is glad that he is happy but sad that she can't be with him.

I love that Katie.  I love her openness and honesty.  This week, for Mothers' Day, I put together a memory book for her with all of the emails that we've written back and forth over the last fifteen months, all of the letters I've written to Noah, all of the letters that she's written to Noah, and all of the blog posts that I've written about adoption.  I made the same book for Noah, so he will have a history of his adoption story and the love that his mothers have for him.

As I flip through the pages of the book, I am overwhelmed by the experience that Katie and I have shared.  I am so glad that I decided to do this project on the week of Mothers' Day.  It has filled me with gratitude.  What a special day tomorrow will be for me, and I hope the day is happy for Katie too--because she is a mother in the truest sense of the word, and we will be thinking of her all day.

Thank you, Katie, for all the gifts you have given me.  Happy Mothers Day, from one mama to another.


  1. Happy Mother's Day Rachel and Katie.

  2. Happy Mother's Day to you both! Lovely post. xoxo

  3. What a sweet post! Happy Mother's Day!


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