Ya know, you get into this thing. This parent thing. You have this new little thing to take care of. You don’t know what to expect. They don’t know what to expect.
Not only does she completely trust you to care of her every need. Her birth-mom trusted you to care for her child. To love her unconditionally.
I never thought this would be hard for me. I always thought this would be easy. Mothering seemed like it was instinctual to me since I was a little girl imagining 7 children (Cabbage Patches at the time, Sandy, Bethany, Katie, Shane, Headah, Lara & Brenda if you must know…). It didn’t come that easy for me.
From the moment of Faith’s birth when we were in the air flying from Minneapolis to Tampa and we heard that her birth mom decided to see her (not the plan), we knew things were going to be ok… but different. Then when we got there and got to spend an incredible night into early morning and full day with Faith’s birth-mom, I couldn’t let my guard down. I couldn’t fully attach to her knowing that she was not “mine” yet.
Unbeknownst to her, A* gave me (us) some of the most precious days of our daughter’s life. She gave us tips and insight. She assured us from the first moment we saw Faith and her, “She’s yours”. But I could tell in her eyes that it was killing her on the inside. And it was SO hard for me knowing that I was taking something from her. It was like we were kids again and I was stealing a toy. Before TPR was to happen, I went to speak with her for the last time and I came back and collapsed into Tony’s arms. I felt like I was the one causing her pain. And that killed me.
Until tonight, I had read books, I understood the loss and pain. I understood that attachment took time. But it took until I could not console Faith for the life of me. I tried everything. I’m telling you everything. I was afraid to reach out to anyone. I was her mom. I should know what’s wrong. I should be able to console her. But I couldn’t. She was screaming, I was crying, the phone was ringing and I shut down. It seemed like too much. I was angry for Tony being out of town. I was upset that I didn’t have my mom there to show me that it was going to be ok. (And she did end up being there… on the phone. Thank God!) I felt like I couldn’t call my closest friends. I’m telling you… I shut. Down. And that is scary to me.
In the end, it was my mom’s advice of a bath to calm her down. The colors she turned (her nervous system at work… thank you, Dr. Rob & Dr. Dawn!) were the scariest things I’d ever seen. The sweat on her onesie when I undressed her to the look in her eyes. She was fully trusting me. And I had no clue what I was doing.
I realized in this hectic, scary, frustrating, full of frustration moment… that I loved her. That I truly loved her. I would move mountains for her. I would never let anyone hurt her. I would do ANYTHING for this little girl to make her life as beautiful as possible.
It was tonight that I finally feel……… like a mom.