February 04, 2010

Am I Enough?

I’ve been asked if I think I can love my “adopted children” as much as I would love a biological child. I’ve been asked if I have any remorse over not giving birth to my “own child.” After deep introspective pondering, I can honestly say, WTF, did you really just say that?

Yes, yes, I know. I’ll be providing adoption education and awareness—free of charge—to the masses for, well, the rest of my life. And I don’t mind, for the most part. Sometimes I get a little weary answering questions, though; questions with answers I think are no brainers. But I have to realize that not everyone shares the same perspective as I (unfortunately—ha!).

So, a refresher (as I’ve said this numerous times before): I cannot image loving anyone more than I love my daughter (and I’m sure I’ll feel the same about my son; of course I love him madly, but he’s just five months old and we haven’t finished bonding yet). She is the bee’s knees, as the old folks say. I don’t have a biological child to, uh, compare my ability to love, but (I just can’t say it any plainer), I can’t imagine loving another child more.

Next…in all honesty, the answer is no, I have no remorse or sadness over not giving birth to my “own child” (FYI, Ava and Kamari are my own children; they are mine to love and care for and raise and nurture. I know you “didn’t mean it like that,” but that’s what you said—I’m justa educatin’.). Giving birth wasn’t in the cards for me (nor was it something I was particularly interested in).

Oh sure, I’m curious what a child with my genes and my husband’s would be like, look like, etc. (I’m betting tall, funny looking nose, and slightly crazy.) But I also think that’s kind of narcissistic—I knew I wanted to be a mom (and I’m loving it!), which to me means raising a child, loving a child, nurturing a child, parenting a child. Said child doesn’t have to come from my loins for me to be a mom.

But here’s what does worry me, and on occasion, keep me up at night: will I be enough for my children (in particular, my daughter who has no ties with her birth family)? There are certain things I may not understand—identity or racial issues, what it’s like not to know your birth family—and maybe Ava won’t want to discuss these things with me. Maybe she won’t think I’m enough of a mom. Maybe she’ll think I let her down or failed her. Maybe she won’t think I gave her what she needed.

This isn’t about me worrying about feeling like a failure. Don’t all parents feel like failures at some point? And this isn’t about me needing to be her one and only “mom”—she has a birthmom out there and I truly hope she gets to meet her one day—I don’t think I’ll have a complex about that (but only time will tell!); I will always be her mom, the woman who raised her. I guess maybe I’m worried she won’t think I’m good enough for her, that she could have done better.

Yes, it seems my insecurities are getting the better of me today. But, when people ask me if I can love a child who was adopted as much as a biological one, all I can think is, will that child love me as much as a biological parent? I know my answer to the first question is without a doubt yes. I hope the answer to the second question is an enthusiastic yes, as well.


Sally Bacchetta said...

I love your honesty in this post, and I "get" exactly what you're talking about. (In fact, I wrote about it in my new book.) I admire you for thinking about this, because I think all adoptive parents owe it to their kids to consider stuff like this. It's a reality. It's one of the things that's different about being an adoptive family. Not less, not inferior, but different. Sometimes when I look at my daughter I wonder the same thing. I guess only time will tell, but I think you and I will both "measure up" all right in our kids' eyes. :)

The Price Family said...

So, you have NO clue who I am... but Ive been reading your blog tonight b/c Im so interested in adopting! I stumbled upon your blog while searching the web for adoption stories blogs... Im just curious about what moms & dads are saying about their adoption stories! Thank you for putting your heart out there! You are DEFINATELY a mommy! Regardless if these babies came directly from you or not. They are a gift to you! So excited for you! Thanks again for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. It's really helped me.