One of the biggest hurdles I have had to overcome in the six+ years since being reunited with Christopher has been the claiming of my motherhood ~ from my very first pregnancy, not just from the birth of the children I raised.
For I never allowed myself to consider that Christopher was my child, therefore I was not "really" a mother to him. He was always "the baby I couldn't raise".
The things your psyche does to protect itself...
The first crack in that thinking was 16 years after his birth, when my daughter was 13. She found the envelope of papers and photos of the brother she didn't know existed. When she finally confronted me with the knowledge, she called him her brother. My brain screamed "he's not your brother!" (I may have even said it out loud?). Then my heart skipped a beat as I realized that yes, he was. He was not just the baby I couldn't raise. He was her brother. He had two younger brothers also. He was my son, I was his mother. But I wasn't...
After reuniting and being able to fully acknowledge my motherhood, I still struggled with it. I struggled with letting what other people think make a difference. I allowed other people's attitudes that I wasn't really his mom since I didn't raise him take away from my truth. I was letting my assumptions of Christopher's feelings (or lack of feelings) for me take away my truth also.
When I was finally able to allow my heart to know and embrace my motherhood, to know what every other cell in my body knows is true ~ no matter what society or anyone else may say ~ that was a major milestone in my healing.
While outside validation shouldn't be necessary ~ oh how wonderful it is to get it though! Especially when it comes from outside the adoption world and friends I have found online.
I got the most amazing and unexpected validation just a few days ago. Christopher's mom and I occasionally send texts, have talked about getting together again for another visit. I had been in their part of the state recently (to visit Christopher!) but didn't have enough time to stop on the way home and visit her this time. I messaged her that I hoped I would be in her area again soon. She replied back, and part of her message said "Don't we have a terrific son?" and "I hope you had a terrific visit".
"Don't we have a terrific son?"
Six little words... As happened in Whoville long ago, my heart grew three sizes!
I know I shouldn't need validation from anyone, but... wow. To get that validation from his mom is about as good as it gets for me. Especially since it came on the heels of an after-visit melt down a couple of days earlier. In such a short time to be at the steepest drop and then back up to the highest high ~ a roller coaster ride for sure!
I don't know what I've done to be so very blessed in this reunion journey of ours, but I am thankful for it every single day!
Oh ~ and the visit! I went on a road trip west to spend the evening with Christopher and his family last Friday. It was a wonderful visit that had been too long in the making ~ it had been 14 months since I saw him and his wife, two long years since I saw his son and daughter. We went to dinner then back to his house for a few hours. The highlight of the night was hearing my sweet little 6 year old granddaughter calling me "grandma"! She also gave me a tour of her bedroom and all her treasures. (There is a heaven on earth ~) I had a great visit with Christopher and his wife after the little ones went to bed. I even got a little one-on-one time with Christopher as he gave me a ride back to the hotel. My heart was full as I was able to give him a hug goodbye and once again tell him I loved him in person.
Life is Good ~