The Other Mother

Giving birth does not make a mother.  Placing a child for adoption does not make her less of one.

As we head into Mother’s Day, the first one without Cary Lynn, I find myself reflecting on her life, her legacy, and the woman who started it all.

She came into this world at 24 weeks.  She was 1 pound and some change.  Tiny, blue, and non-responsive pulled from an emergency C-Section.  She spent weeks stabilizing at the local children’s hospital.  During this time a search was underway for a family as she was left alone in the NICU.

The tiny tour de force who earned the nickname Babs filled our hearts and home.

She was little and sassy.  As I marveled at her I also spent time wondering about the “other mother” in her life.  Did she look like her?  Did she get that left hook from her?  Did she get the sass from her?  The questions went on and on in my head.  But as the years passed I just would shrug and go back to loving on this tiny human who ran a tight ship.

When Cary Lynn got sick I reached out to her social worker back in Virginia.  I told her that we were coming to the end of the road.  I also told her something that had been weighing on my heart and mind.  What I knew was the right thing to do.

Like it or not adoption is messy.  I don’t care what the nice picture books say or the sappy movies portray.  It involves two sets of parents.  A child who had no choice in their destiny.  As an adult adoptee I can tell you there can be a lot of complicated feelings and emotions.  As a mother of two adopted children I can also tell you that there are a lot of complicated feelings and emotions.

When I talked about my plans of sending some of my daughter’s ashes back to Virginia to the woman who couldn’t parent my daughter because she wasn’t in a healthy spot at the time emotions were mixed.  Some said I was a saint fifteen times over.  Some said I really shouldn’t bother with someone like her.  A woman who had done horrible things and made bad choices in her past.

As I stared at the little pink urn that would take part of my heart with it I didn’t feel like a saint.  Or that I shouldn’t bother.  There comes a point when there is a bigger picture and the right thing to do is there.  It isn’t the easy thing all the time or the comfortable thing.  But it is the right thing.  And the fact of the matter is that if there had been no bio mom there would have been no Cary Lynn.  We both played roles in this tiny human’s life.  It didn’t matter who had the bigger role.  We were both part of her.  We are both connected through this child.  We both mourn her loss and grieve on our first Mother’s Day without her.

One child that made an impact for two women.

Happy Mother’s Day



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