A mixture of emotions consumed me. This baby was not genetically mine. And yet, I loved him instantly. A flood of
unconditional love and affection had washed over me the second I saw his little head pop out.
I turned to look at his beautiful birthmother. She was calm. I know now that her heart was breaking inside, and it took every ounce in her to not crumble. She was telling herself to stay strong. This is what is best for him. She loves him.
I turned back to look at the baby boy in my arms. Pink cheeks. Auburn hair. Blue eyes that couldn’t stay open for but a few seconds.
I couldn’t lose him. But, I also couldn’t take him, either. He had to be a gift. Given over, freely. That’s the only way this could work.
I kissed his forehead. It smelled sweet. New. Soft.
I stroked his hair, and rested my cheek against his.
I looked up to see his birthmother smiling, approvingly. She knew I loved him. She knew he was ours, given by God to us, through her. She felt confident in that. Now, she just needed to get through the next few hours, days, and years.
Not much has changed in these last five years. I still kiss my son’s forehead, stroke his hair, and rest my cheek against his. His hair has darkened, and so have his eyes. But now he has lost his first tooth. Now he speaks in paragraphs. Now he wrestles his sister to the ground.
My love for him has also changed. For a while, I struggled feeling like I was nothing more than his babysitter. I struggled fully stepping into the “Mommy” role. I felt if I did, I was somehow replacing his birthmom, whom I also loved.
It took many months to realize that not being that Mommy, 100%, was doing a great disservice to my son, and his birthmom. She didn’t go through this incredible sacrifice for me to be just a babysitter. I needed to fully assume the role she had entrusted me with, and take hold of my title as Brae’s Mommy.
So, that’s what I’ve done. To this day, while I have taken full ownership as Mom to my little boy, it’s never far from my mind that he is still just on loan to me. He is God’s child, and there is only so much I can do to protect him. I need to trust that just as freely and lovingly as God gave him to us, I need to equally as freely and lovingly give him back to God, each and every day.
Happy birthday, my baby boy.