It comes as no surprise that I’m usually the only birth/first/original/natural/relinquishing* mom in many places I frequent online and in person. Often it doesn’t matter, but sometimes it makes things…interesting.
For instance when the child I’m babysitting sees a picture of my son and asks questions. And there I am trying to explain…but oh did I mention this child is deaf? And my ASL is pathetic and doesn’t cover “no he doesn’t live with me. I’m a birth mom” so I finger spell and pantomime and enunciate to facilitate lip reading and ignore the eyes of the surrounding people cause yeah we were in public.
Or the time at the dinner table with several friends and their adopted children when one of said children asks why I didn’t bring my son to dinner.
Sometimes I remember my responses word for word. This is not one of those times. I said something about being a birth mom. The child then asked why and I swear I heard every adult at the table hold their breath. I’ve been preparing for this question for years, but not this way. Not from this person.
I said something to the effect of “Because I got pregnant young and was convinced I wouldn’t be a good mom.”
And then almost as if nothing had happened conversation returned to “hey pass the spaghetti” and “can I have sprite” and “someone top off my vodka please” (yeah that last one was me). And everyone could breath again…
But here I am
days weeks later still thinking about it. At first I was patting myself on the back thinking about how great it is that these adoptees are growing up seeing relinquishing parents as real people. Here I am a functioning member of society not some theoretical being…but what if my presence is actually a detriment.
Good thing I’ve got therapy tomorrow I need to work through my guilt.
*no I won’t use that long unwieldy all encompassing qualifier each time