Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Regular Mama

"I have three mamas!" Judah exclaimed. "M. and C. are my foster mama [his two dear previous foster mamas are one to him]. J. is my birth mama. And, you are my regular mama."

It never felt so good to be a "regular mama" as I looked at his sweet and eager face, grateful that God had written these important women into my son's story but that I was blessed to have him forever.

With the anticipation of a new baby in the house this year, conversations like these have tripled in frequency. Birth parents and adoption and skin color and the meaning of family are discussed and mulled over and questioned at somewhat of a dizzying pace these days. 

Thinking about the baby, the other day Judah said with a big smile, "We'll see...if the baby is going to be black or white, a boy or a girl!"

I laughed because he was so genuine about his excitement but it hurt me to have to explain again that the baby's skin color would match mine and Andrew's and not his. I could see on his face that he was disappointed as he tried to process. We talked about his birth mama and how he grew inside her tummy and how his skin color matched her's but that God made family to be so much more than matching skin tones. 

Adoption is a blessing and joy, but moments like these remind me that there is also deep sorrow and loss involved in adoption. Judah often talks about his birth mama and how he misses her. He tries to process being the only brown boy in our family, and in the last year and a half, in most of our general acquaintances. He mulls over the new name he received at adoption, sometimes with happiness and other times with sadness. 

My kid is fiercely loved by so many people and is one of the most genuinely happy and loving kids I've met. He has a spiritual openness and awareness that makes prayer time with him sweet and awe inspiring. We encourage a relationship with his birth mama and are open to relationships with other's from his birth family as God opens the doors. All of these things infuse confidence in him and give him a foundation to stand on, but it is natural for him to struggle to make sense of the losses as well as the blessings and to wrestle with his identity. 

As I am soon to add birth mama to my resume, the adoptive mama in me has been struggling with the implications for our family, particularly for my son. I know that as much as I love him and as much as I celebrate his life, I cannot shield him from suffering the loss and confusion that come with adoption. The fierceness of my love can give him a softer place to land when he falters, but it cannot eradicate entirely the sadness and doubt he will encounter. This regular mama's heart breaks when I think about that.

But, I also know that the Lord has fitted our family together perfectly and that His love for my son swallows mine whole. As the days dwindle where I get to be mama to only one amazing child I think with both trepidation and joy what a birth child will add to our family. In the end, for all the changes it will bring, I can come back to the fact that although technically I will be an adoptive mama to one child and a birth mama to another, God orchestrated it so that I'll really just be a regular mama to both. 


  1. That was amazing Adria. I miss you and your family dearly. That post made me choke back tears.

  2. Super by a super regular mom.