Wednesday, August 1, 2007

She's my baby's mama

Ahhhh, yes. The title of this blog smacks of a phrase tossed about with glib irreverence on daytime television and saturated, sometimes, with disarming sincerity in conversations with men for whom the phrase holds special tenderness. I am neither a Spr*nger guest (or patron, for that matter), nor am I a man (sincere or otherwise), so how is it that I have settled on this title for a post? I am writing this post as a letter to the woman so often overlooked by those of us pursuing international adoption, a woman whose life, whose face, has impressed itself on my soul and my imagination for the past several weeks as the certainty of our indellible connection has become increasingly more tangible, my baby's mama.

You are a person. I am ashamed to admit that in the initial stages of this push toward adopting a baby I was callous to that truth.
I was blind.
I have been a pregnant woman, have caressed my swelling middle, humming private lullabies to a private baby growing quiet and secret inside of me. I have cherished the fluttery kicks that no one else could feel, and I have scrambled to share the forceful elbow rolls of a baby grown so cramped inside of me that every motion protrudes from my belly in tiny, visible waves.
It is your face that I see, now, when I dream of my child, your pregnant laughing face.
I feel like we are mothers together right now.
And I wonder.
Do you imagine his future? Do you picture her face? Do you picture mine?
I wonder if you pray for me like I pray for you?
My heart belongs to you.

My husband told me when I admitted, "I do sometimes wonder if I will love this baby from far away the way that I love the two who came from my body...." smiling, he told me, "you are finally getting to experience the uncertainty that I experienced during both of your pregnancies. You are finally getting to experience the uncertainty of a father. Let me assure you, then, from EXPERIENCE, that the moment your baby is placed into your arms, you know. You don't wonder anymore."

You never wonder.

Do you know?

This question haunts me in my prayers. Do you know ?

Your face beams out from table of tangled statistics....statistics that explode in my heart....
Will you die? Are you the one woman in fourteen whose body will break in the final, heroic push to offer new hope to your world? Are you one of the millions whose hunger and pain have set your jaw with the hard hope that your baby (our baby?) must have more? Are you one of the uncountable many whose body will be wracked by malaria or HIV or diphtheria or typhoid or mumps (or any of the diseases that I dreaded being vaccinated for in gradeschool)?
Are you going to die?

How can I dream of you, with your pregnant, laughing face, and pray for my baby to come home soon?

What kind of person am I ?
What kind of person are you? I wish I knew......I know.....that I may not ever know.

We are mothers, now, together. I wish I knew if you know that? Do you dream of me? Do you dream of the hope laid out before all of us? Or do you dream of nights watching your baby (our baby?) breathe...and dream.

You are
my baby's mama.
Love hovers just above all of my feelings about you and your pregnant, laughing face.
My feelings ride lower.....closer to the earth. We are mothers together, here on this complicated ground.
You pay the price; I get the blessing. Is that what adoption is?
I know that story.
I learned it in Sunday school.
But I have failed to honor the covenant of my faith, again and again I have failed to honor God.
I will not fail our baby.
This is my covenant with you before Him...before him or her.
I will mother with all of my heart.
I will honor you, and I will love our child, forever.


Christine said...

That was so beautiful! You are truly an amazing woman. You are a wonderful mother to Olivia and Josiah, and I am certain you will be so to your future baby. You are inspiring!

hotflawedmama said...

That was a GREAT post! (By the way, I am not related to you in any way--that I know of--so you can count me in as the non-related folks tuning into your posts!) Keep up the great blog-work!

Heather & Adam said...

Amy, I love love love this! You are wonderful.

Cindi Clark said...

I love this piece so much. Your thoughts surely capture the essence of hearts of those on both sides of any touching! Love, Mama