Above All Else, Let Us Love
Anyone who has been personally involved with an infant adoption knows that the first required component for things to work out is love. Without love a birth mother could never willingly rip out her heart and break it in to a million pieces for her child. Without love adoptive parents wouldn’t have any motivation to go through the rigorous approval process required to adopt, often followed by a tortuous waiting period until their child is in their arms. Without love children would be hard-pressed to understand the adoption process and make sense of their role in it all.
Recently, I was able to personally witness an unspeakable amount of love present with all members of the adoption triad at the placement of a perfect little baby. The experience was life-changing and one I won’t soon forget. Having adopted two babies myself, I felt I had a pretty good understanding of the emotions that occur at placement but being a spectator to this situation gave me a new perspective on the whole process.
First of all, I witnessed the genuine love a husband and wife felt for a woman they had just met moments before. The energy shared among the three of them was palpable and it felt more like a reunion than an introduction. They talked about their lives, their childhoods, their likes and dislikes and laughed together like old friends would. The birth mother instantly loved them too and felt a deep debt to them for giving her child everything he deserves.
At the beginning of the evening, this new adoptive mom held her precious new son. She showered him with kisses on the head and snuggled him tightly against her chest like only a mother can. Later, he was found cradled in his new father’s arms. They looked in to each other’s eyes but it seemed to go deeper than that, almost as if their souls were communicating. It was a humbling sight.
As the night was drawing to a close, the brave birth mom who had carried this precious baby for 9 months and made the righteous decision to give him life, mustered up every ounce of courage she had in her and chose to hold him for the first and last time. The moment her arms took hold of him it was as if mother and son were one. You could feel the deep devotion and adoration she had for him and he for her.
There was no question her only motivation was his safety and security. And it seemed as if he recognized that and was doing all he could to give her peace with her decision. The unconditional love present in that moment is all too often missing in this scary world and I was struck with how powerful such a love really is. That kind of mighty love can change lives, just as it will change the life of this perfect little soul.
As this brave mama savored her last few moments holding her son, there was no jealousy from the adoptive parents and no spite from the birth mother. All eyes (and hearts) were fixed on the tiny little person who had brought everyone together in the first place. They all shared the same motivation and focus, and that was for this little man who would grow up with pieces of all of them, making him the person he is meant to be.
When it was time for my brave friend to hand her angel son back to his parents they all exchanged glances of love and deep appreciation for each other. I noticed the way their bodies were positioned happened to form a triangle. They were a literal adoption triad. If one person had moved the chain would have been broken and the focus of all parties would have no longer been on the most important person, the baby.
This brief moment reminded me that in adoption, you need all 3 roles filled or it doesn’t work. The birth mother needs the adoptive family to carry out her wishes and dreams for her child. The adoptive family needs the birth mother to give them the child they’ve been dreaming of. Lastly, and most importantly, the adoptee needs both the birth mother and adoptive family to mold him, love him and give him the traits only they can give. He needs them to be a united front to look out for his best interests and shower him with love and acceptance.
Just as every point on a triangle is required to make a complete connection it takes each person in the triad in order for adoption to work. No role is more or less important than the other. When love is the driving force behind our actions and our motivation is united in providing the best life possible for the child, things will always work. Above all else, let us remember to love and love hard.