Her Happiness is My Happiness

My daughter’s birth mother had a birthday a few weeks ago. When we called her to wish her a happy birthday we found out she had a lot of exciting news to share with us. It turns out that just that day her long-time boyfriend had finally proposed to her and she was ecstatic! She also mentioned that everything was in line for her to graduate from college in the spring, that she had lost 150 (!) pounds and that she had quit smoking. These are all impressive accomplishments for anyone and I’d venture to guess I would be excited for any friend who had such a positive update to share, but given the fact that these events were taking place in the life of the woman who made me a mother, it all seemed to mean a little bit more.
When my husband got home that night, my daughter couldn’t wait to tell him everything that was going on with her birth mother. She even asked to call Grandma (my mom) and fill her in on all the good news. It touched me so deeply to see how Samara’s good fortune made such a positive impression on Kiara and how she truly cares about her and wants her to be happy.
Over the next few days I found myself telling anyone who would listen about all the good things to come for Samara. I was just so excited for her, I couldn’t help myself! And it got me thinking, good things happen to people I love all the time. And while I am always happy for them, I don’t always go around town bragging about their accomplishments or think about it dozens of times a day like I was doing now. What was different here? I think the only explanation is that our kids’ birth mothers aren’t just “anybody” to us. They are family, even in a way that our “technical” family isn’t. We are theirs and they are ours.
They are a {big} part of our children and we honor and recognize that. Not only did they choose to give them life, they chose to give them this life. They made our family possible. Life as we know it would be drastically different if it weren’t for them and their choice. That choice brought us unspeakable happiness but we know that it resulted in immense pain and loss for them, even if it was still the right choice for them. But life is all about growing and progressing so if they are able to take that grief and use it as fuel to improve their situation, then obviously I am going to be thrilled beyond belief to see that hard work pay off and see them reach their goals! I will probably be happier for them than any other person in my life because I know what they have gone through to get to this point. I know the life they gave up in order to get to the life they are creating for themselves. Because we have a bond that can never be broken and that surpasses any relationship we might share with other people, their pain will be my pain and their happiness will always be my happiness.