You see, we have an open adoption agreement with her (more on that at some point via a guest post from the hubs) so she is by no means gone forever from our life or our kids' lives, even though her parental rights have been terminated and our adoption is finalized. Most days we rock along in our normal routine, she'll come up in conversation with the kids here and there..."You know who gave you that shirt? Your first mommy did"... and they'll kind of look off to the side and nod a bit like they are seeing a shadow of a memory that they are trying really really hard to bring into focus.
And then some things happen that bring all the past hurt, drama, questions and pain crashing into focus. Suddenly we find ourselves swirling with a hurricane of emotions that leave us simultaneously fighting waves of selfishness while stepping out of work for a moment to get tears of sorrow and compassion under control.
Somewhere in that hurricane, I confessed to my husband...sometimes I wish I was their only mama... Sometimes I wish we didn't have to field the challenges of an open adoption. Sometimes I wish we didn't have to be the front line defense, to take the first bullets to the chest in order to appropriately shield our precious kids from the intense hurt that lies in their history.
I quickly acknowledged how utterly selfish that is. He quickly validated my feelings.
I noted that I'll just have to do my best to reconcile the occasional spikes of motherhood identity confusion with our otherwise very normal life as parents. He noted that this is an aspect of this whole situation unique to me, as the second mama, that he does not have to deal with in his heart, as the only daddy they've ever really known or will know.
I used up a decent percentage of a box of kleenex, wishing my cubicle had a door to close. He asked an understanding coworker to cover his task while he walked around the block.
And we went about our life. Because...this is our life. We have an open adoption and all the challenges that entails. I am the second mama, and in Baby's case the third mama, and I have all the emotions that entails. The confusion, the selfishness, the compassion, the joy and the fierce love I have for these kids.