Who Our Family Really Is...
So today I went to my mother’s to pickup Noah, since he had stayed there last night and gone to church with her this morning. We were sitting and chatting, and I try to keep her updated on all of the baby news whenever I talk to her, just so she knows that it REALLY IS going to happen and that it isn’t going away. Since the moment that I told her that we were pregnant, she has given several mixed messages to us in regards to the birth of our baby. From the beginning, my mother has made it very clear that, in HER eyes, this is NOT my baby, but rather Erikka’s. The first time we had a conversation about it went like this:
Me: “Oh mom, don’t be all weird about it. This could be my girl! I could finally get a baby girl!”
Mom: “But it won’t be YOUR girl. It will be Erikka’s.” <lips purse up – no more talking about it>
Me: “Oh no, we are NOT going to play this game mother. This is MY baby, just as much as it is Erikka’s baby. I will be doing a second parent adoption, so yes, she will legally be mine as well. But we’re NOT going to do THIS.”
And that was the end of that conversation.
So as the pregnancy has progressed, my mother has seemingly come around a bit, and it has actually given me some hope that maybe the tide is turning and things are finally changing for the better between me and a tiny fraction of my family. She and her sister attended one of our baby showers, which just about made me fall out in shock and awe! I was thrilled to have her there, even though it was a little tense knowing that she felt awkward being there as well. She has handmade baby blankets for our baby girl, and presented us with one of them at this shower, along with so many adorable little outfits for her -a gift that seemed to show that she cared and was slightly excited. And the fact that she has taken the time to make these blankets, spending hours at a time working on them, would say to most people that she MUST care, right? It’s like she wants to be excited about a new baby granddaughter, but refuses to let herself be for fear that it might contradict the rigid religious doctrine that she clings to so fiercely – one that doesn’t seem to include acceptance.
Today I asked her if she was going to be at the hospital for the birth, which is now fifteen days away. She replied, quite matter-of-factly, “I haven’t planned on it. I have to work.” And that was that. End of conversation. It hit me when I got home later that I felt REALLY stupid for allowing myself to feel hopeful when it came to her acceptance of my wife & I, and now our daughter who will soon join us. Now I look at it and have to tell myself that it may never happen. I will continue to try and not let it bother me. But this day, the birth of my only daughter (probably), will come and go without any of my family there….just like my wedding day did. Most of the time I don’t let it get to me; but it’s on special and important days like those that it’s hard to feel like an orphan.
Fortunately, we have a very large and loving support system of friends, Erikka’s family, and the family that we have created for ourselves. I know that this is more than enough for me, and I am blessed beyond measure to have each person in my life who loves and supports me and my family without condition or condemnation. These will be the people who will be with us to welcome our daughter into the world. These will be the people who will celebrate with us, cry with us, and love her as they have us. And our children will know, always and forever, who their “family” really is.
Be the change that you want to see in the world. ~ Gandhi