I keep thinking about the 53 hours that I spent with my daughter. The 53 minutes that I was her sole care-giver...the 53 minutes that she relied on me to change her diaper, feed her, snuggle her, rock her to sleep, find her binky and adjust her little hat every time it fell off. The 53 minutes that I was her one and only true mother (besides the 9+ months prior, of course). On the outside, I know I'm no longer a mother. I left the hospital with nothing to show for myself but extremely swollen and sore breasts, a few stretch marks, a box with momentos in it, and a heavy heart. I struggle daily with the fact that I feel like I'm her mother, yet know I'm not her mommy. There's a fine line between the two, but yet they're a world apart. Even if she grows up with me in her life and, say, wants to go to a college near me and asks to stay with me for a while on a school break or something - I still won't be mommy. The most difficult part of all of this is, while I want so badly to be her 'mommy,' and be that woman who is a essentially God in every child's eyes...I don't want to be, at the same time. I know C is her mom and despite the pain, nothing will make me happier than seeing them have an amazing bond together. I want my daughter to think of her as her only 'mommy,' I want that for both of them. I'm content being on the sidelines, being a mom in my heart but a 23 year old single girl on the outside. Do I wish, when I'm walking with friends around the park, that I was pushing my baby girl in a stroller in front of me? Of course I do. But do I wish that she had a stable house to blossom in and an excellent shot at a future? Of course I do - and I wish that even more. I wish it could have been me that could have provided that for her, but the cards were on the table and that was not what they had in store for either of us. I don't regret my decision, I'm just struggling with it right now. There is a difference. I hope it's the pre-1st-birthday blues, and I hope the post-1st-birthday blues don't last as long.
I think part of my problem is that I am reading too much on the internet and soaking in too many articles. You can find anything on the internet if you want, and you can even find things you don't want. I keep reading things about girls whose adoptions closed on them; the aparents slowly weaned off of the communication and then one day, just stopped completely. I let that fear and worry consume me until I count back the days since the last time I heard from C. It was October 4th, not even a month ago - but I somehow convince myself that the same will happen to me. Every situation is different, I know. I worry far too much. C and C are very trustworthy people (obviously, I trusted them to raise and love my child as their own) and they have never, ever done anything to make me think otherwise. She gets busy, and sometimes it takes her longer to respond than I'd like or sometimes the pictures don't come exactly once a month...but they always come. Even if I shoot her a quick email just to ask a question (about sending gifts, or calling on our daughter's bday), she responds and throws in a few pictures outside of the 'monthly updates.' They have been amazing to me, and I let my insecurities get the best of me. I never show this; I never give them any inclination that I have these fears. They know how much I love that little girl and how much I treasure any and everything they share with me regarding her, especially pictures, and so therefore they know how much it would kill me if they were to cut off contact. They have no reason to, because I, too, have been nothing but nice to them (at least I try!) I've never been demanding, overbearing, or pushy. I've thanked her endlessly for all she's done and she has done the same for me. So why am I scared? I guess it's because these are the only two people in the world, at the moment, that have the capability of shattering my heart into a million pieces. That puts me in a very vulnerable position. I remember once, during the aftermath of an argument, telling G that all we ever do is hurt each other. He told me he never meant to hurt me and knows I'd never mean to hurt him, so "why would you say that?" I told him that it's because it's the people we care about the most that are the most able to hurt us, because we invest so much emotion into them and their words and actions hurt a thousand times more than a stranger's would. The people we love know us...they know what we value in our hearts. That's sort of how I feel about my daughter's family - they, essentially, hold my heart in their hands when they hold that beautiful baby, and they are in more control of my feelings right now than I am. That's scary.