Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How adoption has helped me see clearly in marriage (so far)

No I'm not stuck to the computer every night like I used to be, however, I did want to write at least a few entries during this month in honor of Adoption Awareness Month.

This may not ring true in everyone's life but this is an amazing coincidence in mine.  Adoption has helped me in the dating/engagement/getting married period.  Why?  Because in both situations, I'm not the "only".

As we all know, adoption consists of loss due not having the family you were born into.....it also is a wonderful reminder that one's heart can hold the love of multiple people.  I'm not Tigger's first mother.  Or second or third.....(at least 2 foster homes before my home) I'm the one that is raising her and that has adopted her.  There can be no comparisons made.  I love my daughter deeply.  I have no reason to believe that Tigger's first/birth mother didn't love her deeply.  What I do know is that her life was full of problems and she was not able to parent....despite whatever feelings she had.   This is foster care, the courts don't terminate parental rights lightly, I get this....however, I don't feel threatened by the "other woman", nor do I feel the need to one-up her in my life.  I have chosen different paths in life and am able to provide a stable home, she has not reached that level yet, but that doesn't mean we should ever compare or say who is the better and the more "real" mother.  I don't need to win a competition.  I love Tigger and can handle the fact that she has 2 moms....her mother and her mami.

I married a wonderful man.  He is truly wonderful indeed and I wouldn't have it any other way.  He is a widower.  I am not the first wife.  Because I watched my grandpa and his wife all my life, I know that this dynamic can be hard.  My step-grandmother has always tried to "win" the competition and try to live a life based on being a 'better wife' at the beginning.  My dad's family at times has been brutal to her....but I can see what comparing and trying to one-up another woman can do....it wears on you.  The woman my husband was married to was a wonderful woman.  In fact she and I probably could have been friends as she was an Occupational Therapist and I"m a Speech Therapist....our fields work together.  First of all, you don't compare yourself to a deceased person, we always remember the best of the deceased and one will always fall short.  But most important of all, I see how S truly loves me.  He has expressed the fact that he is grateful that God has given him a second chance at happiness.  Yes, I am the second chance, but I know that I'm not loved less.  He loves me truly as much as I know he truly loved his late wife.  No comparisons, no one-upping.  Life sucked in the fact that he lost a good wife and that cannot be undone.  I don't beat myself up because of his loss, neither do I take away from his past.  I am content and I know he can love me for who I am without diminishing the love he had for his late wife.

That's how I know.....adoption has helped me really grasp the concept.  I don't need to one-up another woman, I can love Tigger like hell and know that when she expresses any type of love/want/need to know more questions or feelings that it doesn't diminish our relationship.  There is room to love 2 different people without diminishing the other.

Thank you Tigger.  Thank you S.  I'm proud and happy to be one of "the other women".  I can't imagine life without either of you and despite complicated pasts, I love you both for who you are and where you came from.

Adoption Awareness month also means, be aware of loss.....be aware of conflict of feelings.....be man or woman enough to be proud of being "the other".  Love multiplies and can handle a lot.

2 comments:

Barb said...

Beautiful!!!

theadoptedones said...

Dannie - thanks for this - it really means a lot.