My Son's First Mom

I'm finding our culture to be so accepting of adoption, and really making a good effort to wrap their brains around open adoption, but there is one part of our story that always raises eyebrows.  It seems strange and unnatural to most, and that is the relationship between first mom and second mom. Birth mom and adoptive mom.  One who has suffered great loss, and one who has experienced intense joy.

And honestly, for me, that's been the most difficult thing to hash out.  But in the grand scheme, it is vital to a successful open adoption and raising my son to be proud of who he his and from where he came.

God is good, and He has brought a caring, intelligent, and funny gal named Jen into our lives.  Jen is open and has Levi's best interests in mind, too.  We have discussed our relationship from time to time, and we don't always know how to handle it, either.  It's called experiential learning!

The beauty of it is that we can talk about it, the door is open, and each time we get together it is a little less awkward.  I appreciate her so much more every time we see her; a legit friendship is growing.

I feel like our friendship is being built backwards though.  First she gave me the utmost trust, and now we are getting to know each other.  I cared for the baby that she gave life to, and then we became facebook friends.

The catch 22 is this: the closer we become, the more real it is.  I feel more of her pain, I sense her loss, I am sad for what she's gone through.  She is more than my son's birthmother; she is becoming my friend.   And with friendship comes a whole new level empathy.

Maybe I shouldn't have, but I shared this conundrum with Jen recently.  And yes, she said, there will always be a sting and some degree of hurt over the loss of Levi.  She will always love him.  But ultimately, she shared that she is grateful for the way the situation has panned out, and especially for the blessing he is in our lives.

I am so glad open adoption gives her the opportunity to see how treasured he is.

Part of this is knowing that God has orchestrated our family - from bringing Herb and I together, to bringing Levi in our life - and Levi's birth family is now a very new and special extended part of our family.  And it's a beautiful thing.

I'm really happy to get to know Jen and her family better (through get togethers, phone calls, and the wonder that is facebook), and I am so excited for our family and friends to get to see what wonderful people they are at Levi's birthday party next month.


  1. I think what all of you; Michelle, Mom & Jen, birth Mother,and Herb, Dad are able to do is a wonderful thing. Words can not express how proud I am of all of you. Michelle, Herb, and Jennifer. Because of all of you Levi is who he is, and from what I've seen so far he is adorable. The love that you all have will help him grow into a strong wonderful young man.


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