March 07, 2007

About K

We just got off the phone with the Pup's first mom, K. She's flying up next week for our first ever overnight visit. She was near giddy with excitement. We'd been persistently inviting her up since the move and were so glad when she finally took us up on the offer. It will be our first time alone with her since Puppy's placement (other visits have involved varying degrees of extended family). I'm thrilled for the chance to deepen our relationship with her and her relationship with the Pup. I can't wait to see the two of them interacting again. I am also terribly nervous, wanting so badly for the visit to go well and wondering what it will be like to share the same space for four days.

I am often envious of adoptive moms who talk about their child's first mom like a sister or best friend. I have a deep, fierce affection for K. But long chats on the phone, sharing a sense of humor, talking about common interests--those things just aren't part of my relationship with her. We are not people whose paths would likely have crossed had it not been for the adoption. She enjoys clubbing, boys who don't treat her well, and putting off adult life for as long as she can (all by her own admission). Things far removed from my own experience, even when I was her age. We talk a lot about the various ongoing dramas with her friends or arguments with her parents.

But there are times I have a glimpse of a different woman. When we talk about the adoption she shows a grace and maturity that far exceed any I had at that point in my life. She is honest and vulnerable about her feelings in a way she never is when talking with me about other parts of her life. As she interacts with Puppy I see a mother unsure, yes, but tender and focused. It's as if the rest of it is a persona she must set aside to make room in that moment for something so important and dear to her.

When people ask me what K is like, I think some may expect to hear about a woman more like the first. Perhaps she meshes with their idea of a birthmother a bit easier. But it is that second woman who comes to mind. A woman imperfect, like me, but who found a new side of herself when her son was born. "He's changed me," she once told me. And when Puppy and I slowly rock in the evening, as I remind him of the far-off people who love him, it is the second woman that I share with him.

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