A wise man once said something that has always stayed with me: “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
In that context, my friend Seema was born twice. Once when she gave birth to her daughter, and a few years later, when she adopted a little boy. I am sharing her beautiful story with you, in her own words:
“For me, the decision to adopt was easy, because I have always believed that parenting is not simply biological. It is a function of the heart. Yes, those nine months are special and it is wonderful to experience them, but to me, love is the real glue that binds a mother with her child. My husband did have a few reservations, but after I had a miscarriage followed by a blighted ovum, he knew he couldn’t put me through the pain any more, and welcomed the new addition to our home with an open heart.
Our son came into our life when he was three months old. I told him early on that he was adopted, through simple storytelling. So, it has been part and parcel of his growing up. Our daughter was 6 when we brought him home. I remember the day—she drew a family of four, took leave from school, and was as excited as any little girl waiting to get a baby brother.
One day, I was working in the kitchen when a mosquito bit me. My son promptly swatted it, and told me, ‘Ma, I killed it because it was biting you.’ There was a drop of blood on my arm. I was touched as I watched his eyes grow bigger, and he wondered, ‘Is my blood the same as you and Daddy’s?’ I told him that although all four of us had the same blood group, we were bound by love, not blood. And that when a mother says ‘my flesh and blood,’ she means that she feels the pain when her child is hurt. I told him, ‘I feel that pain for you.’ And he gave me the tightest hug.
So, I know that he does think about a few things, and has his adjustments and acceptances to make, but I think I am able to make it more comfortable for him by being open and gentle about it all.
I am sometimes asked if it has been a challenge to balance my parenting between a child that I made and a child that I made my own. The answer is yes! But amusingly, it is my daughter who would sometimes roll her eyes and complain, ‘so I only came from your womb, and he came from your heart?!’”