There are so many hardest things about parenting an older adopted child. Some days it seems like all we have, all we do, is a hardest thing.
But this is really it. The hardest of so many hard things about being my son’s mother.
The years I wasn’t.
He was never my baby. He was never my child.
Someone else held him and rocked him to sleep. Someone else stroked his hair and kissed his eyelids and counted his fingers and toes. Someone else took care of him when he was sick. Someone else comforted him back to sleep after a nightmare. He smiled his first smile at someone else. He spoke his first word to someone else. He took his first step towards someone else.
The years he wasn’t mine.
What right do I have to my grief when he has lost so much? How can I wish I’d had ten more years to love him and take care of him?
Because he doesn’t wish for that. He doesn’t want me to have been his mom then.
If he’s honest, he doesn’t want me to be his mom now either. I’m his mom now only because something awful happened in his family.
If he could rewrite history, it wouldn’t be to get to me sooner. It would be for me never to have been necessary.