The Other Mother

I have her pictured petite with dark hair and fair skin.  Her hands are callous from working in a field or a factory.

I try to imagine her features.  Her age.   What type of home she [husband or family] lives in.

Does she smile?  Does she still cry?   Has she ever cried?

Are there any other children?

Almost twenty years ago a young woman had a baby girl.   This baby girl was placed in an area of  southeastern China where she would be found by government workers.  Which they would take this baby girl to a hospital for observation.  Later to be placed in an orphanage for adoption.

This woman has been on my mind and in my heart ever since I became the other mother.

I’ve always found myself defensive when engaging with others about her.  Who am I to judge her.

I can’t imagine being her.   I felt blessed that I wasn’t her.   And yet, I feel connected to her.

A few of my friends from the adoptive parenting group are indifferent.    We all agree that not having an open adoption within the states makes us feel secure.   But for me….. the mother who gave birth to the baby girl I’ve called my daughter for almost twenty years – never fades.

As the years go on with this baby girl…..

When we are butting heads one moment and laughing the next – there is no doubt we are a splitting image of my mother and I.  How I wish my mother were still here – at times to be the referee – but mostly to see her granddaughter – the little baby girl that she helped in so many ways come here to the United States.  ***   Children will begin to follow their parents behaviors and interest.   But who did the baby girl inherit her character from?  Who does she take after the most?    She’s beautiful.  Dark eyes and hair.   Her fair skin can quickly darken in the sun.   She’s petite.   She’s athletic.   She’s quiet.   She’s determined.    She’s silly.   She’s loving.   ***

Those milestone markers which Football Superstar and I set for our children are not easily achieved.  During those moments I caught myself yelling at her.   “You have NO idea how stubborn your our daughter is!”

“You are not here during the melt downs!”      “She cried at times wondering who you are”.   

I found myself thanking her more than anything.  You gave me a daughter.   You gave me the opportunity to be a mother.

God only knows how many times I’ve asked this question – does she ever wonder what happened to her little baby girl she gave birth to and held in her arms…..         Is that even a fair question for me to ask?

I would want her to know….

I fell in love with your baby girls picture from the moment it arrived in my mailbox.  Though she did not grow in my belly, she grew in my heart.  Though she wouldn’t have my fair hair and blue eyes, she would no doubt blend perfectly in my arms. 

Your baby girl was given a warm home and food.  Clothes and an education.  Family and friends who love her.   Plenty of puppies and a kitty to love. 

She attended homecoming dances and her senior prom.   She made friends no matter where we lived and continues to make friends. 

She’s in her second year of college.   She’s independent.     She can even cook!   

You gave her life.    And for that, I’m forever grateful.


The Other Mother  


11 thoughts on “The Other Mother

  1. This was beautiful. As an adopted child myself…….you are not the other Mother….you are the Mother.😊
    The other Mother gave birth and yes important!! But, not a Mother.
    Your message was from the heart and beautiful. Hope you will put a copy in an envelope and your daughter will have this treasure always. A week before my Mother died, she told me I was the best thing that ever happened to her life. Those words are a treasure to me. I am 67 years old.
    Thank you for writing this touching message.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa……this has moved me to tears. I often imagine the biological parents of Gabby. What was/is their story????? Do they long to see her? Do they see her in other young women the same age? If only there was a way to let them know she is amazing. And that she is beautiful, smart, funny, and compassionate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not alone in this thought process. I’ve connected with many other mothers who have shared their “adoption” stories, as well as their journeys ~ glad you read this post. 🙂


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