This afternoon I walked past a mirror and suddenly saw how strongly I resemble my mother. Turning my head just so, I could see my father’s features standing there, looking back at me. And then I started to cry. Not because I look like my parents, but because I know that I do, and I take that for granted. Bex will never really look like me. He will never look like his Dad. He will never glimpse his reflection and know, really know, the faces that helped shape his. He won’t know who gave him is wry smile, or who has the cute little folded over ear lobes. No, he will look in the mirror and instead of love staring back at him he will see strangers. I hope to raise him to be a strong man who looks in the mirror and is able to overcome the yearning for recognition in favor or acceptance, but that is a decision only he can make. It is a void that only he can choose to honor or ignore or mourn, but I cannot grieve it, or change it, or “fix” it for him. I can’t know how he’ll feel when someone remarks that he has his mother’s eyes. Will he wonder if they mean me or if they mean Her, or will it even matter to him? Will he look in the mirror and feel incomplete? Will he look in the mirror and feel contempt? I hope not. I pray that we can give him what he needs to truly feel loved, and accepted, and to know that above all else he is our family, our son, our child… truly and completely OURS. I just hope that he can feel that we are his. I hope that he can be ok with the fact that he may look a little like one mom and dad through biology, and another mom and dad through nurture, even though two of them may remain unknown to him.
Though I will never claim to know the pain of the loss of his birth family, this afternoon I feel like I got the tiniest taste of the loss he may potentially feel.
And this, my friends, this makes me ache for him on a level that I suddenly find overwhelming.