A woman I have never met, and possibly will never meet carried my son in her body for 37 weeks. I remembered the nurses saying the words “37 weeks” because he was just a little bit small at birth. In the couple months that followed, lots of friends and family would ask if he was carried to term, and I would repeat the words “37 weeks” over and over. It stayed with me, those weeks I didn’t know him, wasn’t protecting him. In truth, I didn’t even know he was alive yet in those weeks. In those weeks, he was only hers.
When you’re a new a brand new adoptive mom, you think about your child’s birthmom every day, or at least I did. I would wonder if she was back to work, what she was telling her friends, how she was healing, what she was really feeling. I wondered if she doubted her choice. I wondered if she missed him. I thought about her body and the changes it must be going through. I prayed about her heart. I wished I could cover her face in kisses for choosing life, and hug her hard for also choosing me.
I know a little about her story, and although it’s not my story to tell, I will tell you she was brave in the way she went about protecting our son. So brave I often daydream about her dressed in full armor, weapon drawn, ready to fight the big fight. The big, hard, emotional, impossible fight of true love. The one where you only win by dying. The kind of fight you fight with the ultimate sacrifice in mind. I have no idea what she looks like, never saw a picture, my social worker told me what I already knew: she was so beautiful. I knew this because beauty radiates from people who are in love, and there’s only one way you can do the impossible- love. 37 weeks of true, deep, unconditional love.
You see, a woman I’ve never met carried my son for 37 weeks. And when he’s curious or confused about why she let him go, I will tell him it was out of bravery and love. I will tell him she is our hero. Better yet, our SHERO. I will paint the best possible picture of her I can and I will pray his heart will be OK, but if it isn’t, I will carry him through it. I will carry him on my hip, while he’s sleeping, on the good days, in the difficult times, when we celebrate, when he’s two, and three, and thirty-three. I will carry him for the rest of his life, no matter how big he gets, this is not just a promise I have made to him, this is a promise I have made to her, and I am determined to make her proud.