Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Tale of Three Mamas

Finley and I lay in her bed, praying our nighttime prayer. Lately, her prayers are prayers of gratitude.

Thank you for Daddy,
thank you for Mama,
thank you for Gibson and Elliott,
thank you for sun...

The list goes on. This night Finely's added, thank you for foster mama, to her prayer. This was not unusual, but tonight she added, I have two mamas.

It caught me off guard a bit that we had not talked about her birth mama yet. 

For the sake of getting her to bed, I filed it away and made note that the next time we were talking about her mamas, I would tell her about her birth mama. 

Eventually, the topic came up again as Finley saw a picture and declared that the woman in the picture was her foster mama.

I gently told that she has another mama, a birth mama, and that she was in her tummy. 

Finley's response: Wow! I have a lot of mamas! Can I take a bath?

In that moment she took in her first realization that there was another, very important woman in her life. She took it in and she moved on.

Some time later, a picture surfaced of me when I was pregnant with Elliott, and the subject came up that Elliott was in mama's belly.

With that statement released into the air, Finley declared that she was in my belly too, and I reminded her that she grew in her birth mama's belly. 

Finley's response this time: I don't like my birth mama. I want to be in your belly.

My heart broke. I acknowledged the loss that this carried for my 3 year old little girl, and I told her that while she didn't grown in my belly, she grew in my heart. It felt cheap--like the true injustice that it really is.

But, instead of trying to make it less cheap and more just, we just sat in it. We talked a bit more about it and she eventually got up to go do what non-adopted toddlers do--going on with her day not concerned about whose belly she was in for the first 9 months of her life. 

I know this is just the beginning of Finley asking questions about her story. I know she is going to be angry at all three of her mamas at different times throughout her her life. And, that's ok, I welcome it, and even encourage it. Because, without the anger, she will never be able to grieve her great loss--a loss that is huge, even for a 3 year old girl.

I wish I knew more about her birth mama. I wish I had a picture of her and knew her personality. I wish I could tell her that she got her smile from her birth mama and her dimple from her birth daddy. 

I can't. I most likely never will be able to fill in these parts of her story.

My prayer is that while I can't fill in those parts of her story, and that she didn't grow in my belly, that Finley feels the grace of God as she discovers whom she is and where she came from. That although she grew in my heart, God planned her to be my daughter long before she was born.


  1. Love this and your honesty! Finley will know grace because you live it.

  2. Beautiful post, Theresa, Thank you for sharing. As you already know, there is more to being a mama than birthing the child. Finley will come to know and understand this as time passes and she matures within the circle of love you, Steve and the boys have made for her. God will take care of the rest.


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