Jayce was only three weeks old when I heard those gut wrenching words for the first time.
Drew had returned to work, and it was just me and my sweet baby Jayce. It was a chilly October morning and was too cold to go for a walk outside. I decided to venture out and head to the mall and do some window shopping. I remember everything about that day. I dressed Jayce in something other than a sleeper (I was so excited to show him off). I showered, did my hair, and put on something other than yoga pants. It felt like I had waited my entire life for this moment…to go out in public, baby in tow, with the proudest Mama smile. I imagined we would be stopped by older women who would gush over how cute Jayce was
(I mean come on…you saw his baby photos)! We would stop in the food court, I would have a coffee, Jayce would have a bottle. It sounds like such a simple, “normal” day to most…but to me, it was everything I dreamed of.
After only 10 minutes of soaking in all the bliss of pushing my babe in his stroller…it happened. I ran into someone I knew who had been following me on social media and my blog and knew that we recently adopted Jayce. She gushed (as I had imagined) over Jayce and how stinkin’ cute he was. She told me how our story brought her to tears and she was so excited for Drew and I. The conversation was going so great…until it wasn’t. After a few minutes of “gushing”, she asked me “So…where are his real parents?”
I felt like I got punched in the stomach. I could feel my cheeks going red, my heart started to race, my palms getting sweaty. I just stared at her, as a million thoughts were going through my mind.
“What does she mean “real” parents? Can she not see me standing right here…as real as it gets?”
“I got up with Jayce twice last night to feed him, I got him dressed this morning, I safely got him to the mall”
“Drew and I are financially supporting this babe, providing him with all the things he needs to thrive and grow”
“I’m the one who comforts him when he cries, and rocks him to sleep every night”
Knowing all of this to be true, then what could she possibly mean by “real” parents?
Although I replayed her question in my mind what felt like a hundred times…I knew exactly what she meant. I knew she was referring to his birth parents. I felt like I had mentally prepared myself for moments like these. I was not ignorant to the fact that these questions or comments would happen at some point in time. But all the mental preparation in the world did not prepare me for this moment. I tried to muster up a smile (to erase the pain in my heart), and just said “his birth parents live out East”. I secretly prayed that the conversation would end there, and I could remove myself from the situation as fast as possible. She smiled sheepishly (I think she could sense my discomfort), and thankfully ended the conversation herself without me having to.
It only took one sentence to alter the picture, perfect morning Jayce and I were having. Since that day, I have been approached with many questions and statements that have NEVER happened with Everly. People are not trying to be hurtful (I believe this to be true for the most part), but words can hurt. 18 months later, I feel more prepared to answer the tough questions that might get thrown my way. Some days are easier than others to respond, and some days I’ve cried in the car as I look back on my sweet Jayce.
My love for Jayce is so real. It’s the kind of love that makes you tear up just thinking about him. It’s the kind of love that no matter how exhausted you are, you will find the energy to play with him on the floor. It’s the kind of love that you would do anything in your power to protect him. This my friends, is real love – and I am real Mom.
Read more from Sonya at mywaitingroom.ca
Image Source: MyWaitingRoom.ca
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