I think about Katie's birth parents.
My feelings and attitude about them changes.
I try to put myself in her birth mother's shoes. She was very young when Katie was born. My husband is literally old enough to be her father; Chris and Katie's mom have the same age difference as Katie and her birth father.
Her birth parents were married.
Katie was their first child.
The prenatal testing in Russia is not the same as the prenatal testing in America.
I'm sure her parents had no idea Katie has Down syndrome.
I try to imagine what it was like to give birth to her and have the doctor's tell Katie's parents about her diagnosis. I wonder a lot what that was like for them. Did someone convince them to give her up? Did they know right away that's what they would do? Did they want to try to keep her?
Were they mad? Were they upset? I can only imagine they were. How could they not be? I've never given a baby up for adoption, but I have given birth to three that I brought home with me. I cannot imagine the physical ache that I would have had if I needed to leave one behind at the hospital.
What about her dad? What was his role in the decision?
Katie's parents had to write rejection letters that were in the file we received. They are very brief, devoid of any emotion, and make me want to hit someone and hug her parents, all at the same time.
I wonder if Katie has her dad's hair and her mom's eyes? Which parent gave her that silly little sense of humor? Or does she get that from us? Is her mom tall? Does her dad have that huge smile Katie's got? Are they smart? Do they have more children? Are they still married? Does Katie get her love of singing from her dad? Or maybe from me? Is her mom's hair silky and smooth like K's? Who has the blue eyes?
Katie's birth parents gave Chris and me the most incredible gift.
By placing Katie for adoption, we were able to receive this amazing little person.
Instead of feeling like her parents discarded Katie, I choose to believe that they gave Katie the most incredible, selfless, brave gift ever. They only way Katie would have a chance to have any semblance of a normal life in Russia would be for her to be adopted.
We will always make sure Katie knows she is adopted. We want her to be proud of being adopted. I want Katie to be proud of being Russian and American. We want Katie to think that her birth parents did something incredibly difficult but good when they placed her for adoption. They gave her a chance. And we took a chance.
I don't know what it's like to give a child up for adoption. Hell, I don't really know how to parent an adopted child. We're learning this as we go. I do know how to love her and how to be a mama though. I don't know what is "right" in the world of adoption and what is wrong. I do know that I am thankful for her birth parents.
I hope she thinks that her birth parents realized they couldn't provide what she needed, but that they hoped someone else could. I hope she never feels like they thought something was wrong with her. We will teach her that her birth parents loved her so much they wanted her to have more than they could give her.
I hope they wanted her to have an education and access to the best opportunities available to her; those things are not in Russia, and are not in the society in which her birth parents lived.
I am very thankful for Katie's birth parents. Whatever their reasons, whatever their motivation for not bringing Katie home from the hospital with them, I hope they would be proud of her today and proud of how we are parenting her. She is an incredible girl and an amazing gift. Every day I am still surprised that I get to be her mama. It's not always easy, but it is so incredible and rewarding. There is no way we will ever be able to thank her birth parents for our sweet girl.