A Bittersweet Moment of an Adoptive Mom.
The morning air was a little crisp as I took pictures of my 6 year old in his first day of Kindergarten outfit. Spencer was full of energy as he anticipated the time to leave to go to his new school. I got up early to prepare for his special day and I made pancakes just like he likes. We talked about all the “what to do’s” and I put on my happy face for my newest Kindergartener. Before I knew it, the clock told us it was time to leave. I dropped my older son off on his side of the school and then Spencer and I went to the parking lot and parked the car. We walked hand in hand to the Kindergarten area where there was hustle and bustle of parents taking pictures and giving hugs. Many looked like this was their first Kindergarten experience while others were a little more experienced. But none of them were like me. None of them were infertile, had waited years to build a family and then after 15 years of always having a little one at home…suddenly it was just going to be me at home alone during the day. How interesting it is to feel like you are forever building your family to then one day your family is built and you are watching them leave your protective nest to begin their journey to independence. It feels like it all happened in the blink of an eye.
While at the school I didn’t want to talk to anyone really…..I just wanted to take in the last few moments of my time with Spencer before he had to leave my side to enter his new adventure. I could tell he was feeling a little nervous but excited. He gave me a hug at the gate and then headed into the playground area just for the Kindergarten students. I wasn’t allowed to walk him to his door so I had to watch him be super brave and walk the distance himself. His teacher met him near the door and he was taken into his new classroom. I watched for a bit to make sure he didn’t come back out. I worried he was sad or needed me but he was fine. After his classroom door was finally closed I went over to the “Boo Hoo Breakfast” table the PTA created for the Kindergarten parents and I grabbed a donut and then headed straight to my car. The tears welled up and finally spilt down my cheeks and landed on my shirt. He wasn’t watching anymore and I was alone so I let it all out.
After taking some time to cry I got emotions together and headed to the grocery store thankful I didn’t have to go home to the empty house. Turns out the grocery store feels pretty lonely when your little buddy isn’t with you. I passed moms pushing carts with one of two children safely buckled in. There was happy chatter and I was reminded how much I enjoyed spending time with my little Spencer. My heart felt a tug as I walked down pretty much every aisle.
This is my new adventure. I wish it wasn’t and yet I am glad it is. It is a very bittersweet moment in my life. I am so thankful for the time I have been able to spend with my youngest child. I have loved being home with him!!! And because I love him I am excited for him to take this new step and I am happy he is happy about going to school. But it is strange to be at this place where the house is quiet, PBS kids tv isn’t playing in the background of my morning and I don’t have the chatter of my little one all around me. I am sure every mom goes through something similar but I think when you have been through all I have been through to build a family these milestone moments are felt in a way others can’t really understand.
When I went to pick up Spencer from school he walked around the gated area and then he spotted me. His face was beaming and he came running to me. AH!!!! I felt pure joy in that moment!!!! We hugged and he started to share his day with me. We were together again as we were before. I lived through the day! And I know I will have to live through many more of these bittersweet moments with each of my 4 children. I think Elizabeth Stone summed up how I feel in this sentence: “Making the decision to have a child- it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
I wouldn’t have it any other way!!
Brenda Horrocks is a mother of four children through adoption.
She promotes adoption, foster care and Utah’s Safe Haven Law through blogging, public speaking and writing. She enjoys time with family, reading books, running, gardening and movies.
You can visit her blog here.