Sperm donors and egg suppliers... This post is not about fertility clinics. I'm referring to the people who supply the biological components necessary to create a child but don't have the selflessness and strength necessary to parent that child. Excluded from this "elite" group (sarcasm, obviously) are those who give up their babies through adoption due to extraordinary circumstances.
Biology is nothing without bonding. I am not Jane's Mom because I gave birth to her. I am Jane's Mom because I love her, I nurture her, I put her needs above my own... she is my heart.
The thought I've struggled with since becoming a Mom is comprehending how anyone could EVER voluntarily walk away from their children. It just seems completely insane to me. I can't leave for 10 minutes without craving to be around Jane again. What type of person can walk away from their babies (let's face it, I'm 26 and I'm still my Mom's baby)?
When Jane was born I remember thinking about adoptive parents. I questioned whether they could have as strong a bond with their baby because they didn't provide the "biology". This was until I realized, and quickly, that this is complete nonsense. Although adoptive parents do not provide the biology, they provide the more important things, the selflessness and strength, the love and nurturing, the heart. My Dad is basically an adoptive parent but, honestly, I don't even like saying that as I feel like it somehow suggests that he's not 100% my Dad. People say we look alike and it makes us crack up... but it's not because we physically look alike, it's that, after 26 years together we have similar mannerisms. My Dad is my Dad because he was my chauffeur, my chef, my doctor, my tutor, my mechanic, my carpenter, my mover, my pony, my therapist... not because we have the same genetics.
How do you explain to someone who isn't a parent what it actually means and feels like to be a parent... I don't think you can. We try to explain to others what it feels like - a love so strong you never knew it existed - and they nod their heads and smile in "understanding". But you cannot understand unless you've experience that love yourself.
As I hear Jane through the monitor, waking for her 4:30am feed, I am not annoyed. I do not pity myself for no longer getting uninterrupted sleep every night. I smile. Because I am her Mom and she needs me... and I need her just as much.