Ava’s Tummy Mummy

Posted in Adoption Option by

A lot of readers have commented on how I don’t mention Ava’s Tummy Mummy much. There is a very important reason why…. this is an open blog, anyone can read it and I have a tremendous amount of respect and love for our tummy mummy and won’t divulge anything about her identity or her reasons for giving Ava up. Secondly, this is Ava’s history, its private, its for her and her alone. Not even our families know the full story. We know the full story and one day, Ava will know it to, its her history, her story and until she knows it and understands it, I don’t want to share the details of it. That will be her choice one day.

I will say this about our tummy mummy………. she’s the bravest, strongest, most selfless person I ever met. Her decision was based purely out of love for Ava, she never once considered her own feelings, she only thought about Ava and about the life she wanted Ava to have. She has treated W and I with so much love and there is a tremendous amount of affection between us all. Even our social workers mentioned how it had been an honour for them to be apart of such a loving adoption. From the moment we met, the second I walked into the room, she lumbered up out of her seat, walked over to me, flung her arms around me and cried and each time I tried to pull away she pulled me closer and cried even more. When she was in the final stages of labour, and I was holding her hand, she was writhing in agony and staring into my eyes, afterwards she told me it was because she was trying to send me a message of how she was doing this for us, of how she was doing this with such great love. She gave birth to a baby without any pain medication and she did it with so much love. When Ava came out, she grabbed my hand, looked me in the eyes and said to me: “Look Sharon, its YOUR daughter!”. When she filled in the birth certificate, she could have chosen any names for the baby because she’ll get re-registered and a new birth certificate issued next week after the 60 days. Instead, as a sign of commitment to the entire process, she registered our daughter as Ava Grace! Throughout the past 2 months, she has sent me the most beautiful messages via our social workers. Messages of encouragement, congratulations on Ava’s 1 month birthday, messages to calm my nerves, messages telling me that I don’t need to be afraid of the 60 days, messages giving me her word she will not change her mind.  After she’d given birth, we were sitting in the hospital room, she’d showered and was having something to eat and I was holding Ava. I told her about how we’d waited so long to start the adoption process because we were fearful of the 60 days because we knew of couples who’d raised babies as there own only to have the birth mum’s retract consent half way through the 60 day period. She was shocked and she looked at me, took my hand and said: “I promise you I will NOT do that to you!”.

Both W and I have so much love for this amazing woman, so much respect for the difficult choice she has made. We have chosen to raise Ava in a way that will honour her tummy mummy, we have committed to giving Ava the life that her tummy mummy dreamed she’d have. We have also chosen, despite the fact that we have a “closed” adoption, to have some contact with her tummy mummy. There is no harm in it. Ava will always know her tummy mummy, she will always know how lucky she is because not only does she have a mommy and a daddy but she has a tummy mummy that loves her so much. Next week when I’m in Cape Town, I am hoping to visit with our social workers for some tea and to show off Ava, just because we have the type of social workers that are like that. They’re not like other social workers out there, once you’ve dealt with them, you become like family. When we ended messages to each other or phone conversations, the words – Love you – are often spoken. So these two women will be an extension of Ava’s family as well, they will be like her Aunties. When we meet with them next week, Ava’s tummy mummy will be invited to join us as well. She can choose not to and I’d understand if she chose not to, but she can be there should she want to. She is not a threat to us, she’s an integral part of our family, someone Ava will always know on one level or another.

Some of my friends have been fearful to go down the adoption route because they have tremendous fear of the birth mum’s. I too felt that way when we first started out. I felt like she had all the power and I was powerless and at her mercy. Then I met our tummy mummy and realized it was not like that at all!

February 11, 2010
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14 Comments

  • Reply Lea White

    What a beautiful post Sharon! And you are right, one day when and if Ava is ready she can choose to share her full story and in the meantime you can write her story down for her. Initially in very simple terms with photos and read her story to her (my kids love it when we do that) and as she grows older give her more detail as she is ready to deal with that.

    February 11, 2010 at 8:58 am
  • Reply Gail

    I have tears in my eyes. What a stunning post. Ava is so lucky to have you guys as her parents and her tummy mummy sounds like an amazing woman.

    February 11, 2010 at 9:27 am
  • Reply SassyCupcakes

    It’s so funny, through all our IF crap I was open and only passworded to stop trolls. Now we’ve moved on to adoption I’m very big fan of privacy so I get you’re need to protect Ava by keeping her history private.

    And I’m so glad you’re having some contact with her BM. Do you think it could grow into an open adoption over time? I know that even without contact with her you and W will raise and amazing little girl, but the more I read about Open Adoption the more I see that it can be the best thing for not only adoptees and birth families, but also for the adoptive parents who can be reinforced by the support from the birth families. I should blog more about this instead of hijacking your comments. 🙂

    February 11, 2010 at 9:48 am
  • Reply Tanya

    Hi Sharon
    Thank you for this Post you put it so beautifully as to how your relationship with your Tummy Mummy is going and I hope that long may it continue. Most Tummy Mummys want adoptions like yours. I wish you all the best when your in Cape Town.

    Ava is beautiful I love the Picture of her.
    Hugs

    February 11, 2010 at 10:12 am
  • Reply Denise

    Sharon, the 3 of you are very fortunate to be in such a loving space with Ava’s tummy mummy. It doesn’t always work out that way and when it doesn’t there is a lot of heartache on all sides.

    February 11, 2010 at 10:13 am
  • Reply Hela

    Sharon, this is such a brave and lovely post. You have me in tears. I admire the love and respect you have for this woman!

    February 11, 2010 at 10:16 am
  • Reply Mash

    I’m crying AGAIN as I read this. Ava’s tummy mummy is an earth angel. Every time I even think of this story, I want to cry again. To me it is just absolute complete and utter proof that there was never any other path for the four of you. You were all just brought together in perfect timing, Ava was the soul that was always destined for you. And tummy mummy was the miracle facilitator, she allowed God/Universe to work through her. What a special person.

    February 11, 2010 at 10:31 am
  • Reply CHARNE

    i could not agree with this post more!! everything you have written is so true!!!

    was going to ask you if you were going to meet the social workers and tummy mummy next week but somehow forgot to!

    i think its just sooooooooooo awesome the realtionship you can have with caring, speical social workers and tummy mummys!

    i agree 100% that the story is Ava’s and Ava’s alone! people are inquisitve though and sometimes get SO offended if you tell them you dont want to share the whole story of the BM!

    your BM sounds AMAZING!!! so gald that she keeps encouring you and sending messages via the SW awesome my friend

    xxx

    February 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply SCY

    Ava’s tummy mummy sounds amazing. She’s a very lucky little girl to have two amazing women shape her life.

    xxx

    February 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    I’m so glad you’ve had such a beautiful experience.

    February 11, 2010 at 7:01 pm
  • Reply Esperanza

    That story is so beautiful. What an inspiring story of love. Thank you for sharing it. It really is a wonderful gift you’re passing on to all of us.

    February 11, 2010 at 7:59 pm
  • Reply Chopper1

    Sharon, if I could have a FRACTION of the wonderful experience you have had throughout this process when we move into our adoption, I would consider myself so very blessed. Your story is the most inspirational one I’ve ever come across and I look forward to reading about Ava’s progress and news from you every single day. I can honestly say that your story is the main inspiration into our decision to adopt. It was the boot that kicked us! 🙂
    xxxx

    February 12, 2010 at 7:19 am
  • Reply Sian

    I know I’m a bit late in commenting! But I have to say ….wow! This is a great post and I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have said.

    February 14, 2010 at 11:50 am
  • Reply Kirsty

    stunning post my friend! How can you ever thank anyone for giving you the greatest gift of all… life!! I think you just managed to do it x-x

    February 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm
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