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!