We are a visible family of 3 but actually there is a 4th, very important person in our family. There is Ava at our nucleus but there is also a daddy and 2 mommies, one mommy who carried her, nurtured her and bore her in her womb and another mommy, me, who prayed for her, longed for her and loved her from before she knew her. Ava was born from one mommies womb but from another mommies heart.

Today, on her 3rd birthday, we celebrate her life. But we also honour her birth mother. We remember every details of the Sunday she born, from the phone call informing us that our birth mom was in labour. I remember her moans of pain as she laboured, I remember how we held hands each time she was gripped by another painful contraction, I remember the way the birth room smelled of antiseptic and blood, I remember how overwhelmed I was, I remember the midwife and nurses who assisted during the birth. I remember our social workers soothing words and her calm voice each time things became a little intense. I remember our birth mom grinding out between gritted teeth how she wanted to, needed to, had to push. I remember seeing our daughters head crown, I remember the tuft of dark, wet hair as her head began to emerge. I remember the midwife saying something that I was to overwhelmed to hear, I remember our birth mom telling me to look at my beautiful daughter, I remember being past the clippers to cut her umbilical cord. I remember how she looked wrapped up in the blue surgical sheet after her agpar scores were taken. I remember walking blindly down the passage to another hospital room to introduce her to Walter. I remember the tears streaming down his face as his hands shook when he held her for the first time. I remember…..

Today is a joyful day. Today marks the end of our 7+ year struggle with infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. We have been flooded with phone calls, text messages, Twitter messages and Face Book messages wishing Ava a very happy birthday and congratulating Walter and I but there is one person in our family who has not been acknowledged, one person without whom none of this would be possible. Our birth mother.

Today, as in every day, we honour you, we remember you.

Ironically I read a blog by another birth mother this morning and it really struck a chord with me because what she wrote was close to home, there is so much of what our own bith mom has told us that is in this post of Jill Elizabeth’s, please read here, this is a must read: The Wrong Question.

Yes, we are blessed by Ava but we are also blessed by her birth mother. Adoption is love, not self love, but the selfless love of a mother for her child. As with Jill Elizabeth, our own birth mother’s decision to place Ava had nothing to do with her own future or future happiness, it had nothing to do with Walter and I but it had everything to do with the love she felt for her unborn child, for the life she wanted for her child.

Today is bitter sweet for me, there is so much joy and so much to celebrate but there is also sadness knowing that today, a woman I love so very much more than anyone can ever know or understand, is hurting, that she is missing Ava and just like I have so many memories of this day 3 years ago, she has the same memories but while my memories bring joy, hers must surely bring sadness.

So yes, I am a mommy, but I’m only one of the important mommy’s in Ava’s life, her other mommy deserves the same recognition and she deserves to be remembered and honoured today too.

I dedicate this to our beautiful birth mother, *I* this is for you and for me and the equally important roles we play in our beautiful daughters life!

Once there were two women who never knew each other,

One you do not remember — the other you call Mother.

Two different lives shaped to make yours one.

One became your guiding star — the other became your sun.

The first gave you life and the second

Taught you to live in it.

The first gave you a need for love

And the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.

One gave you the seed of talent; the other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.

One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.

One gave you up

It was all that she could do.

The other prayed for a child

And God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me through your tears

The age old question through the years:

Heredity or Environment –

Which are you the product of?

 Neither my darling, neither –

Just two different kinds of love.

Till we meet again darling *I*, my soul sister, the woman I admire and respect above all other, till we meet again…