I mentioned that I read a lot of random blogs on a previous post. I don’t know what it is about blogs, but I find them absolutely fascinating. And I don’t know if I should be thankful or annoyed with Go0gle Reader, but it certainly makes it very, very easy to keep up with a whole heck of a lot of blogs, and to add insult to injury, it *suggests* additional blogs to follow!! As if I have not located enough blogs on my very very own.

So one blog that I read (a pregnancy loss blog – I do not know why my friend Mr. Reader suggests so many pregnancy loss blogs to me. This particular one, however, is filled with phenomenal writing and I get really excited every time she updates her blog) gets a ton of hits every week (something like 100K/week!) and I never read the comments, but tonight I did quickly, and one comment in particular stood out to me.

A woman asked for prayers for a decision she and her husband had to make – their close friend was dying of a metastatic brain tumor (I think that’s what it said) and she had a very young baby, and she (the friend) wanted this woman and her husband to be the godparents. To care for the child when something happened to her. And this woman and her husband were taking the decision very seriously, as they wanted to do the right thing for this child and their friend, they had just started trying to conceive, and they had step children from a previous marriage.

DB always says that I have more thoughts going through my head in 10 seconds than he has in an hour. That might be true. In that instant, I thought: Wow, “that’s like Beaches”, “the woman in Beaches didn’t want to raise her friend’s daughter but didn’t she end up to be a great mom?”, “did we ever see what kind of mom that woman was in Beaches?”, “it doesn’t matter”, (I am a little embarrassed by this one) – “wow, how could she even think twice?” – then “what would DB and I do if someone asked us this?” – then “well, I guess maybe that did happen once”*- and then “what an amazing honor to be asked to raise someone’s child” – and then I actually got teary thinking about what an amazing gift it would be for someone to ask someone else to raise their child (let me be clear – I was thinking about the gift of love from the parent gone to the parent caring for the child – I feel like I need to be clear given the post from Laura yesterday). And I thought, “wow, what difficult conversations to have with a child. ‘I knew your mom very well, and she would have loved to be here with you today. I love you very, very, very much, and I am so blessed to raise you'” – through every major life event – starting school, doing a book report, playing sports, graduating from various school grades, getting married, having children.

(I am not kidding when all of that – and a lot more that I couldn’t articulate here – passed through my head in about 2 seconds.)

Three seconds post-glance, I thought, “well, how much different is that from adoption?”

And the answer – for me – is, “Not much.” Or is it?

I think the difference is in the fact that in international adoption, we don’t know the woman who birthed our child, and we don’t know the man who fertilized the egg that created the child that the woman carried. And although in an open, domestic adoption, we may know the mother and include her in our child’s lives, she will still not be there for every minor development. Nor am I trying to say that she should be – as parents, adoptive or biological, we *are* the parents. Our children should look to us for cuts, scrapes, celebrations, and encouragement. That’s the point. But the point also is this – in adoption, as well as in godparenting, a parent looks at her child and says, “I won’t be able to raise you, so I am going to ask someone else to do so.”

This isn’t all that deep or different from what I’ve said before – I think it is only different in the way it’s framed. I think of raising my best friend’s baby and I think of Beaches. I think of adopting a child, and I think of that child as born in my heart – not excepting the fact that there is a woman with an absolute connection to my child – a woman that with whom we will encourage a relationship but cannot exactly speak to her identity, character, or situation beyond what is on a piece of paper. But I would like to think of the two as the same in terms of how we refer to the child’s first mother – is that possible?

Does that make sense?

*Friend of friend of friend of friend had daughter who got pregnant at 16 and was trying to find a family to adopt the baby. Friend of F of F of F thought of us, because she knew we were adopting, and we had just gotten married (or maybe weren’t yet married) and we just did not feel that we were the appropriate match for this family, so we asked other friends who were struggling with infertility if they would be interested in speaking to the family. That was before I developed my Strong Views on a lot of things. Friends said no, not interested in adoption;  we said yes, if the girl said she wanted a couple from outside her family to adopt the child, please contact us, but the baby was ultimately adopted within the family. And yes, that also pretty much went through my head in a split second.