"I hate you. I wish I was back with my real mother."
"My real mother would never treat me this way."
I know they are words said in anger and frustration (about having to clean his room or be responsible for his actions). I know he loves me. I know I shouldn't let these words hurt me, but sometimes they do. He made this lego creation one day after everything to show his emotions, his pain, his love.
"Mom, I made a Christmas gift in class, do you think I should give it to you or my birth mother? Would you be mad?"
I know the big boys are working through their feelings of abandoment and trying to understand their life. I know these small moments are only a fraction of our normal day to day lives, but sometimes they feel so huge.
"Mom, what if when I'm a grown man and I meet my birth mother and decide she is better than you and I never come back? Would you be mad?"
Why do all these questions have to come in one day?
I have tried to tell my little men that I just want to them to be happy and if they will be happiest with their birth mothers when they are grown then I will accept their decisions. Inside, however I am fighting back the tears thinking of how much I would miss them. Doubting and questioning every decision I ever made as a mother, wondering what I have done wrong that he is already asking this.
With my calm exterior (because I have learned that tears stop the conversations), I say, "I will never and I hope you will never forget the beautiful gift of life your birth mothers have given". I also try and explain that being a mother is more than just giving birth. I ask them to respect me for my efforts. I explain that I am the one that is here right now kissing hurts, disciplining when it's hard, laughing at the nonsensical jokes, shedding tears when moments are tough, cleaning up messes and cheering triumphs.
I realize that their birth mothers are missing all those things and that brings pain. I know that they will never forget their children, but somedays I am selfish. Somedays I don't want to hurt for them. Somedays I want my children to love me and just me. I don't like to share.
I knew there would be struggles going into adoption. I knew it would not be easy, but as I write these words with tears streaming down my face both my big boys walk into the room. With concern in their eyes they asked if I'm alright.
"Can I do something for you mom? I love you."
As their big strong arms wrap around me my pain melts away and I know that together with love we will find our way through the pain and the selfishness. Together we are strong.