by Cassandra Aswani
To hear about first steps, favorite colors, funny questions and fashion sense from someone else is a Sacrifice of Motherhood that few women experience. The celebration of these women, and their courage is rarer still.
As a woman with experience on both sides of this fence, an adoptee and someone who has become a Mother Figure through an on-going adoption, sometimes the mere thought of calling this act of love a Sacrifice was too much for me to bear. If you asked me 4 years ago how I felt about being adopted, I would have given you a cliché. “Oh, it was wonderful. My parents are the best parents for me, how wonderful that She was able to know She wasn’t ready for me and loved me enough to give me to a couple who was ready” was my go-to response. This covered all the bases in one conversation, shutting the topic down before any of the uglier truth dribbled out of my mouth; that yes—my parents ARE perfect for me, but the reality was I felt like there was nothing loving in giving a child away without more of an explanation.
My parents were always open with me about my adoption, as much as they were able. I had a few letters, some photos—but nothing that answered any of my questions. Why wasn’t I good enough? What was wrong with me? I had an insatiable childhood desperation to know what I had done to deserve what I believed to be an absolute primal rejection. These devastating questions went unspoken in my mind for far too many years. I had thought them for so long I had trouble truly believing the people who I knew well enough to dare ask such an intimate question. I simply couldn’t accept that being adopted was actually a Great Act of Love by all parties, not just the grace and love of my parents.
“Surely, a real mother wouldn’t give away her child,” I thought growing up, more frequently than I care to admit. I was driven to make the most of the life I had been given, as if I could prove my worth with external accolades, to a woman I knew little about. Of course, life rarely goes the way we plan—and eventually, poor decisions will yield consequences. Occasionally you may be forced to learn to love someone who has done the thing that you loathed about someone else, or perhaps—you will come to respect their decision, and honor their love—which is far greater than yours in its most bewildering existence.
Before I began my own journey into the realm of modern motherhood, it was incomprehensible that She could love me more than I could; this woman who had tossed me into the passing stroller of a couple whose greatest yearning was to love. But, the fact is—I wasn’t “given away”. Out of love, or any other well intentioned cliché. I was Entrusted. She chose someone else to give me the love that she wasn’t ready to give. That woman who despite her mistakes, her fears, even her grief—this second-rated Mother, about whom I had thought atrocious things—still found enough love in her heart to love me more than I had ever loved myself.
The thought had never occurred to me that I was not just tossed into this stroller; I was lovingly placed there. For all of my work to be well adjusted, learning to love myself, not once did I stop to consider that I was always a cherished Soul, whose worth was entrusted to those with love capabilities that were strong enough to truly Love a Lifetime.
Now I see the most beautiful Little Being with thoughts of her own, love of her own, ideas of her own that she shares with me. Leaping from chairs, then charging fiercely into backyard battle as the self-sufficient princess. Telling me what she would like to eat, picking which clothes will suit her “Just right” each day. Sighs of gratitude occasionally mixed with exasperation escape my lips that she is still here. Day, after day, after day. Because even though she is mine and theirs, she is equally Hers. Even though it takes the small village of Grandma-Mommy, Grandpa-Daddy, Auntie Cici-Mommy-Sister-Friend, and Uncle Mike-Brother-Prince-Friend to raise, love, and nurture this glorious Being, none of this would be possible with Her gift of trust in us, to love her Little Being.
I am overwhelmed with Gratitude to the Mother who makes this possible, and humbled that of all the ways I love this being, she loves her in a way I may never have to. Enough to be able to entrust her to someone else, to ensure she receives the love she deserves. Honored that I am included in the list of someone else’s, to love and nourish the Soul of this Little Being. I am proud, to bear witness to this Great Act of Love. She has given me the gift of motherhood. I honor Her choice, and admire Hers as The Bravest Love of All.
Cassandra Aswani has a deep love affair with words, music and other souls. She believes that life is a journey full of sacred moments and magic waiting to be seen. An originative thinker always on the lookout for secret messages, she captures her sacred moments on Instagram as @cassieanne539.