When I asked our guest writer if she wanted to remain anonymous she said, ‘I don’t want to be anonymous. Adoption is lonely and infertility is lonely and if I can give somebody a connection point then I would love to help.’ So everyone, meet Hilary! Below is her story as an adoptive mother.

As an adoptive mom this has weighed on me a lot since my son got out of the ‘easy’ phase. You know the phase—he’s a baby, you take him everywhere, he hits the milestones and you somewhat have a grasp on being a mom. Then you enter the real thick of it phase like behavior and teaching right from wrong. You wonder how much screen time is too much screen time? Is he being kind to others? What is the appropriate punishment? The list goes on.

I think what has been hardest for me is not knowing if I’m doing it right, which I know we all feel, but as an adoptive mother it hits different. It’s the knowledge that I am his mother in every sense of the word—I’m on his birth certificate, I make every decision for him, he only calls me mommy but ultimately another woman gave birth to him. This woman created him, kept him safe, growing and thriving in her body then spent two days with him birth side and loved on him. Ultimately though, she lovingly and carefully chose me to be his mom. This woman laid him into my arms and chose to put his entire life and every decision about his life into my hands. She picked me.

One of the harder things for me as a mom is the knowledge that he is only mine because his birth mom chose me. He was not born to me, he was given to me and I want to get that right. I want to honor her and what she did for him and what she did for me. His birth mother hasn’t looked back, expressed regret or told me I’m not doing a good job. Let me be clear, I don’t need her pat on the back and I don’t need her confirmation because that’s not what this is about. However, the knowledge in my heart that every decision I make is not just me making a decision for his health, well being and safety as his mother but that I’m also making these decisions with the knowledge that another woman chose me to make them and I don’t want to let her down or disappoint her. I want to live up to her hopes and dreams of what she thought I could be to him as a mom. This has a real weight for me when I mess up or lose my patience.

As an adoptive mother who has done a lot of research, no one tells you this feeling. It’s not a discussion during your home study, adoption Facebook pages or books. So if you’re currently on this journey or thinking about embarking on it, please know that you are not alone in all of the feelings that may come up. They are very real and very validated.