Celebrating Adoptive Motherhood

denise-and-baby-cedar.jpg

On Mother's Day, I would like to honor the adoptive mamas of the world. They, too, deserve recognition for their tender nurturing and selfless giving. This story was sent to me by a beautiful woman named Denise Andrade-Kroon, who reached out to me and expressed how although she did not physically birth her son Cedar, she gave birth in an intensely emotional and spiritual way: "I believe it is so empowering for adoptive mamas to embrace that they too have been through a birthing process, albeit different than those that carry and birth their babies physically, but an emotional birthing that holds deep connection and meaning. Throughout the years of documenting my fertility and adoption story online, hundreds reached out to me going through a similar journey because at the time I was writing about it, not many were and it seemed to draw a plethora of women that needed to not feel alone.  Many were expressing to me shame they carried or the ache of not feeling whole as women or part of a tribe of women that were able to do what our bodies were designed for.  I too at times felt this way.  I waited 5 years for the baby whose soul I felt so close to me and I would have never imagined another beautiful woman would eventually carry my child and bravely let go of him into my arms with such compassion and permission.

Denise & K
Denise & K

My husband and I held our birth mama's hands while she pushed and brought him into our world.  I was the first to hold, bathe, feed and sleep with him skin to skin. My son Cedar and I bonded instantly and I never once felt less connected just because the first day I physically felt him was on his (birth)day. Throughout our (in)fertility journey &  adoption, I needed visualizations to stay hopeful, breath to stay grounded and focused and my soul had to bear down to manifest my dream of being a mama despite the grief and loss that comes with (in)fertility. My labor pains were emotional and not physical but labor pains, nonetheless. I know deep in my heart that with this perspective, I have indeed birthed in a spiritual sense. I am grateful to be part of an evolution of embracing and holding tender all the ways families are created and as with anything, there is not one way."

{You can read more about Denise's journey through adoption on her personal blog, http://bohemiangirldesigns.blogspot.com/. Her current website is http://www.faesoul.com/. Photography by tarawhitney.com. All content and images © by Denise Andrade-Kroon.}