Adoption brings many people together with one thing in mind, a child. As the adoption of my child becomes a reality, not just a planned for eventuality, I want family and friends around me. It is for this reason that I am planning an Entrustment Ceremony. Two days, or so, after the baby is born I would like you to join me as I ask the adoptive family to love and raise my child to the best of their hearts and abilities.
Throughout my pregnancy I have been writing a memory book to give to the baby and the adoptive family. Before the formal presentation to the family it will be on display so everyone will have a chance to view the pictures and journal enteries.
If you are unable to join us or do not want to take part...I will understand. Adoption is at best an emotional, often painful, event for many and this one will be no different. Remember life's milestones are never easily passed, but surrounded by friends and family laughter rings out, even in the shadows of tears. I am preparing for the emotions for everyone, as well as the hunger; the buffet will include food, drink, and plenty of tissues."
That is how my invitations read...and that's what we did.
Quickly I found how difficult it is to nail down a public location for a party if you do not know a specific date. After all only God and the baby knew the birth date so things were pretty up in the air. So where do you turn when you can't find someplace public? I turned to my own house. Somehow inviting my friends and family into my home to become part of this adoption had more impact than a semi-private space in a restuarant or hotel.
I had planned everything - right down to the pink curling ribbon on the stems of the plastic champagne glasses, but I realized as people began to arrive that I had not planned a single thing to say. I had only planned on trying not to cry while I said it. I did not want to be embarrassed by breaking down in front of my guests. Not wanting to sound like a blubbering idiot I was suddenly panic striken. I hoped that I would find the words before I was "in the spotlight."
After an hour of socializing and introducing my guests to my daughter and her adoptive parents I thought it was time to get the ceremony itself started. I gathered everyone together and opened my mouth to speak. I was amazed to hear my voice, not wavering, as I spoke of how my life had unfolded in the past few months and why we were all gathered together.
Of course as I began to speak of my daughter the tears came, but I wasn't embarrassed at all. Through my tears I asked two people I had grown to love in the past few months to love my little girl and do for her all the things I knew I could not. I thanked them too, because they were taking on something I couldn't.
I had been given a tape with a song a birthmother wrote on it. The song spoke of loving her son. It asked the adoptive parents to kiss him once for her when he skinned his knee or the first time he tied his shoes. It also spoke of remembering that the child had traveled from God's arms to her arms to theirs. I wanted to say all the things the song spoke of, but the lump in my throat would not allow it. So I played the song. When the song ended I noticed there wasn't a dry eye in the room, but there was a slient understanding of the pain I felt.
With the "entrusting" part over people once again began to socialize. The mood in the room was not quite as light as before but we all seemed closer. I was struck with the sudden urge to hold that warm little bundle.
All night I had focused on being a hostess, but as people started to leave I was not at the door thanking them for coming. I was on the couch staring into the face of my daughter. I had planned the ceremony on the last day I would see her. Soon she would be leaving; she was now the only guest I paid attention to.
In a few short hours I had accopmplished so much. I gave my family and friends a chance to meet my baby. I introduced the adoptive family to those who cared for me and my child. I said thank you not only the adoptive family but also to all those who had helped me. I laughed, cried, and hugged more than I have in a long time. I made everyone see that this was not a selfless gift I was giving, but in fact I was entrusting a life and a piece of my heart. I made months of planning, for the adoption and the ceremony, a reality. I said goodbye to my daughter. And I became a birthmother.
Close to my heart Is where our baby grew Shortly after I met you You won a place in my heart too A family we became Committed to this little life Long after my womb has grown cold And your house fills with all the love it can hold We will still be a family Today we celebrate that bond