The Luckiest*

Many times as an adoptive parent, I have heard the following phrases…

“You are so lucky.” 

“Mea is so lucky.” 

The thing is, we are lucky.  Lucky is a word that is a double-edged sword.  In so many ways we are lucky to be Mea’s parents.  In many ways, I think, she is lucky to have us as a family.  This “luck” doesn’t come with a cost of loss.  Loss to Mea of her first parents and siblings, loss to Mea of her Foster Mom June and sister E, they were the only family she had known from ten days old, until she came home to us.  Although, she was thirteen months old, and doesn’t “remember” this part of her life, it is still a loss that has happened to her, somewhere in her, she has recognized this loss.  This part of her story is not so lucky.

Although she doesn’t quite understand this loss yet, there are times where I can see how the loss has affected her.  She doesn’t like strangers.  She has been very reluctant to stay the night places, even at her Grandparents, and Aunt and Uncles homes.  Unless, I am with her she doesn’t like to go to new places.  She is slow to warm up to different things.  I think this is part of her way of dealing with the loss she has faced in her five years of living.

Last night on Twitter, I posted the following statement, “Being told your so lucky,” or “Mea’s so lucky.” Makes me feel all awkward.  Luck had nothing to do with it.  I never know what to say.”  It is true, I usually don’t know what to say. I usually end up saying, “We are all lucky.”  It’s a blanket statement, that applies to everyone.  Everyone has something in their lives that they can say they were lucky about.

We are lucky to have her, but the circumstances to which that luck came, are not lucky circumstances.

Many people who are not adoptive parents view adoptive parents in this way.  We are not perfect, we are not hero’s, we didn’t do anything that warrants getting put on a pedestal.  We were people who wanted children, and this is the way in which parenthood was achieved.  I am a Mom.  I am a Mom in at least four different ways, birth, step, foster and adoptive.  How I became a Mom has nothing to do with the kind of Mom I am.  I know that some of my birth-mom friends can get uncomfortable with the hero card, too.  What they did is so hard, it is not something they did to become a hero, they made the best decision for them at that time.

As far as I know no one has ever told me I was lucky to have Mack.  Let’s be honest, I am incredibly lucky to have her, too.  Any of the various decisions that I could have made when I found myself pregnant at seventeen, with a dead-beat dad on my hands, could have changed the outcome in both of our lives drastically. 

Mack probably saved my life in more ways than she could ever know.  I am extremely lucky to have her.  I am very lucky that she is an amazing young-woman.  I am very lucky that she is my daughter, and my friend.

Merriam-Webster‘s Definition of Lucky is as follows: 

1.  Having good luck.

2.  Happening by chance : Fortuitous

3.  Producing or resulting in good by chance : Favorable

4.  Seeming to bring good luck <a lucky rabbit’s foot> (Poor rabbit, in my opinion)

So after reading the definition, I have come to the conclusion that maybe lucky is okay.  If I take the work luck as I want to define it.  Happening by chance : Fortuitous, is about more like it.  Mea is my daughter by chance.  We got licensed, we fostered, on that day with the freak thunderstorm when our power went out, and I answered the phone it was a happening by chance.  The adoption placement worker for the county in which Mea was born, hadn’t had any luck with families in their county wanting to take a thirteen month old.  We were the first family to get called on the list for our county that day.  It was a happening by chance.  Luck.  Fortuitous luck.


*I love the Ben Folds Five song, The Luckiest…yet another kind of luck, but a great song.


6 Comments on “The Luckiest*”

  1. Monika says:

    What a beautiful post. As a b-mom I’m really uncomfortable with the “hero” description, but yet the definition of hero is something all bmoms do. So go figure. I think the definition of luck does precisely the same thing for you, and I’d venture me as well. My daughter is being raised by 2 wonderful people who see fit to include us (me and bio-dad) in their lives, and that’s what I call lucky. 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      Absolutely. I thought and thought about this last night, after tweeting and the convo that started after it. I think I made some peace with myself and that word “lucky.”

  2. Jen says:

    This is a great post Kelly. I love that you are so open and forthcoming about your various routes to motherhood. Thanks for sharing and enlightening us.

  3. Joelle says:

    Extremely well said. I found your blog by using the Tag Surfer and I am so glad I visited. I look forward to getting to know your family more. I too am a step mom and foster mom and I completely understand this post. Thanks for being so honest!

  4. Harriet says:

    I do feel that the way my son entered out lives is one the one hand, completely random, and on the other hand, the way the universe meant it to be. A lot of people don’t like it when adoptive parents say their child was “meant to be,” but in many ways, there is no other way to look at it.

    Generally when people say our son was lucky, I’m a little baffled. It wasn’t lucky for him to lose a life with his biological parents but it was lucky in some ways that of all the people on the planet he wound up with us. I feel that we are a great match. His birthparents chose us and even they had an immediate YES they are the couple we want. But if I am to be totally honest, I do feel like were were lucky. Sometimes I shake my head in amazement that he is truly our son.

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