The Luckiest*Posted: October 7, 2011
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.
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.