There was a recent article in the NY Times which talked about destiny and "magical thinking" in adoption. It stated that many adoptive parents believe that their child was "meant to be" their's, that it was fated to be so. This article has been going around the adopto-blogosphere, with adoptive parents, adoptees, and natural mothers all expressing their feelings on this topic. I thought I'd chime in with my thoughts as well, since it's something I've thought about quite a bit over the past almost 5 years.
So, were Elizabeth and I meant to be mother and daughter? Well, honestly, I struggle with this concept. Because if E was meant to be with me, then that means it was meant to be that her birth family could not/did not keep her and raise her. That doesn't feel right. In the natural order of things, she would be with her birth parents, not with me. Now, having said that, I will say that having Elizabeth as my daughter has felt like a miracle to me, since day 1. I've said a million times, I will never know how I got so lucky. It feels so incrediably right to me that Elizabeth is my daughter and I am her mother. But I don't believe that she was "born in the wrong tummy", or that J (E's birthmom) was a "vessel" to bring E to me. No. J and Elizabeth are mother and daughter. Although they have not seen each other since E was 6 months old, they have a bond, on a cellular level, one that has nothing to do with me.
I love E so much that it is very, very tempting to go all rainbows and unicorns and say that we were meant to be together. I admit that a very big part of me loves that notion. But doesn't believing that discount Elizabeth's birthparents and family? Elizabeth's coming into my life certainly was a miracle, for me. It's impossible for me to believe otherwise. BUT...it was not a miracle for her. Being taken from one's mother at birth and being raised by a stranger is no miracle. And as E gets older and understands more and more about adoption, she is going to have feelings about this. I will never discount her origins or her feelings by saying, "Honey, you were meant to be with me." Maybe there is room for a little middle ground here? Because I do think things happen for a reason. It doesn't feel like a mistake that E is with me. But she wasn't born to be with me. She was born to be with J. However, events in life happened that all lead to J not raising Elizabeth. And this is where the miracle comes in, for me. That of all the prospective adoptive parents out there, I was chosen to be E's Mom. That is truly miraculous to me. I can't imagie my life without E, and I can't remember when I didn't know her. I am truly her Mom. And so is J.