Monday, June 6, 2011

Universal mother - Myth or reality?

Can you be a “universal” mother and a true and unselfish giver only if you do not have children of your own? If Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale had children of their own, would their path in life have been different? Would they still have had this calling? In short, if you have children of your own, is it possible to love someone else’s like your own?

I am a huge advocate of adoption. A trip to an orphanage made a huge impact on my life. I built a strong resolve in me that once I was married and had the means, I would adopt a child. I didn’t really care which gender, but a girl child had the most number of votes in my head. Along with my pregnancy, the urge to adopt a child became stronger too. G just didn’t get it! He kept saying – “But we are going to have a child now. Why do you want to adopt”? Then I had this brilliant idea to adopt the opposite gender to the child I would have. My mum gave me her thumbs-up, G ignored it. But to me they were all brilliant ideas – all in my head…somehow seemed impractical in the real world. At least in my world!

Once I had my son, my mum was a totally different woman. Grandmas are a force to be reckoned with and she told me outright and she might not be able to love an adopted grandchild with the same genuine force that she loved her grandson. My mother-in-law seconded that. G continued to pretend that it was my hormone talking and they would fade with time. I was outnumbered. How come no one saw it? How come no one understood that we would be giving a new chance of life to a child who would otherwise maybe not even have a life at all?

So my mum posed a few questions of her own - Now you might never tell this child that he or she is adopted, but someone might. What then? You might shower all your love on this child, but can you guarantee that G and others will? Won’t you be putting a child into a life of suffering, through no fault of hers? Can you be sure that if you catch both the children having a normal sibling spat, you will remain impartial? I argued till I was beat that these things would never happen in my case, till one day when my son was about 15 months old and his 17 month old cousin beat him like crazy as kids tend to do apparently (so I was told!). As I stood holding my wailing baby in my hands I knew I wanted to beat the crap out of that kid –someone who I love very much by the way and dote on. So maybe I was not really cut out for adopting after all.

So my question to the world is this – Can we only be mothers to our children? Is it only those who do not have a family of their own that can embrace other children into their life with ease and selflessly dedicate their lives to them?

Or the question begs to be asked – Am I the only selfish one around?

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