Adoptive Mother Poem: “I Never Knew”

The following is an original adoptive mother poem by Gelana McCloud.

I never knew I wasn’t going to be able to give birth.

I never knew how devastating that would be.

I never knew where my journey was leading,

I never knew being an adoptive mom was for me.


I never knew I could love someone else’s child as much as I love you.

I never knew that being your mom was the most important thing I would ever do.

I never knew how much it would scare me when you finally met.

I never knew how important it was to you until the date was set.

I never knew you were as afraid as I until that day.


I never knew how much you loved me until you said “She’s my birth mom but you’re my mommy.”

I never knew it was possible to love you more, you’ll never know how much it meant.

The thing I am most certain of, even though I didn’t give you life; you are my son of heart and that, Will, is the important part.

When my youngest adopted son was seven years old, he had the opportunity to meet his birth mother. I had been fortunate enough to have maintained a Facebook relationship with her and therefore was able to contact her. For years I had agonized over this day and dreaded what might happen after they met, however, I couldn’t steal from him the opportunity to know the woman who had brought him into this world. After many discussions with my husband, we finally made arrangements to meet.

I remember it was a cold winter evening. He had just gotten a haircut and was looking quite handsome with his missing front tooth. He seemed really excited to meet his birth mom, but when we arrived he clung to me as if scared. I didn’t mind, I was scared too. I felt like I needed to make a claim on this child who I had raised since he was three days old. Me, I had raised him. I had gotten up at 2 and 4 am to feed him. I had wiped snotty noses and kissed scraped knees. I had held him when sobbing when he didn’t understand why his skin was brown and mine was white. But I knew she had claim as well, because there was a hole in his heart where she belonged that I would never fit. I knew he would always wonder why she didn’t keep him, and I wanted him to have that relationship when he needed to ask those questions.

She was nervous too. I couldn’t imagine what she might have been thinking because I could never imagine not keeping a child I had given birth to. She was young then, only 18 when she gave birth to him, 14 to his older half-brother. Way too young to start a family. She tried to explain to him why things happened the way they did, but he was still too young to totally understand. After the visit, he seemed somewhat relieved–I know I was. After we jumped in the car and headed home, he sat quietly in his seat as I silently cried in the front. I was worried the experience was too much for him and he would want to be with her instead of us. I quietly voiced my concerns to my husband. “Ask him,” he said. I turned to look at my sweet boy sitting in the back seat and asked if he was okay. He nodded and smiled at me and said the words that eased my heart. “It’s okay. She’s my birth mom, but you’re my mommy. I’ll always love you.”

We continue to have a relationship with his birth mother seven years later and my fears she would take my son away are no more. He has let me know he is happy and glad that he had me for a mommy because he knew she wasn’t ready to be his mom. He still misses her and what might have been, but has expressed his gratefulness for having my husband and me in his life. What he doesn’t know is how grateful I am for him being in mine.

Are you an adoptive mother? Do you have an adoptive mother poem you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.

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