I am a mother now. I'm not sure how it happened. The days stringed together, my hopes and my fears weaving through the hours of each day. I was terrified for more than 6 months, from the moment I decided that the baby my friend had been carrying inside of her would be mine.
When I moved to Iqaluit I met dozens of girls who told stories of the child they adopted out or the baby their family adopted in. I thought that bringing a child into my life and loving him or her as my own would be something I might like to do someday. Perhaps I would do it before I moved back to Ontario, in the future, my plans were always for the future.
And then the day came when there was a pregnant girl before me, a beautiful, kind girl who I knew, pregnant with the child of a good man who I also knew. I was 22, I had planned on having children young but with no man in my life and no immediate plans to start a family, adoption now wasn't in the forefront of my mind.
It took one night for me to decide and then in the very second that I knew what the alternative plan for his life was, he was mine. His little heart was mine, his little hidden body, sheltered by hers was mine. His life would be mine to shape, to cherish and to nurture. From these days onward there was fear, not for becoming a mother, this was what I wanted beyond a shadow of a doubt; this was my calling. I was afraid, I suppose for the reasons that every mother is afraid, I wanted to know that my baby had ten fingers and ten toes, I wanted to know that he was healthy, that he would lead a good life and if he wouldn't be able to, if God forbid he wasn't healthy, I wanted to know that I would have what it took to give him a beautiful life, regardless.
I was surprised by the rest of my fears, as they weren't something I had ever considered before I knew I had a baby on the way. A lot of the time I don't like to talk about it, but there is an honesty I cant hide when I write, I never feel free until I bare my soul, unleashing it from buried thoughts. I had fears that someone would take my baby, first that she would change her mind, then the brief passing of the fear that he would change his mind. These fears followed by the terror in the idea that I may not be good enough for Social Services. There are nearly no places to look for guidelines or assurance. I felt very alone in the process, with only the supportive, but naive words from friends and family to comfort me. There were some who met me with reality, assuring me that my fears were real but that they would stand by me regardless, one of whom is an old reader of mine who now lives in Iqaluit. No matter who said "it will be okay," or how many times they said it, the very real nerves in my body kept me up at night. I was afraid of losing the child who was already mine. This baby had become a part of my plans for the future, he was what I based my hopes and dreams on already. My goals in life had been altered to make room for the little human who would be my entire life, who would be absolutely all that mattered. He was already all that mattered.
It wasn't until I met Nicole, the social worker who took on my case that I found waves of relief. She was sent to me by God. A beautiful young woman with a heart of gold. She told me vaguely what Iqaluit holds, the children in need of loving homes and not enough people opening the doors to those homes. Nicole inspired me, supported me and gave me the smile I needed to know that our life would turn out the way we needed it to. The words that came from her heart also made me want to advocate for Iqaluit's children, to search for families who would open their lives to children. Iqaluit needs more foster families, Iqaluit's children need families and love and support.
Today my little boy, Brody Scott Maqaiti Davis is six weeks old. He is laying in front of me with his eyes closed, sleeping to the soft clicking of my fingers on the keys of my laptop. He grunts when I stop typing. He is my muse now, in everything I do in life.
They tell you, you will feel a certain way when you have a child. There was this love you would experience and adding one more fear to my list, I worried I wouldn't feel it. My baby boy didn't grow in my tummy, but he grew just as quickly in my heart. My son is mine, through and through. I held her hand around the rail of her bed as she pushed him out and for the following minutes I could barely see through my tears. There is a love here, in my home, in my body, that is impossible. It cannot be described. Brody and I are a family, he was made for me and I for him. I tell him everyday that I will give him the World, that I will try my best to show him all of the wonder there is here.
|Brody at 3 weeks, visiting his family in Ontario for the first time.|
In a matter of seconds, my life shifted from being mine, to being ours and my heart shifted from being closed off to being impossibly exposed, it belongs to the little boy in front of me and always will.
Now we will explore the Arctic together and after that, the rest of the World.