A week after I gave birth a friend who had come over to help me cope with newborn plus toddler on my own finally asked the question. She did so in the most tactful way and in a way she only put a voice to the thoughts I'd had all the way through my pregnancy. Would I love them the same? Mixed in with the thoughts was guilt and fear: would J find it hard, would he feel less our child for being adopted, had I ruined his life?
After O was born and while I lay in hospital looking at the little baby next to me my main worry was: will I ever love this baby as much as I love J? I felt something for him, I certainly did, but it did not resemble the love I felt for J. I felt protective and like I needed to care for him, but nothing like the deep feelings I had for my eldest. A week later, when my friend asked me things were not very different.
Three months have passed. Our love has grown. I love them both so much. I cannot imagine my life without them. But do I love them the same?
I don't think I do. I love them differently and I don't think it has anything to do with birth vs adoption but with who they are and what their needs are. I love them with the same intensity, fiercely and with a kind of love I'd never felt before I became a mother. But it's not exactly the same love.
I know now that love grows. Mummy love grows too, deeper and different in all its stages. What stays the same? My heart sings when they smile. My heart aches when I think about something bad happening to them. I have fears and hopes and wishes for them both. That I am sure stays the same for as long as I'll live.