95: Quadruple Love

95: Quadruple Love

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to My Mom

Quadruple Love

Whether your children are yours through biology or adoption, they are yours through love.

~Sadia Rebecca Rodriguez

Most people can’t say they’ve had three mothers throughout their lifetime, but I can. I am lucky because I’ve had three moms: a biological mom, a foster mom, and an adoptive mom.

My sisters and I are identical quadruplets. From the information I’ve gathered over the years, ranging from newspaper clippings to an Internet search, our birth mother was in her early twenties when she gave birth to us, her boyfriend wasn’t in the picture, and she didn’t know she was pregnant with quadruplets until the second trimester. When she found out, she insisted that we be adopted together.

It was our dad’s idea to adopt the four of us when he first heard about us. As the story goes, my mom looked at my dad like he was crazy. They had talked to family members, close friends, and even made some pro and con lists to see if they should take us into their family; after all, they already had two young sons (ages six and three) at the time.

My sisters and I were in foster care for about three months after our birth. From the information I found, our foster mother tearfully gave us up after she put “a lot of love and time” into raising us.

When my mom, dad, and brothers traveled to visit family in Tennessee for Christmas, they took a detour down to Louisiana to meet us. That was when they gave me the nickname “The Watcher.” I was given this title because whenever people would come to look at my sisters and me in our cribs, I would be the only one awake, watching over my sisters and eyeing the people who were intrigued by us. Apparently, this was the first sign that I would be the mother hen of the four of us.

The news spread that we were the first set of identical African American quadruplets to be adopted in the U.S., and the media wanted to pick up the story. My grandfather has recently told me that the plane we took to our new home was also carrying a famous passenger—a champion boxer. When he disembarked the plane, he expected the news crews to rush over and interview him. Instead, they brushed past him and rushed up to my mom and dad to take pictures my sisters and me!

The adoption was closed, meaning that no information is given to the birth parent over the years, so I don’t know anything about my birth mother except for the small bit of information I found. I don’t know much about my foster mother either. All I know is that I am grateful for these two strong women. My mom is the strongest of all though. She dealt with four babies throwing tantrums, needing diaper changes, teething and fighting.

Growing up, I never felt like my mom was any different from a biological mom. She made my lunch, helped fix scrapes or bumps, offered up encouragement for new projects and ideas, and supported my endless dreams. Even though I technically have had three moms in my life, I wouldn’t change that because I know my biological mom and my foster mom wanted the best for me and my sisters, just like my real mom, the one who raised me.

Adoption was never a secret in our family. I knew about it way before I could comprehend what the word meant. Since my mom loved my sisters and me like her own, I have decided that when I get married and start a family I want to adopt a child as well. I would also like for my future children to do the same. It is my goal for it to become a tradition in my family, because somewhere in the world someone needs a mom. Even if they aren’t related by blood, they can be related by love. Generous amounts of love.

~Stephanie Jackson

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