67: Love that Spans the Ocean

67: Love that Spans the Ocean

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Amazing Mom

Love that Spans the Ocean

There is an endearing tenderness in the love of a mother to a son that transcends all other affections of the heart.

~Washington Irving

I stopped dead in my tracks in my small kitchen and looked up at my son. “What did you say?” I asked.

I listened as my twelve-year-old son repeated calmly, “You can take the mom from the kid, but you can’t take the kid from the mom.” He stirred his melting chocolate on top of the stove and smiled his toothy grin at me.

My young, budding chef clearly had no idea how profound the words were that had spilled from his mouth.

As a transcultural family, we strive to keep our son attached to his Filipino roots, both in tangible and intangible ways. Adopted at the age of five and a half from the Philippines, our son’s memory of his birth mother is limited. The one thing I want him to always, always hold onto is that she loved him.

One year on Mother’s Day, we launched a balloon in honor of his birth mother. At the age of ten, he understood that the balloon would not travel overseas, but this symbolic act of love to honor the woman who gave him life characterized the love that spans the ocean. His handwritten words across the Happy Mother’s Day balloon read: Thank you. I love you.

A mother’s love goes deep. Sometimes, the greatest sacrifice a mother can make is to know that she is unable to provide the life she desires for her child. She makes the heart-wrenching decision to release her child into the heart and home of another mother.

To me, that is a courageous act of love.

You can take the mother from the kid, but you can’t take the kid from the mother.

I will never meet this woman, this mother who birthed my child, but I know she loved him. She came to his orphanage to make sure he was safe and okay. She chose not to see him, the pain too deep, too real, too close, but she loved him and needed to know he would be taken care of.

Now, almost eight years later, this son of hers is thriving. And he knows he is loved, not just by one mother, but by two. Somewhere, miles across the ocean, he knows a woman dearly loves him and thinks about him.

Because you can’t take the kid from the mom . . . he lives on in her heart. And for that, as my son’s mother, I am forever grateful to the sacrifice of his precious birth mother, who has filled my heart with my dream to be a mother to a precious boy.

~Tammy Allison

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