Pride in Motherhood
Maya stood in the reception, rethinking her decision to adopt a child.
I can do it. I want to. I will do it.
She assured herself, took a deep breath, and followed the queue.
While waiting for her turn to come, Maya couldn’t help but revisit her childhood memories. Even today, she could vividly remember her Ma caressing her on chilly winter nights when she caught a cold as a little boy. She scolded her for playing around in the cold air.
Every day she used to come back from school and find Ma waiting for her outside their main door with an eager yet caring look on her face.
"Where were you, beta? Come in fast, the food’s getting cold'- was Ma’s patent line after seeing Mayank get down his bicycle. She would ask Maya about her day and then serve her her favorite masala curd and chapatis.
She missed her Ma.
But while thinking about these fond times, a lane of darker memories flashed before Maya, and she looked down on the floor, reconsidering her decision.
She was 22 when she came out as a girl to her parents and started transforming. Her parents were dumbfounded.
They could not accept her transformation and tried several therapies stealthily behind closed doors. She sighed as she recalled the day she found red chilies and dried herbs under her mattress. Her parents never accepted her gender and refused to treat her like Maya, a woman. It was getting messier as days passed. Maya’s parents fixed her marriage, Mayank’s marriage, with a woman without her consent.
"She is very pretty and smart beta, a fashion designer! I am sure you will not be able to resist yourself once you see her," her Ma said to her.
It was then that Maya decided to move out and leave her parents.
It was excruciating for Maya to let go of her parents, with whom she had always shared a special bond. But it was harder for her to accept her own identity under their roof. When she came out as Maya to everyone, she knew that there would be people who would never accept her. But, what if her own child never accepted her as her mother?
Whenever she thought of adoption, it haunted her. What if others bullied her daughter because she was different from other moms? Maya had always wanted to become a mother. She wanted to be a better Ma, someone who loved her daughter unconditionally. She wanted to give everything to her child. But she was aware of the challenges that her child might have to face because of her identity.
"Maya Thakur, please fill this form to affirm and you can then take a look around the kids here," the woman at the adoption center smiled at her.
Maya stepped forward and looked at the innocent faces of the kids around. A wide smile replaced the confused look on her face.
I can do it.
She took a deep breath and started filling the adoption form with newfound confidence.
Motherhood is a behavior. You don’t have to be a biological mother to mother a child.