Ode to Mothers—Both Birth and Adoptive

One of our favorite Broadway musicals is Wicked. You’re probably already thinking, What’s that got to do with international adoption? Well, nothing really, except that one of the songs from that musical reminds me of how both birth mothers and adoptive mothers contribute to molding our children. I was singing the song “For Good” to my son when he’d been home just a short time because the song is quiet and soothing. And as I listened to the words I was singing, and could see how each character’s words could represent one of my son’s mothers, I started to tear up. Now each time I sing the song, I think of our son’s birth mother and how much we share, although we’ve never met. I’ve posted the words below so you can see what I mean. And before anyone says, “Oh, so you’re equating birth mothers with the Wicked Witch of the West,” let me say that I’m not. In fact, if you’ve seen the musical you know that the whole message is that people aren’t always as they’re portrayed by others.

As I visualize this, it is each women singing to the child who calls them both mother. Elphaba’s part represents the birth mother and Glinda’s part represents the adoptive mom.

I’m limited:
Just look at me – I’m limited
And just look at you –
You can do all I couldn’t do, Glinda
So now it’s up to you
(spoken) For both of us
(sung) Now it’s up to you:

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you:

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend:

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you:

Because I knew you

I have been changed for good

And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the things I’ve done you blame me for

But then, I guess we know
There’s blame to share

And none of it seems to matter anymore

Like a comet; pulled Like a ship blown
From orbit as it; Off it’s mooring
Passes a sun, like; By a wind off the
A stream that meets; Sea, like a seed
A boulder, half-way; Dropped by a
Through the wood; Bird in the wood

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed for the better

And because I knew you
Because I knew you

Because I knew you
I have been changed for good.

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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

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Be Strong, Geum-Soon
Please Teach Me English
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2009 Lost Memories

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