I guess I'll try to quickly explain what remains so confusing in my head and heart most days. I was in love with a handsome young man and we eventually got married. Somewhere between falling in love (or what we thought was love at that time) and getting married. we well ... we hopped into bed together. We were both young, successful, busy in our churches, dedicated to our families, and shocked. Why were we shocked? Because we had somehow managed to be intimate at just the right moment to create life. For weeks I was in denial and making up excuses for the obvious symptoms. I was as small as I had ever been. My husband and I worked together and the men we worked with even commented about how great I looked. I was 20, tall, thin, and yet I was terribly sick. I wen to the walk in clinic expecting to find out I had an ulcer. Not exactly...I happened to be three months pregnant.
It didn't take us long to decide that we couldn't provide the type of home our child deserved. We were Christians and abortion wasn't an option. He was the strong one who kept talking me out of my half-witted and emotional plans. At the time I was in outside sales and I came home with the half-witted idea that I could just keep our baby with me all day. I thought he/she could ride in the car seat and I'd just be really really fast when I went in and out of businesses. My future husband reminded me that not only was that illegal, but that wasn't what God wanted. So we prayed and argued, cried and prayed, cried and argued, and ultimately called a Christian adoption agency.
Tomorrow is our daughter's 15th birthday. So many things have changed. Her father and I are divorced, I have two children and a baby on the way, and most days the me I am today wouldn't even recognize the me I was 35 years ago (if that makes any sense?). I am happy that she is happy but as her little brother and sister grow, they want to know more about her. I often hear "why did you sell my sister?" "why can't she come live with us?" "do you think she's smart?"
I don't really know how to answer all of these questions. Adoption is a difficult concept for a 5 and 6 year old to understand. They know that mommy wanted the best for their sister and we all love her with our whole hearts. I've explained that we didn't "sell" her and that she has amazing parents who love and care for her. I've also had to explain that she will probably never call me "Mommy" even if we are able to meet her someday and when they ask about when she is coming to visit, I remind them that her mommy and daddy have the same responsibility I do - just like it's my job to keep Andre and Carmen safe and do what is best for them, her mommy and daddy make those decisions for her. All I know is that I've always been up front and honest about her. What I did NOT want was one of those Lifetime Movie moments when she rings the doorbell and no one knows who she is or that she exists.
With that, here is what I would say if she were sitting with me right now:
My greatest wish for you is that you know how deeply you are loved. The parents who raised you wanted you so badly and prayed so hard for you. We were the parents who created wanted you. We wanted you to have everything we could not give and we prayed that God to help us love you enough to put your needs before ours. As your mother held you in her arms, I held you up in prayer. If you think I signed those papers and put you out of my mind, you're wrong. You are part of me and not a moment has passed that I haven't loved and prayed for you. Seeing the pictures of your smiling face have been imprinted in my mind. Those pictures are ragged and tattered because they've been cherished for so many years. You may never feel my arms around you and you probably don't remember the soft kisses in the hospital, the songs I sang while I carried you, or the stories I told you to never forget...and you may not ever play catch with your little brothers or teach your little sister to dance. What I want you to know is that we love you with our whole hearts. We talk about how beautiful you are, we know in our hearts that you have a lovely singing voice, a kind heart, and that you are doing well in school. When I tucked your little brother and sister in bed tonight we prayed for you like we do every night but said a special prayer that you have the most amazing birthday tomorrow.
Someday you'll probably have lots of questions and to be honest, I don't have the answers. Could I have raised you and done a 'just fine' job? I'm sure I could have, but don't you deserve better than 'just fine'? Your little sister is nine years younger than you and I am a totally different person now than I was then ... I think the best answer for why? how come? why not? etc... is just this:
I love you with my whole heart and I trust God.
Is it really that simple? I think so ...
I'm crying tears of joy and sorrow as I write this. I am sorry for me ... because my arms long to hold you and my ears want badly to hear your voice while my fingers touch your hair. I am joyful for you, because you are no doubt happy, healthy, and making plans for a fabulous birthday. When you say your prayers tonight, if you feel an extra little squeeze, that was me because I love you so much that neither time or space or miles can separate us.
The womb who carried you and the voice who first sang you lullabies
And for you who may read this, thank you for not judging. Mothers love the best they can - and sometimes that means letting go physically, but I know that my heart could not possibly let go.
May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and a heart capable of breaking because it was first capable of loving.