Believe it or not, I’ve actually been writing to you since before you were born. I used to write for an online women’s magazine called Chickspeak.com. It doesn’t exist anymore, but when it did, I wrote for the Love and Relationships section…until I discovered you, that is. Then I started a column called The Young and The Pregnant. It was actually a great way to document my pregnancy – I wrote about what I was thinking, what I was feeling, what I was going through. I still have all of them saved, and they’re really neat to read back over.
When I first started e-mailing J after we met, I told her about my column. She said she loved it. She told me about the things we had in common based on what I’d written about myself – we both love Ben and Jerry’s, we both use Jergens tanning lotion, we both love Jane Austen…the list went on.
But there was one column I’d written that particularly touched her. I read what she wrote to me about it over and over again, until I had it memorized:
“You mentioned needing a family who knew pain, so that they would understand the pain that you were about to experience. My heart literally jumped within me when I read those words. Infertility has brought us 5 years of pain, but our two failed adoptions have brought another pain, altogether. Could the pain that we have experienced over the past few months suddenly have purpose?”
The B’s told me their failed adoption stories when I met them. My heart hurt for them when I heard those stories. I had only heard failed adoption stories in fiction, mostly on television shows. I always thought they were a little overly dramatic, but I suddenly empathized. I was having a baby. I got to be pregnant. I got to feel you kick, I got to know what it was like to love someone more than life itself before you even met them, to know that a piece of me would always exist outside myself.
There are some people who dream of experiencing that kind of love, who dream of being mothers and fathers, who want a child to love or a family to build, and adoption is the only way. Getting their hopes so high, getting so close to their dreams of parenthood or an extended family, only to have them taken away…losing a child is losing a child, whether the connection is biological or not. And considering that I could never, ever imagine losing you, I’m amazed that The B’s survived that kind of pain and disappointment. I admire any adoptive family who has had to cope with a sadness like that. My heart goes out to them.
But J was right. The pain did serve a purpose. If that adoption hadn’t failed, The B’s wouldn’t have you and we wouldn’t have them. I imagine that it is that kind of hope that keeps potential adoptive families so strong – the faith that one day, their hurt and their sadness will pay off – that even though their road is a broken one, it will lead them somewhere better than they could have ever imagined. That’s how it happened for me. Being a pregnant teenager was tough. Giving you up was the hardest, most painful thing I’ve ever done. But I got you, and I got The B’s. And that’s a happy ending if I’ve ever heard one.
So in the long run, I suppose that both of our stories – The B’s and mine – are shining examples of what can happen when you keep the faith, when you never give up, when you believe that one day something good will come from something sad. In the long run, I hope that our stories remind you to be strong on the days that you feel like life is a little too tough. But in the short run, I just want you to know that you have healed so many broken hearts. My pain is gone. You brought me to the family that cured it.
So I just want to thank you, Little Man. You are certainly a special kind of miracle.