We’re jumping those hurdles, leaping those fences and knocking over those walls, Lo. This weekend has been all about you. We’ve been cleaning our house, organizing every cabinet, buying up every smoke detector, locking up every medicine and putting it on a high shelf, scrubbing every wall and polishing every glass. The first visit for the homestudy is just a few days away, and we’re busy as ever.
My mom came and helped us pretty much all weekend, and we were so grateful to have her there. It’s a different situation, Little One, but I like it. I’m not pregnant. My Mom cannot help me pick out maternity clothes. She can’t help me register at a baby store. She can’t rub my belly and feel you kick. But she can come over and help us get ready for the social worker. She can calm my nerves when I’m on the brink. She can hold my hand and tell me that everything is going to be okay. She can look me right in the eyes and say, in a way only a mother can, “You can do this. I believe in you.” And that is worth more than any experience I’d ever have if I were pregnant with you physically.
Something hit me last night, after we’d been cleaning for three days straight and I was exhausted. That’s when strong feelings always seem to come on, at least for me- when I’m too exhausted to fight them and move on. I had my closet open and was looking for pajamas to change into, when I looked up at my closet door and staring back at me was a picture of me and my sister. It was taken at her wedding, almost five years ago. I’d stuck it on the closet door just hours before when I had found it cleaning, a safe place to keep it until I buy a new frame. But when I looked up it was just there, right in my face, and it brought on a flood of emotions.I thought nearly unconsciously: My sister is the spitting image of my mother. I am the spitting image of my father. And I realized while staring at this tiny moment captured in time, our hands clasped together as we were dancing, my sister in her beautiful white gown and both of us with big gleaming smiles- you won’t have that.
You won’t be the spitting image of me or your Dad. You just won’t. In the off chance you look even remotely like us, it won’t be like that picture of my sister and I. Her eyes and smile are like my mothers features frozen in time. My face shape and sunken eyes, the nose genetics gave me that I’m always told looks like my great Grandmothers, I am my father if he were female and thirty some years younger. But you won’t be able to look at us and say, “Yep, I got Moms nose, just like my great-great Grandmas. And I have Dads voice- which is just like his Dad’s, and my Uncle’s. You can’t even tell us all apart on the phone.”
But as quickly as the thought crossed my mind, so did the resolution. You won’t have that, and that is okay. You are not the result of your genetics, you will be the result of our hard work, our love, our determination, our inner desire to nurture and love and care for another human being and to put that human being above ourselves. You’ll be in a class all your own: you weren’t created by us to let our genetics live on (honestly my tiny nose is nothing to be that proud of, and your fathers voice, while amazing to me, is not the only great voice out there),instead, you were chosen.
People often wonder what their future children will look like, and they can gather up a pretty good guesstimation. Glossy expectant parents coo over these features: Well I’m sure he’ll have my eyes, everyone in my family has my eyes. I’m sure she’ll have your cheekbones, they are so prominent. For us, we honestly have no idea what you’re going to look like, and Little One, that is so exciting. We walk through the mall and look at every child and wonder if you’ll look like them. Every baby is an opportunity, someone you might share features with.
In a way I think this has made us better people. We’re not as quick to judge others, we look at every person as if they could be our family members, that one day our son or daughter could grow up to look just like them. Part of me thinks that if everyone had this mentality the world would be a much more peaceful and happy place to reside.
And honestly Little One, I will teach you this over and over, time and time again: looks are not important Your personality says far more about you than your body ever will. As long as you’re healthy, your body is just a vessel for who you really are on the inside. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different.
I can tell you now: no matter what you look like, whether you resemble us a little, a lot, or simply not at all: we’ll think you are the most gorgeous person on planet earth.
Putting my tiny nose to the grindstone to get to you,