You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find- you get what you need.

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                                                Reflection is a beautiful thing.

Little one, I’m going to admit something that I’m sure you’ll hold against me in the future. Your Mom is kind of a brat. 

Yep. That’s right. I said it. I am kind of a brat. 

In talking to your Dad tonight, I came to a realization… I like to get what I want- and so far, I’ve been pretty good at it getting what I want. 

When I see a job I’m really interested in, I apply. If I get to the next step, I usually get the job (unless it’s President of the United States..haven’t quite landed that one yet). I study the company, look for things they value in the employees. I research and research until I feel I have it down. I practice my interview skills in front of a mirror, the dogs, Rick- anything and anyone I can. I go shopping for a new suit that screams whatever I need it to scream, “rockstar professional” or “laid back creative type that will still show up on time”. I show up early for the interview, crisp copies of my resume on expensive resume paper in an envelope with the company’s logo sealing the outside. I shake the hand firmly of the person interviewing me, I look them directly in the eye and appear extremely interested in the position even if what is running through my head is actually my grocery list or my ongoing mental checklist of all the movies I’ve ever seen (I do this when I get nervous sometimes…it’s less noticeable than sweaty palms in situations such as these). I smile, I nod. I ask questions when it’s my turn in order to prove I was paying attention and I have ambition. I ask about follow up communication. I leave, and usually within a few days time I get a call with an exciting HR person on the other end offering me the position using pithy HR talk like “bring you onboard” and “can’t wait to have you on the team” like the real position is playing shortstop on a Navy ship. 

But of course, that is not always the drill- there have been foibles (like the time I accidentally sat and waited in the wrong building for over an hour and missed my interview when I was fresh out of college), and sometimes when I really really wanted a job, I missed the opportunity. But it was always for good reason…sometimes, a short time later I would get a better job that suited me more than I could have ever dreamed.

 But generally speaking I try hard, work hard, earn hard.

When I was dating, I would go on one date with a guy and know whether or not I wanted to continue within the first hour. I would put on my best dress and spend hours battling my overly thick frizzy hair against Maryland humidity using a straightener or curling iron as my weapon of choice. I’d make sure I asked questions about them and focus on their wants in a relationship while keeping it light. If I wanted the guy, in most cases it worked out (for a while, at least…until I met your Dad and learned what knee-shaking, soul awakening love is really like). 

But I’m frustrated because I can’t do this to get what I want in this situation- which is you. I am trying my hardest. Every single day, twelve months into this process, I am researching situations, agencies, lawyers, consultants. I am calling them and giving them my best interview voice. I am constantly re doing our profile, thoughts running through my head that  maybe it was too serious, maybe it was too humorous, maybe I focused too much on family, maybe I didn’t focus on family enough. 

I can’t know within an hour if a situation is right. I can’t know if I can just get in for an interview, I’ll land it. It just doesn’t work like that.

There is no control, and for a control freak such as myself, it’s arduous. 

I can look at this two ways: 

1. This sucks. I have no control. I want control. Why can’t I just have control? I’m going to get depressed and drown my feelings of self doubt and lack of control over life in mindless TV and junk food. I’m going to sit back and wait for the right situation to come to me. I hate rejection, and every time we see the numbers creeping slowly up on our profile views and each time we submit for a situation where a family gets chosen or we talk to an expecting Mom who suddenly disappears is another painful experience, a reminder of the rejection that stings so badly. Every day is harder and harder. 

2. This is a new adventure. How beautiful is it to have things in life that can still surprise us? How many of us are lucky enough to have the chance to have something new to look forward to every single day. In a world controlled by planners and iPad calendar apps and dinging phone reminders- we are in a situation right now where all of that doesn’t matter, because life is in fates beautiful hands and all knowing timing. I am going to work hard, never give up, keep on going. I am going to look at this from every angle and figure out a way I can network more, work harder, work smarter. I am going to be a mother, come hell or high water. I am going to make sure the baby or babies that were meant to find us do. Each time we feel rejection will be motivation to keep going. Each time we talk to someone that doesn’t return our communication was for a reason- maybe we helped that woman with her decision in some way shape or form. Time isn’t being wasted because we’re working towards a goal, and that time would have passed regardless of our efforts. We’re planting the seeds that will bring in the flowers down the road. We don’t know the whens wheres and whats, but that is what makes this journey so unique and beautiful and amazing. 

 

 

Guess which way I’m going to look at it? 

 

Answer key: If you guessed 2, you’d be right. 

 

Positive thinking always, Lo. It makes a world of difference. And you can’t always get what you want. I didn’t always get the job or the guy I wanted in the moment… But you know what? If you just keep working, keep trying, keep staying positive- you just might find you get what you need. And maybe what you needed was something you never even saw in that moment… a different job you didn’t know about yet, or the person that you’re meant to be soulmates with and marry. Life can be funny that way. 

 

I know that we need you and you need us. And we’re going to keep on trying until we get what we all need. 

 

And remember: as your Mom- I want you to always choose the second option in life. Positive thinking leads to positive results. Always keep your beautiful head up sweet baby. 

 

With love and determination forever,

Mom 

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Confusion never stops, closing walls and ticking clocks. Gonna come back and take you home, I could not stop that you now know. Come out upon my seas, cursed missed opportunities….Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?

Little one, it’s been too long. I’m sorry about being MIA. I have not been MIA from this journey, just from writing to you. In fact, this journey taking so many twists and turns is the reason I haven’t been writing to you.

Let me try to explain. 

Today marks one year since we’ve been on this journey. One year since that car ride with my mother, where I learned about the situation in New Jersey. One year since I frantically busted through the door when I got home, eager to tell your Dad about our new life plans. That night your Dad and I made the decision to adopt while our friends were waiting outside our house in their car for us to go bowling on a freezing January Friday night. One year since we couldn’t stop smiling while continually bowling gutter balls because our mind was on you- and our friends asked us what was up with our game. 

One year since our lives changed forever.

But I’m not the same person, at all.

I’m not the same person I was one year and one day ago, either. That version of me was sad. Sullen. Heartbroken. Lost. Hurt. Confused. That person was overtaken by the grief of infertility with seemingly no way out. That person was bitter. She loathed going to happy bubbly baby showers. She would dig her heels in when going to family gatherings with children. Her heart sunk when she walked past a baby aisle in a store. 

I’m definitely not her anymore. 

But I’m also not who I was this time last year. I cannot be, because I’ve been through too much. I’ve seen too much, felt too much, talked to too many people and learned too much. I am not that hopeful person that looks at each new day as an exciting opportunity. I’m not that nervous girl frantically cleaning every crevice of her kitchen counter before her first homestudy visit. I’m not that woman who wished on stars and imagined that they could actually come true. 

 

I’m now the woman who has had five fall throughs in one year. I’m the person with all the failed matches. I’m the one who has spent countless nights this past year lying awake, wondering what went wrong. I’m no longer bitter about baby showers- I’m bitter about other peoples fast matches. I’m hurt, and a little broken. I’ve seen the dark, painful underbelly of adoption. 

 

One year to date and still, I’m the childless mother. I’m the one who has had so many women tell me I’m the one- only for them to drop off the face of the planet, or send an email mere hours later telling me they’ve gone a different way. I’m the one on the other end of the phone while a mother in crisis screams at me because I legally cannot pay her living expenses, and then threatens me with physical harm. I’m the one answering heavy breathing phone calls from sex offenders calling our adoption phone line in the middle of the night. I’m the one losing faith in humanity, in how much strength I once had, in myself. 

 

And yet sweet baby, I’m still your Mom.

 

I’m still the woman who has hope. 

A glimmer of unwavering faith.

Endless love and determination for you. 

 

I’m not going to say this past year has been easy. It just plain hasn’t. There have been endless sobbing tears into a soaked pillow at three in the morning. Sleepless nights, lying awake wondering and hoping and wishing and praying for an answer, if you added them up I’m sure it would be a full two months of those nights.

And it’s difficult, because with each fall through and scam we’ve experienced, a part of it feels like a miscarriage. Only it’s not at all. Those babies are in homes, they are loved. But they have no idea about me- about the other way their life could have gone. They have no idea that before they were born, at one point in their lives they had a stranger who loved them. A mother who knew nothing of the features of their face, but held them in her heart and loved and cared about them mercilessly. 

And it’s difficult to mourn these children who will still go on to have what I’m sure will be beautiful lives. In doing so, my grief is selfish- I’m only sad for myself. That isn’t fair to them.

Adoption is not for the faint of heart, and I knew that going into this- but I also had no idea the year that would lie ahead. Despite this, it has been one of the best years of my life- because it’s leading me to you. 

I think it’s been so hard to write to you because unbeknownst to you, the idea of you just keeps changing. Throughout this year we’ve had so many names for you, so many names for your first mother. It feels endless. I feel like I’m failing you by not getting to the finish line. 

 

It takes a lot of strength for me to come back to the place where I need to be. I know that those babies weren’t you. Those babies aren’t our babies. Those little faces I’ve loved so much that I’ll never see- they aren’t the faces we were meant to love forever. 

And I can tell you this, sweet baby- it will be worth every. single. second. Every molecule of every single tear that has streaked my face for the past three hundred and sixty five days are worth all that you are and all that you’ll be. You are so worth every heartache, every wrong turn, every misstep. You are worth a million days of walking through the desert without a drop of water. And sometimes, that is what this journey feels like. 

I have to keep reminding myself that one day- it won’t feel like that anymore. 

One sweet, beautiful, incredible day- you will be placed in my arms. I will physically hold you. I will see your tiny nose and your soul through your eyes. I will rock you,sweep the whisps of hair from your forehead and cry a thousand tears of a joy so deep and meaningful- and you will forever be a part of who I am in a way that I can’t even picture yet because it seems so far away. But I know one day, it won’t be far away. One day, it will be THE day. 

And I’m not letting my heartache be the roadblock to that amazing day. 

I wish I could adequately put into words how much I love you, how much you mean to me. I wish I could explain the feeling in my heart when I think about being your mother- and the soul crushing fear that overcomes me when I fear that it will never happen. But I don’t think there are enough words in the English dictionary to cover those emotions. They are far too deep. Just know this sweet little one- I am never, ever giving up. 

I am blessed by this journey. Though the road has been broken, it is the right road for us. It is the road we will keep traveling down until we reach you. No matter the pitfalls, the detours or the wrecks along the way- we won’t stop until we reach you. But for that, I am thankful. I am grateful that I will never for one millisecond take for granted the gift it is to be your mother. I will study your amazing personality, I will stand in awe of your existence. Because I have seen what it takes to get a miracle, and the hard work that goes in behind the scenes. I will be a better mother because of everything we’ve been through. 

And it hasn’t been all bad, either. This year has brought me some amazing gifts in the form of women I’ve talked to who are going to make (or already are) great mothers who’ve decided to parent. I’ve bet first mothers who have placed, who I’ve connected with in the kind of grief only those in the adoption triad understand. I’m leaving this year with great friends by my side walking the same path as me- some who already have adopted their little ones, others who are in the trenches like us. 

I’m definitely coming out of this year with lessons learned, friends made and support. 

 

And sweet baby- let me just say this- your Dad is so very amazing. We have been in this together, every single step of the way. He is taking each and every painful experience to heart just as much as I am- only he’s also being the one to hold me and tell me it’s going to be okay. He’s the rock that keeps me grounded when I feel like it’s never going to happen. He is the cheerleader by my side, whispering to never give up. He’s downright amazing, and he’s going to be an amazing Dad to you. 

 

No matter how hard this road gets, we’re not giving up. We’ve made it through the first year alive, and nothing can stop us now. 

 

I keep listening to this song by Jason Mraz every time I feel down: 

And just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?
I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up

We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up, still looking up.

I won’t give up on us (no I’m not giving up)
God knows I’m tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We’ve got a lot to learn (we’re alive, we are loved)
God knows we’re worth it (and we’re worth it)

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up

 

I can’t wait to sing you to sleep with that song. 

 

After a year on this road, I’m not giving up. God knows I’m tough enough.  

 

And God certainly knows your worth it. 

 

Not giving up, even for a second

With unwavering love forever and ever, and still looking up- 

Love,

Mom