Though the wait is long, my dream of you does not end.

Little One, this blank page is haunting me. I’ve been trying to write to you for weeks, and the words just aren’t coming. I’m not really sure why, but I think I have an idea.

 

It might sound insane, but a fraction of me feels like with every passing week that goes by that you’re not here, I’m failing you. I’m doing something wrong. I’m not doing enough, I’m doing too much, I’m looking but not finding. Every day that goes without you here, I feel like I’m not living up to my full mother potential.

 

I know that sounds insane. I know, logically, that I cannot control a lot of the aspects of this journey. But for some reason, I can’t help feeling like a failure when people ask if we’ve adopted yet, and I tell them no. Or when I open up the door to your nursery, and I can almost physically feel the emptiness of the room hanging in the air. Or when anniversaries pass– which seem to be happening more and more often. We thought we’d have you in June, but no. Then we thought you’d come into our lives in October, and we would get to buy your first Halloween outfit. But no. Then we thought, okay- by Thanksgiving- this match should come through.

But no.

 

Week after week after week.

Holiday after holiday.

Ridiculous date after ridiculous date.

 

And the craziest part about all of this is that we’re making up these insane deadlines in our head. Yes, we’ve talked to potential matches in every one of those scenarios that haven’t worked out for one reason or another (fall throughs, scams, lost contacts). But it’s not the other person that is putting these ideas of a timeline in our head- it’s us. We’re the ones who are putting this pressure on ourselves.

And it has to stop.

 

You’re going to come into our lives when you do. If a situation doesn’t work out, then it just wasn’t the one that was meant to be. Then it wasn’t you. It’s so hard to remember that, but we have to in order to keep a level head. When I think of these dissapointments, I try to remember the red thread.

I’ve talked about the red thread in here before: but basically it is the idea that an invisible red thread connects us all in the adoption tried- us, you, and your biological family. We’re all connected by this invisible thread, and it will come together when it’s meant to be, because that thread is unbreakable.

And yes, I obviously wish I had a blacklight that would light up this invisible thread and we could follow it to you. But it doesn’t work like that. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, and though the wait is hard I’m not giving up that idea. When we have hurt, setbacks, pain and heartache- they are all for a greater good. We might not be able to see that good in the present, but in the future we can look back and realize how much we learned and grew in this time.

 

Just the other day I heard a song on the radio that took me back to my college days. More specifically, this was a song I listened to on repeat after a particularly bad breakup. And it made me think (the way music often does), that if time wasn’t so linear I wish I could jump back to that time, to face that young college kid and explain to her that her tears are for nothing- because in just a few short months, she would meet the man she’s going to marry- her true soulmate. That very quickly in the scheme of things, she’d be married and own a house with this wonderful man. That her life is going to be more amazing than she could ever imagine. That she is crying tears over something she doesn’t even understand yet- because when she meets this man she’ll finally understand what head over heels, earth shattering, life changing love feels like. That she’ll be happy, very soon- for a long time.

And it made me wonder- in years down the road, will I want to travel back to this time to tell the present me that I’m worrying for nothing? To not waste the tears? That this is going to happen, soon, and that this whole waiting process will feel like a blink of an eye?

 

I sure hope so, LO. And that is one reason why I want to push myself to continue writing to you, no matter how hard it might be for me. I want you to be able to read these words and have your history with us, even before it begins.

 

Because though you’re not here yet, you are here in so many ways.

 

And this way, you’ll be able to look back and read and understand just how much we loved you before you ever came to be in our lives.

 

Though the wait is long, my dream of you does not end.

 

And it never will.

 

 

With love and hope,

Love,

Mom

For the Fall of the year is more than three months bounded by an equinox and a solstice. It is a summing up without the finality of year’s end.

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Little One, people like to make comparisons. It’s the best way to help view this world we live in, and I above all am guilty of doing so (as you know from reading this so far). 

But there is one comparison that is continually being thrown in my face that I’m not incredibly fond of these days. It’s ironic, because I have even made this comparison in the past. But now, getting further down the road, I realize it’s not an equal or proper comparison at all. It’s apples to oranges, really.

“The wait is your labor. This time spent is your pregnancy.” 

 

I used to think it was true. But now, nine months in to this journey. I am still without you. I continually sit and wait.

And Lo, it’s not like pregnancy at all. 

 

If I were pregnant with you, I’d be able to feel you. With a slight movement of your tiny foot or hand, I would feel it in my bones that you rested safe within me. Every twinge would be a perfect little sign from your soul to mine that your physical body is okay, that I am doing what is right as your mother. 

There would be finality to this part of our relationship. I would be able to count down the weeks until we meet: a date would grace my calendar for a reunion: the only type of reunion you can have to someone that you’ve already known so very intimately for nine months prior. 

 

People would know by looking at me. They would see my watermelon swollen stomach and smile with that knowing smile. They would ask questions, wonder about genders and want to feel that special kick- just because, though they are strangers, they also like that feeling of physical closeness. 

I don’t have that. 

 

It’s not your fault, and it’s not really anything to be faulted anyway. It’s just not a comparison that makes sense. 

 

I have no idea when you’ll be here, and that reality is hitting me now more than ever. There is no date of finality gracing my calendar. There is no such thing as counting down the days until we meet. 

The worst part however, is that there are no tiny kicks to let me know you’re there. And I feel my faith slipping lately, as hard as I try to not let it. With every week that goes by without any progress, I feel that ache of not knowing if you’re out there or not- of not having you safely in my arms or my body. I am jealous that other women get this luxury, to know exactly where their children are from the moment they came into the world. 

There are so many positives to adoption, sweet baby. I don’t want you to ever think that these negatives make you not worth it. You are worth it, one hundred percent. 

 

I know I am being selfish for wanting these things that I cannot have. But it’s not about the big belly, it’s not about missing the feeling of you growing inside of me- it’s a motherly instinct to want you here, now. It’s the pain of not knowing how or when that will happen. It’s a primal need to know where you are and that you are safe and coming home to me soon. 

And I don’t have it. I never will, not until you are tucked safely into my arms with papers signed that legally make it the truth. 

 

As much as I wish it didn’t, it bothers me. I wish I had finality. I wish I had a date, time and place for your arrival. 

But more than anything, I wish I knew you were okay, and that I’m doing the right thing. 

 

Should I be posting places I’m not posting? Should I be driving cross country putting up flyers? Should I be signed up with agencies? Am I missing the opportunity to meet your first family with every misstep, every place I don’t make a move? I wish I could know in my heart I’m doing this right. 

 

But it’s our first time in this journey, and I know I’m a novice. But I don’t want to mess this up. I want to do everything right by you. I want to be the best mother I can be, from the very start.

 

And when I feel myself slipping and feel my faith dissipating, writing to you here helps. Sitting in your nursery helps. 

 

And when I get upset about the lack of certainty in this journey, I remember what it feels like to write to you and to sit in your nursery. I think back to the past nine months, and I realize again how far we’ve come. It may seem like we’re running in place, but really we’re running a marathon. I can only hope that we’re nearing the finish line soon. 

 

Until the date is on the calendar, I’ll be searching for you Lo. 

 

With faith and love forever, 

 

Love,

Mom 

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.

Sunflower fields forever

Little One, when I was little I had trouble sleeping. I attribute it to having multiple surgeries at a very young age- I would go in to the hospital, and wake up unable to move. I was terrified to go to sleep for fear that I’d wake up in the hospital. So when my Mom worked nights as a nurse, my Dad struggled to get me to drift off to sleep. He’d kneel down next to my bed, stroke my hair and try to get me to relax. One of our nightly rituals was him talking me to sleep, and often times he used (what I didn’t know at the time what it was, but with adult eyes I now know) meditation.

He would push my hair out of my face, and whisper to me, “Imagine you’re in a sunflower field. All the bright sunny flowers are everywhere – as far as the eye can see. The breeze gently sweeps through the field and the sunflowers wiggle, and the wind blows your hair. The sky is big and blue, the clouds are fluffy enough to sleep on.”  It would go on for hours and hours. Eventually, my mind would be fully immersed in that sunflower field, and I would feel relaxed enough to give in to sleep.

I cherish that memory, Lo.

This week was a rough one, sweet baby.

 

We thought we were so much closer. We had a lead. We met her in person. It all seemed so perfect..until her name glared on one of the scam boards.

An emotional scammer- not looking for money, just craving attention- had us sucked in and made us more hopeful than we’d been in a long time. We were all excited at the possibility of having you here by October, the due date she gave us. She sent us sonogram pictures. She told us we were chosen. And then it all came crashing down.

And I feel like ever since that fateful email that it was all a sham- that all our dreams were false- I feel a bit numb. I feel like I can’t even cry. I feel like it’s going to take a lot for me to trust that this will work, to trust another contact or lead. We’ve had our hearts broken twice now, once with a fall through and once with a scam. The scam hurt far, far worse. The fall through was meant to be, it was fate. The scam was all smoke and mirrors (we don’t even believe she was actually pregnant) and for no purpose other than someone elses selfishness. How could anyone do that? How could someone be so mean and hurtful? And she was not only scamming us, but at least six other hopefuly adoptive couples. Why would someone do that?

Because they are hurting, too. Badly.

It’s sad, and I feel terribly bad for this person. She needs help that we cannot provide for her. She needs to find peace.

And it hurt. A lot. Depths of your soul, how am I going to make it through this alive kind of pain. But for you sweet baby, for you I refuse to let it overcome us. I’m a fighter when it comes to you. I won’t give up. Not now, not ever.

Your Dad and I went to a local sunflower field on Saturday. After this week of the highest of ups and the lowest of downs, we needed to step off the rollercoaster and plant our feet somewhere familiar. To us, the most familiar place is nature. 

Driving up the road, out of nowhere we saw it, a gold mine- a sea of yellow beauty. The kind of beauty that only comes from nature, or God, or whatever diety you believe in. It’s not beauty from a photoshopped magazine. It’s beauty one rarely sees with their naked eye.

It gave me hope, that beauty still exists in this world. That faith, hope, and love are alive and well and on their way back into our lives.

And as I trunched through the waist high field of sunflowers, nothing but yellow petals for what felt like miles, I finally felt free.

 

We’re going to focus on the positive. It would be easy to throw our hands up and say, “Well, this is too hard. We’re not good enough for this. It’s just not meant to be. We’ve just been hurt too much already.” But kid, I’m not, nor have I ever been, a fan of easy. Life is hard. Adoption is hard. But the outcome…my God, baby, the outcome is going to be worth every single heartache we’ve ever had. I will not give up on you. Not now, not ever.

I will not give up on everyone else either. Your first Mom is out there. I cannot be doubtful when she comes into our lives. I cannot second guess giving her my love, just because one other sick person misused it. I refuse to let that person win. I will let your first Mom win though. I will love her with everything I am,  for your benefit and your sake. And I will not lose my faith in humanity or the good in people.

Sometimes, sweet baby, people hurt. They don’t know why all the time, but they will try to take it out on you. First of all, you’re better than that. Don’t let it get to you. Secondly, know that it’s not personal. It’s not about you or what you stand for- it’s about their pain and suffering. People that hurt other people are in a bad place, and they need understanding and love more than anyone else in this world. That doesn’t mean that responsibility rests on your shoulders- a lot of times it is outside the realm of what you can give. So my only advice when encountering someone that is in so much pain that they use it against you for no reason is this: respect yourself enough to give them space, and respect them enough to know it’s not about you.

So that is what we’re doing, Lo. We’re letting go of the hard feelings, and looking to the sunshine, just like the sunflowers taught us to.

 

I’m no longer afraid of sleep. My parents helped me get over the fear. And though this experience has been a life lesson, we won’t let it get us down. We won’t be afraid of this proccess- because in the end it means having you here in our lives forever. And that is all that matters.

 

The good thing about faith, Little One, is that the sun always rises tomorrow. It hasn’t let us down yet.

 

With my petals outstretched to the sun, ignoring the shadows but looking for you,

 

Love always,

Mom

 

So I’ll be bold as well as strong, and use my head alongside my heart, and I will wait, I will wait for you…

 

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Lo, sometimes I just sit in your room and wait.

Maybe in my mind, if I am sitting in a room that is complete, it will happen faster. I know the reality of that is wrong, but I cannot help but feel that if I physically sit there it will tell the universe somehow, “Ok, now she is really ready. Look – she’s even sitting in a completed nursery. She’s a real live Mom now. She deserves this now. It’s her time now. It’s go time.”

Maybe I sit and imagine what it would be like. I let my mind wonder, finally, after having it trapped in a cage of doubt and misgivings – I let it roam free for just a moment. I imagine what it would be like, to hold you in my arms, to feel your little tiny chest heave with every breath, each breath out of your lungs the biggest gift I could ever ask for in this universe. Each tiny movement a signal from the world that it was worth all those nights in the empty room, waiting.

Maybe it is the newness of the room. The smell of the paint and fresh carpet that reminds me of a brand new house, a brand new start, a brand new chapter. The furniture fresh from its boxes assembled and everything lined up perfectly, all brand new. The crib that has never been slept in, the changing table that has never seen a baby bottom, the stuffed animals that are brand new. They are aching to be used, aching to have child spit worn into their fibers and wear and tear marring their perfectness.

Maybe I use that empty room as my sanctuary. Perhaps it is the one place in this world I can sit and feel at peace, because it is a physical reminder that one day you’ll be here, come hell or high water. It’s like a security blanket for my racing mind – a place I can finally feel happy and at peace. The bright walls splashed with yellow the color of a cartoon sun, the rocking chair waiting patiently to hold a new mother rocking and cooing her infant to sleep under the fake tree on the wall gives me a sense of comfort and peace I haven’t had in a long time.

Maybe it’s all of the above.

I feel like if I sit in there, even if only for a few moments a day, I suddenly feel centered.

I feel closer to you, in some way that seems to be slowly slipping away from me lately.

I’m trying so very hard to remain positive, to be the glue that holds this together. But lately, I’m finding myself slipping – wondering if this is real, if it’s going to ever happen. Then I pull myself together, take a deep breath and remember that my job as your Mother right now is to soldier on and find you, even in the darkest of nights.

Today is your Dads birthday. I wish I could get him what he really wants, the title of Dad.

But I know its coming, slowly but surely.

 

And until then, I’ll be waiting for you.

You can find me here.

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Meet you under the owl tree soon, little one.

 

Love Always,

Mom

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans…

Little one, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve last written. I am so, so sorry. Mommy and Daddy have been extremely busy. Since we got our homestudy approved, it has been as if life is stuck on the fast forward button, and we can’t seem to be able to hit pause.

The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of setting up online profiles, creating and posting more fliers, and advertisements and handing out our pass along cards and getting your nursery in order. And we’ve only been active on the profile sites for less than a week, but I can already feel the panic start to set in.

What if we don’t get the call?

What if no one likes us?

What if we never get you?

I naively thought that once we had the homestudy approved, the weight would be lifted. But it’s not true. Some days I feel so hopeful that it feels like my heart might burst into a thousand pieces like confetti inside of a popped balloon.

Other days it feels like I’m staring down a dark hallway, and I can’t see where I’m going and I can’t see the light at the end. I don’t know if this hallway is ten feet long or ten miles long, and I can’t just give up and sit and wait. I have to keep moving, grasping for a solid ground, soldiering on even though I can’t see the end of this journey. Even though I’m walking slow to avoid danger. Even though I have your Dad holding my hand, walking with me. Even if I have a whole arsenal of people walking behind us, pushing us ever so lightly and supporting us the entire walk, not caring if they have to stand in this hallway with us forever.

And I feel like I’ve already walked so far. I feel like we’ve been walking for months, though really it’s only technically been a few weeks. But no matter how tired I get, no matter how much it hurts or how frustrated I get, I’m always going to keep walking. Even on days when I feel like I can’t walk any further, I will take a few steps. I will do anything to get to you.

I will be patient.

I will be persistent.

I will never, ever give up on you.

I will wait for you.

With a heart full of courage and hope, I will walk this long hallway for as long as it takes. Even if it takes years.

Not seeing how long the hallway is or if it ever ends but walking anyway is called faith, Lo. And your Dad and I will never, ever lose faith.

Lately, I’ve been staying up late into the night brainstorming ways to find your first Mom and you. What am I missing? There has to be some other ways to get the word out that I’m not thinking about. I wish I could just stand on the top of the highest point in the world and scream loud enough for the world to hear me that we want to adopt, that we would make great, loving parents, that we would welcome your first family with open arms and we’re committed to open adoption. I want to scream that we’re looking for our missing baby.

Because that is how it feels, Lo. It doesn’t feel like I’m trying to find a stranger to adopt. It feels like I know you already, like your little soul is already a part of me and your Dad. I have no idea what your face looks like, what color your skin is or how your personality will be.

And yet, I know you. I can feel you. You’re in my heart.

I can’t give you life. That is not my part in this journey. That is your first parents part. But I can find you, I can love you forever and be your forever Mom. I don’t diminish either parts, sweet baby. Without your first parents, we won’t be parents. Without us, your first parents wouldn’t have the opportunites they need to get ahead. We work together in this.

We need them, and they need us. And you need all of us.

But another big part of my role is to find you and first Mom. And I am trying everything.

You’re out there baby. I don’t know where yet, but I am going to find out. This is the biggest journey of all of our lives, but we’ll come out with something so beautiful once we get to the other side.

 

Looking and searching, searching and looking,

Love always,

Mom

 

One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you cannot utter.

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Little one, I apologize for not writing more. It’s not because I don’t care, not at all. We’ve been extremely busy getting everything ready since having the home study back, so that we can get our online profile up and ready.

And in doing so, I’ve hit a road block. I’ve got writers block like you wouldn’t believe when it comes to one thing.

 

The “Dear Birthmother” letter.

 

It’s driving me crazy. What could I possibly say to an expectant Mom trying to make the toughest decision of her life? How could I convey how much we want to be parents, or how great we’d be at being the family for the tiny baby growing inside of her body? Knowing the decision she has to make, I’m at a loss for words.

I’ve tried different things to get over this writers block of mine. I’ve tried putting myself in the shoes of an expectant Mom making an adoption plan. I think about what I’d like to see in the family that is going to be, in a weird way, so much a part of me and yet so much not. I’ve done research on the subject, read countless other Dear Birthmother letters, and still I’m stuck.

 

I want to stand out, but I want to be us. I want to be honest, and I dont’ want sound desperate, but I still want to convey who we are and how much we want to be parents. I want to put her at ease knowing the kind of parents we’d be, but I also know that if I were in that boat, it would take an army of people to attempt to put my mind at ease. It’s the hardest and one of the most important decisions she will ever make, and I want to be there for her. I want her to know that we’re good people, that when we say open adoption we mean open adoption if that is what she wants, and that we won’t just go running to the hills once the paperwork is signed sealed and delivered.

I want her to know so many things about us, and I want to know so many things about her. Her, this woman who will be giving us the best gift in the entire world. This woman who will change our lives forever in her decision. This woman who will place her child in our arms, and have more trust with us than most people trust those they’ve known forever.

 

It’s a lot of pressure to write to this amazing woman.

But I have to do it. I have to try to muster up my own courage and write to her, and write to her in the way that she needs to hear. I have to show her in just a few paragraphs that we’re the ones for her, that this will work, that she can trust us. It’s hard.

 

It’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever written.

 

But for you, Lo, it will all be worth it. Every single syllable.

 

In other news, my birthday was Tuesday. It was the perfect day. I was off of work, your Dad surprised me with a full body massage at a local spa, and then lunch out with him, your Grandma and Aunt Kelly. Then I got my hair cut and colored. It was a pretty perfect day. And when I blew out those candles, I only made one wish, for you.

Today your Dad and I worked on painting your nursery today as the storms rolled through outside. We’re almost done, and I can’t wait to have your room completely ready for you. I just hope I don’t have to stare at it empty for long.

Last week I had to go to the eastern shore of Maryland for work, and your Dad got to come with me since he had leftover vacation time. We took a stroll in the local state park by the water after work one day, and noticed a giant, gorgeous cloud on the horizon. It was big and fluffly, and was mirrored in the sparkly water beneath. We both looked at each other at the same time and said, “…Does that look like a crawling baby to you?” As we walked, the cloud followed everywhere we went. At one point, the trail came to a clearing and growing there with nothing around it was a single dandelion, ready for a wish to be blown upon its tiny whispy seeds.

We plucked it, took a picture (the one above) then made a wish together.

 

You’ve gotten a lot of wishes this week, sweet baby. Hope they come true soon.

 

In the meantime, I’m going to go write my letter to put on our profile. We’re going to do our part, hopefully the universe, fate, timing and faith will do the rest.

 

Waiting for the rest,

Love,

Mom

To succeed you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.

Little One, last night we succeeded!

This was in our email:

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It was literally the best email of our entire lives.

 

Needless to say, your Dad and I were over the moon….

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All the papers, the interviews, the worry- all worth every single millisecond.

 

Now sweet baby, the rest of this journey is in our hands. We need to find your bio Mama and Dad, and then we’ll be on a roll. I hope it doesn’t take too long, because I just cannot wait to be your Mom.

For the first time in my entire life, I feel like a real Mom.

It’s no longer a matter of If, sweet baby, but when.

But we’ll succeed- because we have you to hold on to, you to motivate us, you to inspire us.

 

It’s just a matter of when.

 

 

Waiting for the when with bells on,

Love like crazy,

Mom

The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.

Lo, I’ve been having bouts of fear lately. It’s not even completely on a conscious level, but fear is staring me down and I’m trying hard to stand up to it.

Lately I’ve had these repetitive nightmares where we’re in the hospital, ready to adopt, and something terrible happens- usually a car accident or a fire, something horrific and unavoidable. I know what these nightmares are really about, I’m terrified of something out of my control going wrong. That something will stand in our way to the end result of us being your parents.

I know it will all work out, and I try to tell my subconscious to relax but fear tries to creep in every time. It’s almost like it’s freezing me lately, making it hard for me to allow myself to enjoy the process. Right now, we’re still waiting to wait. We’re still waiting on getting our home study paperwork back, and I think once we have that back the fear will subside significantly. But the waiting to wait is what feels like an eternity.

This morning on my way out the door for work, I let myself feel hope. I stopped at the outside of your soon to be nursery, looked in and imagined it. The walls, now white and bare, were painted in my minds eye a sweet yellow and green, perfectly gender neutral, perfectly babyish. I imagined your crib and changing table and pictured which wall they would be against. I imagined the one wall we’d paint a mural on, a scene of a meadow with deer and trees with little owls curiously sticking their heads out of the trunk. I let myself feel it, and it felt amazing.

I need to tell myself that feeling like it’s all going to work out, while terrifying, is okay. It’s okay because it’s true. The path may be long, it might not always be smooth, but we’ll get to the end, together as a family.

Letting go of the fear is empowering.

Your Dad and I were glued to the TV all weekend taking in the spectacle of the Olympics. During the US women’s gymnastics, the shoe-in for the all around didn’t make the cut. She was the reigning world champion, but one little mistake cut her out of her Iife-long dream of taking home a gold medal. Today, three days later, they won the gold as a team. Sometimes your dreams can feel so far away and distant, but a few days, hours, even seconds- can completely change all of it. When you least expect it, life gives us amazing surprises.

Last weekend your Dad and I stopped our Olympic watching marathon and ventured out to a local park for a family reunion on his grandmothers side. It was nice meeting people from his side of the family that I’ve never met before, seeing his Grandmothers face light up reuniting with nieces and nephews she hasn’t seen in a year.

As I sat there under the pavilion looking around at this extended family, I had quiet moment of worry. Will you feel left out at events like this? Will you feel like we’re not your “real” family, because the blood lines aren’t there? But then I looked around again, I saw it differently. I saw a family bound together by love, not genetics. I saw family members that had adopted children.

Then I saw the trees.

Trees, like adopted children, have deep, sometimes hidden roots. While these roots mean a lot to the trees well being, they are only half. What shows in the tree is the large solid trunk, the leaves that sway in the soft breeze, the branches that weather the tough storms. All of these elements are largely dependent on the outside environment, as much as the roots. If the sun is shining, the rain comes when it needs to, and the air is free, the trees sprout up healthy and full of life.

It’s a combination: roots, and environment. When they work together, nature is beautiful.

I know I’m rambling on quite a bit here Lo, and these thoughts might not even seem connected. Bottom line, I’m not afraid of giving you the right environment to thrive, I’m afraid of never having the chance. I know that once you have the solid roots of your biological family who no doubt loves you, and the environment of me and your Dad continually giving you our rays of sun you’re going to grow up to be a strong, gorgeous tree, ready for any storm.

It’s waiting for the forest that seems to be taking forever.

One day soon though, your Dad and I will get the gold. It’s just a matter of waiting, and staring down the fear.

 

Facing down the fear,

Love,

Mom

When we suffer anguish we return to early childhood because that is the period in which we first learnt to suffer the experience of total loss. It was more than that. It was the period in which we suffered more total losses than in all the rest of our life put together.

Little One, this is difficult for me to write, but I feel like I need to tell you this. I have written this letter to you over and over again in my head, but cannot seem to find the right words to fit. Regardless, I’m going to make an attempt.

 

I’ve been reading a lot of adoption parenting books lately, and I want to make something abundantly clear to you: it’s okay to be sad that you’re adopted.

 

This is why this letter is so difficult.

 

We’re ecstatic to be adopting, Lo. We’re over the moon about having you in our lives. But with the excitement and joy of adoption also comes the underbelly that no one likes to discuss: loss. In the first moments or years of your life, you’re going to suffer a major loss that not many people will suffer until they are much, much older. You will lose your biological family, in a sense. Hopefully not forever, since we’d like an open adoption scenario if possible- but nonetheless, you will have a loss.

And it is difficult to write this as your Mom who is excited for you to be in our family, because I am also sad for you because of this. I know that it will most likely cause some pain down the road, and being your Mom I wish you never had to experience pain, even for an instant.

But I want you to know this, sweet baby, and I will repeat it a thousand times to you: it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to miss your first Mom and Dad. It’s okay to ask questions to us, to tell us you want to know more about them, to tell us that you are sad that they aren’t your Mom and Dad everyday like we are. This will not hurt our feelings. We will understand.

We want to be the type of parents who have a completely honest and open relationship with our children, built on a strong foundation of trust and understanding. We don’t ever, even for a millisecond want you to think that you’re not allowed to talk about your loss or concerns. I promise to you that we will never get angry or upset, that we’ll never lash out or be disappointed.

 

What we will do is grieve with you. We are both experiencing some form of grief in this. I will always wish I had you from the very start, that I got to hold you in the depths of my body and experience giving birth to your unique and beautiful soul. I will always miss that, the same way you will always miss having a “traditional” family. That is okay. It doesn’t ever mean that we don’t love each other like I didn’t give birth to you or you didn’t come from my DNA. All it means is that we’re human, and we’re allowed to be sad for things that hurt us inside.

 

If on your birthday, you want to have some time to reflect, we’ll honor that. If you want to talk about your first family, compare noses or personality traits, we’ll encourage that. Just because we love you more than anything and know that you ARE our son or daughter, we want to be there for you in every way possible. I hope this makes our parental bond strong, and that it leads to us being a better family because of it.

I don’t ever want you to feel like you cannot talk about these feelings. I don’t ever want you to feel like you owe us something, that you were “lucky” to be adopted, that you should be grateful that we adopted you. I just want you to feel the love of family, our open arms embraced around you in the good times and the bad. I want you to know deep down that it’s okay to be sad sometimes, that you can talk about it to us without hurting our feelings,

 

It’s difficult to write this post because I’m a positive thinker to a fault. I focus on the positives in every situation, good and bad. For me, the glass is always half full- and when it’s not half full, it’s brimming over the top. So it’s hard for me to write about something we’re so excited for and so grateful for in a negative light. But that is the situation Lo, and sometimes with beautiful and amazing positves come negatives. Despite this, I think the positives of this adoption will far outweigh the negatives for all of us.

In a lot of these books, adult adoptees discuss feeling like something was always missing, or something just wasn’t right. They felt that they couldn’t discuss it with their families for fear of hurting their feelings or coming off as ungrateful. Know that we will never think that of your feelings. Your feelings about adoption, good and bad, are completely valid. I promise that we will never dismiss them, and we always want you to voice them if you feel like you can. And if you feel like something isn’t right and you cannot put your finger on it, you can talk to us about that too. Together as a family, we will work through it.

 

Never feel alone, Lo. You’re not alone at all. Your Dad and I are here, day and night, forever. If you are fifty two years old and wake up in the middle of the night needing to talk, I’m here. That is what parents are for, Lo.

I know I talk alot about how our lives will be with you. This is not to put any pressure on you at all. Always be true to who you are deep down inside, never what anyone (including us) expects you to be. I’m not planning any kind of grandiose future for you, that is up to you, sweet baby. And we’ll support you no matter what you decide. The only reason I talk about how much our lives will improve with you in them is so that you know how excited we are, how loved you are already, and how much we have wanted you to be our child from the very start.

You were never for a single second unwanted or unloved. We have always wanted you to be our kid, and we have always loved you.

 

Keep in mind that everyone has their thing. For you, it might be that you’re adopted. For other kids, it might be that they are being raised by a single parent, or they have an illness, or too much pressure at home. Life seems perfect from the outside for a lot of people, but looks can be decieving. Even when you feel alone for being adopted, remember that. And remember that it is okay to be upset, sad, or simply curious about your journey into our lives.

 

We as your parents will not judge.

 

Our goals in parenting you are pretty simple, sweet baby. In no order: 1. Keep you safe, 2. Keep your emotionally happy and secure, 3. Love you always. To accomplish these goals, we need you to come to us when you have feelings of sadness and talk about it with us. That is what Moms and Dads are for.

It’s hard when you’re young and you cannot voice the nagging feeling in your gut that tells you something is different. That is why we vow to always be one hundred percent honest with you about your adoption journey. We will never hide or conceal information from you. We will always tell you (in an age appropriate manner) how you came to be in our lives. We will always have an empty lap and long arms to comfort you when you’re sad, even when you can’t put your finger on why.

When you are older, we promise to let your adoption story be your story to tell or not tell. There might be times where you don’t feel like explaining it or being labelled as the “adopted kid.” We will always respect and honor that decision, and we’ll never take it as a slight to you being embarassed or ashamed of your adoption status. Your story is your story, and who you do and do not share it with is your decision, not ours.

At a wedding last weekend, a stranger sat at the same table as us. We got to know him throughout the night, and he heard us talking about our adoption for hours (we’re pretty obnoxious about it sometimes- you never know who might know of someone is our theory). Hours later, after he felt comfortable with us, he explained that he himself is an adoptee. He shared his story with us on his terms, in his timeframe. We appreciated that he gave us a viewpoint we don’t often get- that of and adult adoptee. We told him about our blog, how we’re writing to you to let you know of our journey and he thought it was a great idea. It made us feel a lot better that someone who has been on the same path as you will be gave us insight.

 

Our grieving together will only bring us closer together and make us stronger, Lo. And being sad about something doesn’t mean you’re not happy about most things. Even though there will always be a part of me that is sad that we didn’t get to experience life with each other from the very start, my love for you and how you came to be in our lives will always far outweigh that grief. I hope the same goes for you, and you feel the same way.

But no matter your feelings, our ears are always open and ready. Our hearts are ready for your feelings, our minds ready for your thoughts, our bodies ready to comfort you.

 

 

No matter what, Lo, we’re here for you.

 

 

Love forever in good times and bad,

Mom

The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.

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                                                   Our Wedding Day

Little One, July has always been a big month for us. Afterall, it was July 4th that we had our first conversation over the phone, July 8th that we went on our first date (and decided immediately that we wanted to be exclusive) and three years later on July 18th that we got married.

Today is our third wedding anniversary.

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   Our first summer together

When we were dating, your Dad and I would spend our July summer nights on what we dubbed Our Hill, a hill by your Dads childhood home where we’d park ourselves on the grassy knoll at night and talk for hours about our pasts, our presents and our futures. We’d wish on falling stars and cuddle in each others arms, nothing around us but the quiet of the night air and the ambient light of the stars and fireflies. We had long talks about how we envisioned our future while on that little piece of earth… and I have to say Lo, they all included children- but they never included children that shared our DNA.

If you had asked me three years ago on our wedding day where I’d hope we’d be by now, a lot of my visions would ring true to where our lives have ended up so far. Happy, stable, still as crazy in love as that day three years ago. We’re all three of those. The only thing that is missing in our lives is children. Three years ago, I would have hoped you’d be here by now. I still hope you were here by now, but alas that is out of my control.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was hot out, but the sun was shining and the sky was as blue as I’d ever seen it.  I was calm…excited, but calm. When your Dad saw me step out of the limo, he was completely speechless and so was I, we both just stared at each other in amazement and after a few moments of silence that felt like years, we both looked at each other and said you look so amazing. I remember our first dance, all eyes on us but all we could see was each other.

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                                            Our first dance

I remember a point where my two flower girls were seated on my lap, and one of my bridesmaids said gleefully, “Maybe thats a sign of things to come! Maybe you’ll have two daughters!” I smiled, and hoped in my heart it would be true- that we’d be able to have any children in our lives in the future, even with our infertility diagnosis.

I’m hoping that it will still be true one day- though it doesn’t matter if it’s daughters or sons. I just hope we get the opportunity, the gift, the miracle to parent.

In three years when we’re celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary, I hope you’re here to celebrate it with us. Our lives are so rich and beautiful together already, but the amount of amazing that our lives are going to be engrossed in when you come is immeasurable.

I hope that when you’re old enough, we can take you back to our hill, have picnics and talk about what you see for your future. Then it will evolve from our hill as a couple to our hill as a family.

And on your wedding day, we’ll hold your hand and be excited for you the way our parents were for us. Or if you decide to never marry, then we’ll be there for whatever life event is important to you. The biggest most important thing in life is to be happy, Lo. And all we want as your parents is for you to be happy.

Because together, we’re one happy family.

Waiting for more anniversaries to celebrate,

Love,

Mom