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 

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Remember, the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability.

 

Little One, we weathered the storm. This Monday hurricane Sandy hit, locking your Dad and me in the house until this morning. Monday night was one of the hardest we’ve been through together. The eye of the storm passed right over our house. We slept in shifts on the couch, one of us asleep lulled by the sound of our hand cranked operated weather radio, the other holding a flashlight, vigilant to any noise of creak that could signal a tree about to crash onto our home. We huddled on the couch as a family, your Dad and I and all the pets. We protected each other.

In the quiet hours before the storm hit, but after the electricity had gone out your Dad and I made the best of it- we played pictionary, did crossword puzzles as a team and made hand shadows on the wall. We attached glow in the dark neon wristbands to doorways and the staircase to be able to navigate our own house. It’s such a weird thing when there is no light- you’re in a place so very familiar and yet it all looks so different, so alien. It’s like meeting someone you forgot you met the first time- so familiar, yet so distant.

When the light of morning hit, we braced ourselves to open our front door and assess the damage. Walking hand in hand out the door, we were at the ready to call insurance agents and discuss deductables. Miraculously, nothing was damaged. There were branches, leaves, even garbage cans littering our front yard- but no damage.

We weathered the storm.

The most eerie part of it all was when our home was directly in the eye of the storm. It was one of my shifts to be awake, and as I stood looking out into our front yard, the hum of the generators making the air feel electric, everything suddenly fell quiet. No gusts of wind that howled like freight trains as there had been all night, no rain drops pelting the sidewalk with force- nothing. Just calm. Eerie, scary calm. It’s that calm that comes right before an accident. It’s that calm you remember last before you’ve forgotten everything else. It’s the calm where all you can hear is yourself.

And I realized while looking out that window pane, that it’s the calm we’re in right now.

We’re in the eye of the adoption storm.

The homestudy was hustle and bustle, the fall through and the scam were a mixture of hurt and picking ourselves back up and dusting ourselves off. We’ve stood strong in the wind and rain, and lately it’s been calm. Quiet. Waiting.

But I know that soon, the winds will pick up again. The rain will soak through to our bones, we’ll have to stand strong like we always have. But after that, it’s over. The storm is gone, and the sun shines again.

We can’t wait for your sunrise, LO.

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Today is Halloween. It doesn’t even feel like halloween, because your Dad is working late to make up lost time from the storm and we have barely any trick or treaters. And yet, I’m still lonely from it. I miss the children dressed head to toe in costumes, holding out bags asking for those sugar packed candies with bright eyes. I remember the days of my youth, going out with my parents in gorgeous homemade costumes my mother had spent months stitching together. Then, as a teenager- opting for the pop culture references that adorned the party store walls. I’m ready to be on the other side. I’m ready to cross over, to be the holder of the little hand across the street, the pusher of the stroller, the impromptu coat rack when costumes get too tiresome to wear at the end of the night.

I hope that next year, we’ll have our little sunshine to dress up. I hope next year, I can cross over.

I hope that we’re out of the eye soon, because we’re well rested now.

We’re ready for the wind now.

Waiting for you sunshine, 

Love always,

Mom

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

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

I’ve learned the hard way that some poems don’t rhyme and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.

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Little One, life has thrown some curveballs at us recently. I’m not a big fan of change and unpredictability, but with change comes opportunity. The changes we’re making right now might even lead us to you one day, and they will all be for a reason.

Last Friday a terrible storm slammed the entire east coast. It was 600 miles long, spanning across several states. Trees fell, hundreds of thousands lost power, and unfortunately, people died. We are incredibly lucky though, Little One. Even though I was mad that our power was out for three days and that we lost all of our food in the fridge and freezer, we’re still lucky. We were camping over the weekend, and all we heard was the soothing pitter patter of raindrops that fell on our camper roof, lulling us to sleep. Incredibly bad things could have happened to us, but they didn’t. Sometimes the curveballs that are thrown at us are for the better, even if we can’t see it in the moment. 

On Saturday night, the campground pool was open late. They held a pool party with a DJ, and there on top of a mountain your father and I swam. Nothing above our heads but the clear night sky, the stars shined like diamonds. Off on the horizon fireworks went off silently- too far away to hear the noise, but close enough to see the spectacle. Your Dad and I danced, laughed and swam to the sounds of the DJ, the smell of honeysuckle tickling our noses and the summer air blowing through our hair. 

 

And on this perfect summer night, all I could think of was you. 

 

Will you like swimming? Will you be the one dancing to the music or sticking to the side of the pool wall watching? Will you think we’re crazy to be your parents, or will you love our passion for fun? 

Life is so unpredictable, Lo. Right now, you’re so unpredictable. In a way, that is scary for me. I’m a planner by nature. I like to know the whens and wheres of life, and if there are none I like to find them and put them into place. But over the past week, as we’ve been thrown things good and bad, I’m remembering a very important life lesson: it’s all in perspective. Bad things are only bad if you make them that way, sweet baby. A lot of things in life are out of our control, but how we react to them and how we view them in this world is the one thing we do have control over. 

Unfortunately, as an adult, you want to control everything but you just simply can’t. And sometimes no matter how hard you work or how much effort you put forth (especially if you enter the corporate workplace), someone is going to try and trample all over you. Stick up for yourself, don’t let anyone ever hurt you – and take as much control as you can. What you don’t have control over, have faith in. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, have faith that it will all work out in the end, and if it’s not worked out yet, it’s just simply not the end. 

Sometimes, it’s hard to see the success you’ve already met. Success and opportunity are like icebergs: you only see a preview, a portion of what is to come. And when you least expect it, the larger and greater good beneath the surface will emerge. I feel like the changes we’re experiencing now are just the tip of the iceberg, that what lies ahead is far greater than what we can see in the immediate future.

 

We’re still in the waiting to wait phase, but it is quickly coming to an end. We should have the homestudy back in our hands in less than three weeks. I feel like now this time seems to be moving incredibly slow, but that life will move a lot quicker soon and that this time will feel like a blink of an eye in the future. 

 

But now we’re prepared to get our profile up. Last weekend, your Dad and I got pictures taken in the park for our profile. It was lovely, and I love the way they turned out (here is a preview): 

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And my favorite: Image

 

 

I see the tip of the iceberg, sweet baby. Now comes the time to wait for the rest.

 

With delicious ambiguity and lots of love,

 

Love,

Mom 

No matter how much you plan, it is tenacity, unyielding desire to success, and the ablity to cope with change that will eventually prevail.

Little One, today is a bit rough. Today is the day I thought you might be here. Today is the day we thought you might be due. That is until, as you know how your story plays out- that mother decided to parent.

We’re still excited for her, happy that was her decision. We hold no ill feelings towards her or her choices at all. That is how this part of the tale was meant to go. It’s how it was supposed to be, and we know that. I wish knowing that made it easier, but it doesn’t. It still aches, just a little. It still hurts to see the little tiny heart mark I made under the 11 on the calendar  by my work desk. It still hurts to think of that part of my brain that I’ve tried  very hard to surppress where the flowery thoughts flourish. Thoughts like maybe, just maybe, we’d be parents by Fathers day. It still stings when I think that maybe you won’t be here by Christmas the way we imagined, or that we’ll keep collecting items and filling an empty room for years. It makes my soul ache to think that it will take a long time for you to get here. Then there is that small quiet space inside my heart that whispers the words I don’t want to hear, that maybe you’ll never get here at all.

It’s difficult to pull myself together, but I have to do so and realize that this was not the mark of an end, but of a beginning. A new start for us, and for that mother. It’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. It might seem like the end of the world now, but tomorrow we might grow wings and flourish and live a life so wonderful it never even crossed our minds or hearts that it could turn out that way. I know beauty lies ahead for us, that we’ll have your room filled with not just things for you, but with your laughter, your own hopes and joys. I know that one day your cry will bounce off the walls of that room and fill our hearts with a sense of belonging, replacing the longing feeling that resides there now. I know that years of magical Christmas mornings lie ahead- mornings where we wake you up with the news that Santa has arrived and brought an entire sleigh full of goodies, and those years will morph into ones where you’re the one tapping us awake to tell us that Santa came. I know that this may not be the last Fathers day that your Dad doesn’t get to celebrate with you here, but that it lies ahead, somewhere out there on our unknown timeline.

I know we’ll turn into a butterfly soon.

 

I remember writing to you months ago, saying repeatedly that I wish I had a time machine that could take me to this very day and let me know the outcome. But in retrospect, I’m glad that was never in the realm of possibility. It’s better to not know these things. Had I seen that this didn’t work out the way we’d hoped, would I have wanted to go through with it? I still think yes, but it would have caused more pain. I heard about it when the time was right for me to hear about it. Things always happen for a reason, and on a certain timeline. That is the hardest part of life, sweet baby. I don’t know if I will ever get over not knowing the when’s of this life. There are still times when I wish I knew exactly when you will be in our lives, but it’s for the better that I don’t have a clue. I have a feeling you’re going to surprise us and sweep us off of our feet, probably when we least expect it. Knowing would take away the magic, and trust me: we always opt for the magic of life than the knowledge of logic. There is a lot less of the former, so never take those magical moments for granted.

 

Behind the wound of you not being here yet lies a big abyss of wonderful- our hope. Our hope that you’re still out there, waiting for us to find you. That is what is keeping me going during tough days like this, knowing that it’s my job and duty as your Mom to find you out there and bring you home to us. I’m convinced now more than ever that I was put on this planet to do just that. I was meant to be your Mom, and when the right time and place collide it’s going to be amazing.

 

There is a Chinese proverb that reads, “An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet. Regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.” I know that read thread is already there in our hearts. We just have to wait for it to connect us. I’m not sure when the circumstances will be right, or if this will be our one and only missed connection or the start to many (we hope not), but either way we’ll find you.

I’m going to hold on to that string for dear life.

Waiting to grow butterfly wings,

Love,

Mom