If my child is yours also...
I just want you to know that I'm praying for you.
I've prayed for you since the moment I knew in my heart that adoption was for me. I was 17 years old.
When I'm awake at night - feeding the baby, burping the baby, giving tylenol and ibuprofen to a feverish toddler, changing bedding covered in the entire day's meals, turning off Alvin the Betta fish's tank light- I think of you. Because chances are, you're awake also, but you're probably missing all these little things that you've allowed me to do for our child. I'm taking care of this beautiful tiny child that I love so much my heart could burst at any second, and I'm cherishing and carefully filing away every single detail into memories, as much as I possibly can, because I know that not so long ago, you felt this little heart that is beating against my chest tonight, beating against your chest.
I'm praying that you'll know how diligently I try to stand firm against the pressures to overcommit and hyper-schedule, and to completely ignore the voices that tell me I'm not doing enough, that our child isn't doing enough. I pray that you'll stand firm when ignorant, cold people judge your choice to place your child in our family, and you'll look them in the eye with your heart of gold and know that no matter what they think or say, your choice is enough, you are enough.
I'm praying you'll have the wisdom to know when teach those around you about the beauty that adoption can be, just as I try to also. That your words will open their minds and soften their hearts, and they will leave your presence a better, kinder person because of how you taught them with such poise, love, and kindness. Their humanity will be so greatly increased because of your efforts. I pray with my entire soul that when you must walk away from those that just cannot understand your decision to place your child, you will walk away with integrity, confidence, your head held high, and a clear and firm knowledge that their words do not define you, your heart does. You won't be able to inspire and change everyone.
I'm praying that you will know how much your Heavenly Father and your Savior love you. So completely. They love every single cell in your body, they love every personality trait you have (and have given to our child), they love your pure heart, your kind heart, your bold heart, your shy heart, your angry heart, your broken heart, and your flaws. So do I. They are my favorite things about you, they make you a real person, not a plastic, perfect, fake barbie. I'm flawed and broken also. I pray you'll remember that I will most certainly make mistakes, probably often, throughout the years. Please know that I'll always wonder if I've done something not good enough when we don't hear from you. My brain and heart know you'll probably need time and space to cope and process on your rough days and weeks, but I'll always worry about you. And our relationship. I pray you'll kindly teach me how to do better and forgive my flaws, shortcomings, and mistakes as I come to you to ask forgiveness when I make mistakes.
I'm praying that, if you haven't, you will find love. I pray that when you tell that person that you once experienced an unplanned pregnancy and chose to give that child life, love, and placed them in our family, I pray that person will see the overwhelming beauty of your choice. I pray they will see the strength it took to do so, that they will see the heart break you've experienced because of it, and they will know that you deserve so much better than they will ever be able to give you. In our eyes, only the purest, most loyal, kind, forgiving, accepting, man will be worthy of you. We expect that man to treat you like a freaking Goddess. I pray that your love together brings years of commitment into your marriage, commitment that will swell with each year you're together, that you will grow to love the legacy you are creating just as much as you adore the person you're creating it with. I pray that legacy includes our child, because they are and all ways will be a part of you.
I'm praying that you take lots of pictures of the children you'll have with your spouse, that someday, when we're old, gray, and grandmothers, that we'll sit together looking at pictures of our children (yours, mine, and ours!), laughing at the memories, and pointing out where our grandchildren got their sticky-out ears, their mischievous grins, their mood eyes, and their adorable dimpled cheeks.
As Em stated, "I'm praying that Jesus will give you just enough strength each day to keep you from losing it but not so much that you forget Who that strength comes from."
I'm praying that we will be friends, but also that we'll be much closer than friends. I'm praying you'll know that "friends" is the stupidest term for what I pray our relationship is and has the potential to become. Right now, I regard you as a sister, because it is the closest definition that can define our relationship.... even then, what I feel for you doesn't have a description in existence yet. When you're having a rough day, I pray that you'll remember how much I love you, how much WE love you, and that you'll remember how important your presence is in our lives, our child's life, and our family.
Will you pray for me also?
I am so terrified of not living up to what I think you wanted for your child before we met. I know you wanted the best, and some days, I don't feel like I'm doing anything remotely right, let alone "the best!" I feel like I should somehow be better, perfect, and this superhuman mother. Please pray that I won't forget my own humanity and that I'll be able to remember that real people make mistakes and struggle and try again the next day.
We are in this together, you and I (and the hubbies). We are building something beautiful with each onesie folded, each cuddle given, each trampoline flip contest, each slobbery "miss" (kiss) and "mooch" (smooch), each visit and Skype session, each step forward, each birthday and holiday, each email and phone call, and each time we tell our part of our adoption stories.
You don't know how much it means to me that you give your life everything you have, every single day...even on days when it's not much at all. Because our child gets that from you. And you both inspire me. Our child will fall, will make mistakes, will question where he gets his fiery spirit, her mood eyes, her quiet, shyness when meeting new people for the first time, and where they get their sheer will and courage to do hard things. There will be days when they'll just need to talk to you, to feel your strength and love. I want you to be there when our first grandchild is born; we'll celebrate together. And when they face the darkest days of their lives, it will be you, me, and our spouses, praying with every ounce of faith we have in our bodies that our child will come through this struggle with more life experience and as an even better, stronger, wiser person.
I promise to tend to these hearts with utmost care, to plant in them humility and peace and unconditional love for all people and selflessness...especially selflessness. I promise to teach them about Jesus and Heavenly Father every chance I get. And I promise to keep praying for you and to teach them to pray for you also.
I promise you that I will hug our little one tight when he's sad or lonely or scared or hurt, once for me, and once as a "temporary hug" for you until you can give them your "permanent hug" yourself next time we see you. Because someday, this little one - all grown beautiful with babies of their own - will be sad or lonely or scared. And they'll need to know how to hold their babies. Teach them. And have all these saved up hugs to give them. In that moment, BOTH of our love will matter.
But until then, I'm sitting here in the dark with this baby in my arms.
And I'm praying for you.