My Dearest Son,
The only way you will ever know my love for you is when you hold your own child in your arms. I dreamt of you for years, I planned to rock you to sleep long before you were real. You grew in my mind and heart before you grew in my belly. Now that you’re here, I’ll be planning birthday parties and teaching you the ABC’s. I’ll be sure your shirts are ironed for church on Sundays, and I’ll be putting bandaids on scraped knees. You will be the one that I get to make parenting mistakes with firsthand, you will be the one that I read every piece of research for, you will be the one that I pretend to that I know everything about being your mom . . . when on the inside I’m hoping you know I love you and will do anything for you, but I will think I’m messing it up somehow. But, I have something to tell you. You aren’t my firstborn.
There was another before you. Another that grew in my tummy, and that I fell in love with. I didn’t realize how much love this heart could hold. I was too young and too alone to be raising a baby at that time. So I found a couple that wasn’t too young, and they weren’t alone. They wanted him more than they wanted anything else they have worked for; I knew he would be loved and taken care of.
When you were born, my dear son, my soul found yours and we were instantly in love. I couldn’t help but be in love with you, but I couldn’t help but remember loving another like you. You knew me like he knew me, but I let him go to fall in love with another woman the way you will fall in love with me. I was crippled, sore, and afraid that I would somehow lose you. That I would go through the wonderful trial of pregnancy, and end up not taking my child home again. You have healed me, and I want to thank you.
The instant I placed him for adoption, I was broken. It was worth it a million times over, for him. But once he was in the home he was supposed to be in, I found myself in a state of disarray. Years later, while you were growing inside of me, I was afraid. I was afraid to love you, because I was afraid to lose you. It didn’t take me very long after your birth, but I found myself loving you the way a mother loves her child. Then that scared me. It was a roller coaster of emotions, and at first I didn’t think I could settle in a comfortable place. Weeks turned into months, and as I pulled myself out of the fog of postpartum recovery, I watched you as you slept. Your eyelids fluttered and I imagined you were dreaming of your waking hours, playing with your father and me. Emotions I have never felt before crept up inside of me, and I realized I bonded with you . . . finally. I’m not sure how you did it, my son, but you helped heal my broken heart. You reminded me that I made the right decision all those years ago, and that I waited until the proper moment to raise a family of my own.
Both of you are mine, but you are mine to raise. You are mine to worry about when you’re out late at night, you are mine to teach how to treat a lady with respect. I get to teach you how to drive, and nag you to wear your shoes outside. You have taught me special things about motherhood that nobody else will be able to. But there was another before you, another that taught me about sacrifice. Another that taught me that my child’s happiness is more important than mine.
So thank you, my son. Thank you for being patient with me as I learned how to love another child, love you, and love myself. Thank you for understanding that mommies hurt sometimes. I will do my best to be understanding in return. You have helped me to see the adoption in a greater perspective, you have shown me the path to greater parenthood. Because of you, I see myself in a better light. I love my life, and I owe a lot of my perspective on that to you. Thank you for redeeming me. I love you, son.