There’s a woman out there who thinks the baby I am carrying is meant to be hers. She’s fairly convinced and has rallied troops of friends to comfort her in this time of loss, since I haven’t stepped forward to place this child with her. I have to avoid her every Sunday– bowing my head and easing through crowds to my car. She’s neat, full of life, and a good person, but she’s lost to me forever now– because it’s up to me.
The pastor at my church– it’s pretty clear to see he isn’t for me. He brought up adoption to me in the first place, but I have come to believe it was only to shock me into changing my mind about my marriage. And now that I’ve made the decision to place, he claims that everything he knew about me is “off.” Perhaps he thinks I’m not maternal enough.
There’s a man at the agency that we call my counselor– a good man who cares for his wife and children and is thrilled with all I have to say. He agrees with me and supports me, but considering we came together because I had chosen adoption in the first place, how objective could he be? Can he really know me and see me and still think it’s the right choice? Objectivity is lost because I came to him with a choice.
There’s a man out there who is convinced it all started to go wrong because I let myself think about breaking a vow. If only I had been willing to compromise. If only I hadn’t held up standards he wasn’t prepared to live by. If only I would swallow it all and let him come back into my home and support him. If only … then I would never have chosen this. He judges me selfish because I have chosen something better for this life not yet born.
I have a family out there who loves me. The simple words of my mother tell the whole story, “This child could never have a better mother than you.” I am thankful for the love– but how can they support a choice that gives something they consider theirs, away?
There is a couple out there. Although they have my words on pages and our faces in pictures, they don’t believe in us. They’ve lost a placement before and have learned to guard their hearts. Until a child sleeps peacefully in their home with all the world shut out, they won’t believe it. I’ve chosen them but they can’t embrace me because it’s all about that signature on the line at the time I place. And that’s not real yet. My intentions aren’t enough.
Co-workers either call me a heroine or look at me with eyes that say they are sure they will never see me whole again. Not after I have done that which I peacefully say I intend to do.
An adoptive mother approached me this weekend and begged me to reconsider my decision. She’s adopted nine children– yes, that’s right. She felt compelled to advise me, for the sake of my half-grown daughter, that she believes in adoption but is sure it can’t be the right choice for me.
I’ll reconsider. Don’t I reconsider every day? I can’t help but hear the voices calling their judgments to me. But this isn’t a gameshow where, in my uncertainty, I phone a friend, an expert to help me choose an answer.
I am not calling out, but the calls come in. One from a friend came today, saying “Are you okay, I know this is a hard time for you– let me know if I can do anything”.
You can’t do anything.
I thank you for your words, stranger, friend, co-worker, mother, counselor, leader, and birthfather. I hear all your words, I do. But at the end of the day, it’s this child and I who lay down together in deep silence– our spirits intermingling.
In the end it will be me who brings this little one without a voice into the world. I am the mother and I am responsible. No other voice is meaningful to me because in the end it is only this child to whom I will have to answer.