Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Today is your birthday. I don't think of you every day. I have my boys. I know this is how life was supposed to be for both of us. But I do think of you from time to time, and I always think of you on your birthday.
I never met you. I don't even know if you are a boy or girl. But I know you're three.
I imagine you are talking nonstop about whatever interests you. You probably skip and play and climb and run until you collapse at night. Maybe you sleep in a big kid bed or a crib or maybe you sleep next to your mom every night. I bet you love being read the same books over and over, and I bet you tell your mom, "I do it myself" multiple times a day.
I pray, no matter who you are, that you feel safest in the arms of your mother and that you know the fierce love she has for you.
You will never know about me. I'll never be a part of your story. But you were a part of mine. Three years ago, my husband and I waited anxiously for your arrival as we were chosen by your mother as a prospective adoptive family.
This was the beginning of my understanding of the complexity of emotions surrounding adoption. She chose to parent, and I was extremely sad that we wouldn't meet you. I was worried about your mother. Was anyone there supporting her in the huge decisions she faced? Was she alone? I was happy for you both that your mother would parent and keep you two together, but I also felt the sting of infertility hitting again as we continued on the journey to build our family. The emotions held in that time were overwhelming and contradicting.
"You showed me, firsthand, that adoption was about more than me becoming a mother"
You will never know about me, but you were such a large part of my learning and growth. You showed me, firsthand, that adoption was about more than me becoming a mother, that there are other people and grief and trauma involved. I found that at the core of everything, you were what mattered. You were at the center of it all.
So today I think of you. I pray for you. I thank you for the lessons you taught me. Because of you, I walked into my son's first mom's room one month later with more grace and understanding of what that privilege held. I will never forget you.
Betsy is the founder of Visto and a born and raised Iowa girl. She has a degree in Child Development, and she uses it every day in her life as a stay at home mom with her two boys. As a mom whose family was built through adoption and many members within her family who have been touched by it as well, she is dedicated to building a community of support for the entire triad.