About Me

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I placed my daughter in an open adoption in 2002. I started this blog in 2004 as a place to journal and eventually I became part of a community. The community has moved on, but I have decided to come back.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Birthfather

I got an email from my daughter's birthfather yesterday morning. It caught me by surprise. I haven't heard from him since the month after my daughter was born.
He actually got rid of every email account he had and didn't respond to any of the letters I sent. (Recap: My daughter's birthfather is a citizen of another country.) I didn't think I'd ever hear from him.
He doesn't know that our daughter was placed for adoption. He knew that was what I planned to do. He met my daughter's parents and my social worker during his only visit to our country. I never wavered, but I know he doesn't know.
He didn't tell his family I was pregnant until I found out I was having a girl. His visit was before this. When they found out that I was having a girl, he was no longer supportive of my plan to place her. He didn't want to raise her; he wanted to give the baby to his sister who had suffered a miscarriage a couple months prior. While I wasn't thrilled about sending my baby off to grow up in another country, I told him okay but that I would like to fly out there and discuss it with his sister and him. I got the run around.
We argued a lot in those final months. He accused me of wanting money. I refused to fly out there to give birth. My sister was also pressuring me to give the baby to her. I told him that I was uncomfortable with her leaving the country. Eventually he told me to do whatever I wanted and to leave him alone.
I met with my social workers and several lawyers. My social worker contacted him with step-by-step instructions for how to claim our daughter after her birth. Initially he said he would come get her in November. After that we didn't hear from him. No word of his intentions, no idea about travel plans, no word on where he would like the baby to be in between birth and his arrival.
In the last days of my pregnancy, I met with a lawyer in another state. Her birthfather could still claim her, but if he didn't come we wouldn't have to deal with the six months of paperwork before she could be relinquished. I was terrified, but I wanted my daughter to go home right away. I couldn't take her home with me waiting to see if he showed up though I did have enough supplies to take her home for the first few weeks.
I emailed him a week after she was born and sent a picture. We spoke on the phone once in October. He never again mentioned coming for her and I was too distraught to talk to him much beyond saying that we were both healthy. I've sent him pictures since then, but have never heard anything from him.

Obviously I need to tell him that she was adopted by the couple he met. I feel less nervous about it now then I ever have. I hope he stays in touch. I'm proud of my daughter's heritage and really hope he appreciates how much her adoptive family and I want her to know him.

Hoping for the best I suppose. I guess this is the second Christmas surprise he has given me. He's quite the gift-giver.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Is Santa Coming to Your House?

My daughter just called and this is what she asked me. She also asked several times if I was coming over. I asked her when I should come and she said Saturday. She was talking up a storm. What a sweet voice she has!
Her mom took her into New York City this week. That stuff makes me so happy. I love NYC and always wished I could live nearby or go to college in the city. It never happened. When I met my daughter's parents and found out that they lived near the city and had family there, I was so excited that my daughter would be able to experience all of that. Another benefit is that the schools around there teach her birthfather's native language. They promised him they would teach her so I hope that when she gets a little older, they follow through on that promise. It will be nice for her to know the language if she ever wants to visit her birthfather and his family (he also has a son from a previous relationship).
As expected, I probably won't be able to see them until mid-January. The way the holidays fall, there just isn't another day. Her mom couldn't get any time off next week either. She was disappointed that the tree will be down when we visit. We've always taken lots of holiday pictures. Last year in particular, my daughter's mom was very careful to take lots of pictures and laughed that my daughter would appreciate it someday as we propped presents around her little sleeping self.
I did find out what my daughter asked for for Christmas over and over and her mom said she couldn't find it anywhere so maybe I'll try. She wants a shirt with Tigger on it. An odd request for a toddler, but a cute one.
My daughter just started to use the potty, too (big news :)). She's growing up so fast. I developed my last roll of regular pictures yesterday (I finally went digital) and was completely amazed by her growth. She is so cute and precious.
Anyway, the phone call was such a nice Christmas treat. I've been really depressed this week so although talking to her makes me sad, it also gives me peace going into the holiday season. I wish I could see her tomorrow.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Lifebook

Christmas is approaching. I just got a card from my daughter's family with her Christmas picture. She is growing up so fast. She has lost most of her baby face and really is starting to look like a little girl. She is so far from the little baby I gave birth, too.

It's sad to think about her growing up. As each day passes, it becomes more and more difficult to remember that year of pregnancy and birth. I replay it often to keep it fresh.

I created a lifebook for my daughter two summers ago, but never completed the last few pages. Her mom finally emailed her approval so I've been trying to complete it. Unfortunately I can't find any of the hospital pictures. I remember that I was planning on moving them into a different album, but I don't know where I put them in between albums (though I'm sure it was somewhere safe!) I'd like to finish it soon because the whole book is geared toward a toddler or young child.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a break. Hopefully, I'll see my daughter shortly after Christmas. This year it might be a little rough because Christmas falls on a weekend, but I'm sure I'll work something out. Then comes a long stretch. I usually only see my daughter once between Christmas and summer. That's the hardest time. It also brings back all the memories of my pregnancy.

My birthday is in March and I vividly remember my pregnancy birthday- it was not easy. In April of that year, my daughter's birthfather visited me for a week. It was and still is his only trip to this country. Those months were very difficult.

Today though, I feel happy.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Book Recommendation

A couple months after having my daughter, I went out with a friend from junior high school. We were best friends back then and we still talk a few times a year. I hadn't told him about my pregnancy, but finally confessed when we got together. He was upset that I hadn't told him sooner (probably felt the same as I did when I was one of the last to learn that he had come out...sex things are kind of hard to share with a friend that goes that far back.) He was really supportive and soon after our visit, he sent me a book in the mail as a token of his support.

The book was The Kid by Dan Savage, a story of two gay men adopting a baby. I didn't read it for awhile. I carried it around sometimes, but I was too busy reading emotional, educational, or soul-searching birthmother stories to dig into a humorous adoptive parents story. I finally picked it up this week and never stopped to put it down.

This book was one of the best I've ever read. It doesn't matter how you feel about homosexuality, adoption, or any combination of the two, this book is incredible. It sounds corny, but I really did run the whole gamut of emotions while reading this. The author is dead on in so many of his commentaries about society today. I appreciated his honest and modern information about adoption today and his respect for all three members of the triad.

The first few chapters may be a bit shocking (the guy makes a living as a sex columnist so he isn't shy) but the book is so worth the read. I have rarely felt so strongly about a book. Read it. Your mind is begging you.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving

Well I'm home and mostly rested (I haven't been able to feel really rested for months now.)

The trip was good.

I left Thanksgiving morning around 10:30. I called first and was informed that a lot more people were coming this year. That got my nerves on edge a bit but I started off solo anyway anxious for the holiday tradition.

Traffic was wonderfully light. It's usually a four hour drive and it took me....about four hours. It was pouring when I left and pouring when I arrived, but thankfully nice for the entire middle. Driving in the rain makes me nervous so I was very grateful.

My daughter ran to give me a big hug when I arrived. Her hair has (finally) grown out a bit and there's a little flip in the back. She was all dressed up in a purple plaid jumper and looked absolutely adorable.

The afternoon passed uneventfully. Her cousins were there so she was playing with them all afternoon. She adores them and they are wonderful with her. It makes me so happy that she has that. It was a little weird. If I was visiting my sister's kids I wouldn't have thought twice about plopping on the floor to play with the kids or lifting one of my nieces or nephews up to spin them around or give them a big squeeze from their auntie, but with my daughter I always hold back. So I sat with the adults and chatted about random things.

By the time dinner was served my daughter was tired from not having her nap. She didn't sit with us for dinner though after we were done she came to sit on my lap for a precious half hour. After that she left to play with her cousins again. They helped her put her jammies on and they all sat on the couch and read books. Not knowing where to go, I sat on the floor to try to (finally) get some pictures. For some reason, her mom didn't take any pictures this year so I felt a little weird snapping away.

The rest of the family left and it was time for my daughter to go to bed. We sat on the couch for a bit and I rubbed her back. When I stopped she grabbed my hand and asked for more. Her mom told her to pick two books for me to read to her. I couldn't hide my surprise- I guess she's going to make it a tradition for me to put her to bed when I visit. I was so grateful for the time with her.

When we went upstairs she pointed out some books and said "You gave these to me." My heart did a little dance. I bring her a book every time I visit (though I didn't this time- maybe I should mail one?). She picked out one of the books I gave her and one other. We gathered her blanket and bunny and settled in for the stories. She really does get involved with the books.

When the stories were done she didn't want to go in her crib. She didn't really want to cuddle up with me either. She stretched herself across my lap and kept trying to get comfortable (not easy because she's quite a bit longer than my lap and her arms and legs kept falling into the spaces between me and the chair edges.) She stayed like this for about twenty minutes. I loved the time but I kept worrying that her mom would come in wondering why she wasn't in bed yet. Finally, when she could barely keep her eyes open she agreed to go to sleep. She curled up into my shoulder and I carried her to bed and covered her up. She looked so peaceful. I gave her an extra kiss and regained my composure before heading downstairs.

It was only 9:30 so I was prepared to just drive home. I'm a super homebody. I have a very hard time staying in people's homes, I hate parties and social events. Her parents insisted I stay. The only reason I did is because I get to see my daughter so rarely and I didn't want to regret it later.

I slept fine. At one point I woke up to the sounds of my daughter crying for her daddy. In the morning he said she asked if I was sleeping. Who knows how she knew I was still there. I'm not really sure that she did but it was weird anyway.

She slept really late. When she did get up and her mom told her I was there, she started yelling for me so I went up to her room. We had breakfast. During breakfast, she suddenly seemed a little disoriented that I was there. She did ask that I come along for every activity they had planned for the weekend. She also asked where everyone else (from Thanksgiving) was.

Her mom took her up to get dressed so we could play outside before I left. She insisted that I come again. As she took off her pajamas, her mom told her to show me how she can take off her pajama pants all by herself. She got all proud while she did so, but then ran into trouble when they got stuck at her ankles. She immediately flipped out. She wouldn't let her mom walk out but she also woulkdn't let her pick her up. She wouldn't say what was wrong. Eventually her dad came up and she calmed down. Her mom left to go downstairs, but when I tried to follow she yelled for me to stay. At times like those, you really wish they had the words to verbalize what they're thinking and feeling.

We played outside for a little bit but she was cold so we came back in. This time she cried for her mom. I picked her up and we went to sit down. She stopped crying, but she was still sad. She wanted to watch TV so we saw the end of Sesame Street while her parents got ready for their day- they were off to pick out the Christmas tree. She got all excited about Elmo and talked to the TV.

Then we all left. She gave me a big hug goodbye and for the first time volunteered a kiss. Later, when I took my exit, she waved from the car window. It was a good trip.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Court

I go to court tomorrow.

I filed a lawsuit against my former employer for discrimination due to pregnancy (which was really due to the fact that I placed my daughter instead of parenting her).

Before I get hate comments, I've read "Drawing the Line" and agree with the author. I hate lawsuits. I did not take the decision to file one lightly.

That being said, I'm a little nervous. Thinking about the time of my pregnancy and the months following her birth always make me teary-eyed.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Wow

That's the only way to describe it.

My daughter's mom offered to let me stay there Thanksgiving night.

I have a lot of thinking to do.

I don't think I will, but it feels so good that they offered. My mom has often wondered why they never did. It's a four hour drive for me and most times I make the trip both ways in one day. Still, I never thought they'd offer. It's a little weird.

But I feel so good about where our relationship is headed.

After a month of no contact, I get this. Life never ceases to amaze me.

Bittersweet

I just got off the phone with my daughter.

I can't believe how well she talks. The sound of her voice is just so sweet.

She had just gotten out of the bath and she told me she was going to go downstairs and watch TV on the couch. I imagined her curled up on the couch with her mom and dad and it just made me so sad. I'll also curl up to watch TV tonight, but my daughter will be far away from me.

I'm so happy for her and for them. She has exactly the kind of life I wanted for her but couldn't give. It soothes me to know how loved she is and how much attention she gets.

But it still hurts. It cuts through me and makes me weary. The loss never goes away.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Labor

It was a Tuesday night and Kelly Clarkson was battling Justin Guarini for the title of American Idol. The final performances of the first season. It was the one thing I battled fatigue for. Having been disowned by most of my family and friends, I spent many nights alone in a too hot apartment rubbing my belly and wondering just how early I'd go to bed that night. My pregnancy fatigue never faded and most nights found me in bed at 6.

I always stayed up for American Idol. Some days, I'd imagine that I was up there singing. Maybe then I wouldn't be pregnant. Maybe then I never would have visited that other country for Christmas. Maybe then I wouldn't be another statistic.

This Tuesday found me pacing. Every so often I would pull out the pregnancy books and pamphlets trying to figure out if I really was in labor. I even tallied my contractions. But I wasn't due for two more weeks and it was my first pregnancy.

Eventually my mother called and after a bit I admitted that I wasn't feeling well. Within seconds of hanging up the phone, one of my sisters called- the only one of us four who had given birth (five times actually). Although we'd barely spoken in over a year, she was a blessing that night.

After American Idol, I tried to go to bed. Pain. I tried again. More pain. Must be labor.

I hesitated to call my stepmother. Due to difficult laws in my state, I had arranged to give birth somewhere else. I didn't want to call in the middle of the night, drive three hours, and then be told it wasn't the real thing.

I paced some more. Then I called. Um, I think I'm in labor.

While I waited, I put together the going-to-the-hospital bag I'd been meaning to put together all summer. I took a shower (against medical advice because I was alone) and put on blue sweatpants and a cartoon T-shirt.

My stepmother picked me up. We traveled in the dark.

The traffic was nonexistent and my stepmother was getting nervous as we drove. I'm surprised I didn't break off every handle in the car from gripping them so tightly through the pain.

Midway through, I called the people who would become my daughter's parents. We had agreed that they would be there for the birth. At 1 AM, they began what would be a five hour trip.

As we got closer to the hospital, my stepmother sped up. Flashing lights. We got ourselves a police escort.

I hadn't called the hospital ahead. When we arrived, no one expected me. I was hooked up to a monitor and left while the midwives and doctors performed an emergency C-section nearby. My records hadn't made it either. I had only been here once. They hadn't expected an early delivery either.

The pain was intense. I paced the halls and wondered aloud how women could endure childbirth more than once. I looked all of 16 although I was 25, but the nurses, after getting over their surprise, were nothing but kind.

We ordered breakfast at some point, but never ate it. When it arrived, I was pushing. I was in a great place- no meds, waterbirth, doula, midwives, etc. I would do it exactly the same if I had to do it again. ( My daughter was healthy and so was I, requiring no stiches. I would find out later that I was the first woman on either side of my family in at least three generations to have a complication-free first birth. Every other first-born in my family had needed immediate emergency care.)

Nobody pressured me to push. Instead, the doula held my head up above the water while I slept between contractions (yes you can fall asleep during labor). Eventually I was ready to push through the pain. A whole football team could have been there and it wouldn't have mattered. I'm known for my extreme modesty about my body, but in those moments I did not care.

On Wednesday morning, my daughter was born. She was placed immediately into my arms. I held her in awe and confusion. She was crying and I did not know what to do. At the same time I marvelled at the perfect being that had come from my body. She was perfect. Later the midwife would tell my stepmother how moved she was at my reaction to the birth- she had never seen anything like it.

My daughter had skin missing on her hand from where she had sucked while in the womb. Her head was covered in hair. Her face was perfectly round. After a moment, I handed her to the woman who would be her mother. I could barely look at her.

The rest of the day passed in a blur. After her checkup, my daughter was brought to me again. We laid in a hospital bed, my nakedness covered by sheets and blankets, and we examined each other. Even in her first hours, she made faces. The pictures I have of those moments are some of my most precious. She fit so perfectly in my arms.

I slept away most of the remainder of the day. In fact, I chose not to see her again until that evening. I was spent. Weak from labor, from nine months of decision-making. Overwhelmed by the feelings of motherhood I thought I could never have, the irresistable urge to protect my daughter at all costs- my heart at war with my head- dreading the thought of saying goodbye.

It was all true. There was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for this (or as I would learn later, every emotion that was to follow).

Around dinner, I answered and made phone calls while my daughter lay in my lap. American Idol came on. The end of season one. Kelly Clarkson sang a song. The words could have been all of us: me, my daughter, her parents - for me, they will always mean that.

Some people do wait a lifetime.

My pregnancy was over. The goodbyes would follow soon.

An email

I'm happy.

I got the email I've been waiting for. And pictures.

She's been busy.

It was worth the wait.

Now I can look forward to my annual Thanksgiving visit. Unfortunately, this year I'm going alone. My sister usually joins me, but she made plans this year. I'm debating whether or not to fly my mom in. I haven't seen her since my daughter was born and she would love to see how her granddaughter has grown. If I can figure out a place for her to stay, maybe I will.

If not, the good news is that Thanksgiving is a small, intimate affair at their house.

I can't wait.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Hello?

I'm glad I've been too busy to worry.

I haven't heard from my daughter's family since they came here.

I emailed- usually she responds right away- but I've heard nothing.

I'm afraid something about their visit has changed their minds about openness.

I miss her so much.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

My Future Father-In-Law

I live with my fiance in an apartment above his parents' garage. They are like parents to me, too. I've known them for ten years now and I absolutely love them.

They rarely mention my daughter (from another relationship), especially my future FIL. He's very old-fashioned and your typical blue-collar guy. In fact, I don't think he's ever mentioned her. I usually don't bring her up either because it can be awkward.

Sunday morning, I went and sat on the porch before work and my FIL came to sit with me. He asked how the visit was and I told him it was nice. I was amazed because he continued to ask me about it and talked to me parent-to-parent. He expressed disappointment that he wasn't able to meet them, but what really surprised me was that he went on to say he was disappointed that they didn't come spend a day in our hometown- "to see where I live and grew up." He had a whole weekend planned for them.

I just thought it was amazing. Even people involved in adoption sometimes don't recognize the value to both the birthparent and the birthchild of sharing parts of the birthfamily's life. Yet he instinctively recognized how important it was for me to share both my heritage and my present life with her.

What a nice feeling it was to be validated for something I've been keeping inside. Ever since my daughter was born, I've mourned the fact that I never got to bring her to my grandmother's house or show her off to the friends who supported me throughout my pregnancy or take her out for a day. How wonderful for him to give words to the sadness I feel.

I've always loved him (my FIL), but this exchange just meant so much to me.

It's the little things.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

A Taste of Motherhood

Today was the big day. My daughter came to see me along with her mom and grandmother. They weren't planning to get to the faire til about two. I felt nauseous all morning and by 1:00, my nerves were shot. I could barely concentrate.

They did arrive around 2 and my daughter was a little awestruck. There's a lot to take in at a Renaissance Faire. They watched me on my game for a little bit and then I had a chance to ride the big swan swing with them. After that, they said they'd catch up with me later and I went back to work.

I had skipped my midday break so that I would be finished early, but when I got off, I spent almost an hour walking around looking for them before I found them. We walked around a bit. My daughter got a pony ride and I bought her a cloth flower which she loved. Her whole face lit up when I gave it to her.

We went to catch the final show of the night and by then she had really warmed up. I was really happy because she wanted to sit with me. She danced and sang and plopped herself into my lap to cuddle. For any Rennies reading this, I even got her to shout huzzah after the songs. One of the actors couldn't take his eyes off her. She has the most contagious laugh and she was clearly having so much fun. I loved spending time with her on my turf. I almost felt like her mom. I actually felt bad because her mom just kind of watched us and every so often she got that look in her eye- the one that gives me a glimpsed of how hard it is for her to watch us together. I only see my daughter a few times a year and she has no idea who I am to her, but there is clearly a bond.

We went out for dinner after and I got another chance to feel like a mom. We go out to eat almost every time I see them, but this time my daughter wanted to sit with me. The four of us got a booth and for the first time ever, I shared a side with her. I quickly had to get over my timidness about saying no or keeping an arm around her. After a long drive, she was more hyper than usual plus she was hamming it up the way kids do when someone different is around.

She charmed a table of nuns and a priest when she sang her ABC's and charmed all the waitresses with her giggling. All the nuns came over and gave her kisses when they left. I thought that was so nice. Because I was looking after her, I could tell that most of the crowd assumed I was her mom (plus we look enough alike to confirm that). It was a weird feeling, but a nice one.

Nicer still was the fact that she wanted all my attention or that she'd rest her head on my shoulder or in my lap and seemed absolutely content to be in my arms. Her smile just made me melt. I haven't felt that happy in a long time. Imagine the best time you've ever spent with a two year old- when you're both feeling playful and laughing and talking. That was my night.

I hated for it to end but I was glad to leave with such a feeling of peace. Sometimes after seeing her, I feel like a junkie- it's like I got my fix and I've forgotten how good it is. Getting one smile from her or holding her hand for one moment just makes every ounce of stress I feel disappear. Seeing her so happy and loved helps so much though today I don't mind being a little selfish about being glad I got a few hours of normalcy with the little girl I gave birth to.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Baby Talk

So I know that all parents brag about their kids, but I just got off the phone with my daughter and I was amazed.

She just turned two and September and she talks in complete sentences. She told me she was coming to see me and that she took a bath tonight. She also asked if I was home and was I on the couch (tee-hee, too cute). She then proceeded to tell me all kinds of stories about her day. The past few times, I had trouble understanding her, but this time I could. She made better conversation than some of the adults I talk to (including me).

Her mom finally asked if I wanted to do something after the faire on Saturday. Yippee!! At least now I feel like she's coming this way to actually see me. Good news.

I've been trying to take some risks lately. I switched jobs after my daughter was born and have been very quiet about her since doing so. Two people know about her, but lately I've taken to speaking about her even when a coworker might overheat. I also put a picture of her on the side of the bookcase next to my desk. At my old job, I had her picture on my desk and loved it. Now I just carry her picture, but I finally decided I wanted to have her picture out. Granted, very few people will notice it in its current location (and I haven't yet figured out how to respond if they do) but it still felt good to put it up there.


Saturday, October 02, 2004

Talked to Them

My daughter and her mom called me last night. It was nice though a little awkward. I was so tired and I'm not a phone person so it was hard to make conversation.

My daughter was so cute. She didn't want to talk much this time4 (usually she chatters away) but I'm happy just to hear her playing in the background.

Her mom asked if I worked all weekend. I said yes, but told her I was probably taking today off (I am) thinking she'd maybe realize that I could get a day off next weekend if she wanted. No bite, but I dreamed last night that she emailed me to ask about it. Premonition, I hope.

She had trouble getting a hotel due to the holiday weekend so she's not sure where she'll be staying. That may explain her reluctance to make evening plans. Again, she didn't mention doing dinner or anything. I sucked it up and let her know I'm usually done work before the faire closes so she said if I tell her where to meet her, she'll be there. Better than nothing I suppose.

When I suggested that my daughter's at a good age for tyhe faire, she said she disagreed cuz I guess my daughter is still afraid of characters. I didn't know how to respond to that. It doesn't really change the fact that I would love to see how my daughter reacts.

So I guess I'm waiting til the weekend comes with mixed feelings about it all.

sigh

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Angry Today

Maybe I'm just grumpy, but open adoption is bothering me today.

My daughter's mom (along with her mom and our daughter) is planning to come see me at the Renaissance Faire I work at. I run the games at the Faire which is a really busy job.

This is the first time she's come to my area and I was pretty excited when I heard. My daughter will love the faire and I was so excited that she was coming my way.

I emailed her and let her know that I could ask for a little time off to spend with them while they were there. I suggested the first hour, but specified that it was up to her.

She emailed back to tell me they probably wouldn't be there the first hour. That was it. No mention of maybe spending the last hour together or any other time. Plus, they're planning to spend the night in a hotel and visit another local attraction the next day, but so far there has been no mention of doing something that evening (like dinner with my future in-laws maybe?).

It's really frustrating because the sensitivity of the open adoption relationship makes it so hard to bring it up. It should be no big deal, but it is. I don't want to offend her, but I'm really feeling like I'd rather not have them come.

I don't want to spend the whole day with them, but I would love to see how my daughter reacts to some of the stuff at the faire. I love it there. Instead, I'll be working, knowing they are there, and unable to do anything about it.

This is making me so emotional. I fought back tears after her email. It is so hard to deal with the loss. I love my daughter. I love her parents. I don't love being a birthmother.

It would be so nice to be with them when my daughter visits the places I visited as a kid. These are things that most families take for granted. Instead I will look at the pictures and wonder again how to live with my choice.

Monday, September 27, 2004

In a Perfect World

I miss my daughter tonight.

In a perfect world, she would be sitting in my lap right now, PJ's on, questioning me about the world.

Instead, she is four hours away, calling another woman "Mommy."

Her birthday passed recently. Two years old. Some days it seems like a lifetime ago. Some days it seems like it never happened. Today it feels like just yesterday that she was laying on me in a hospital bed while I wondered how I could ever make things right.

I made it through her birthday all right. I've always had good defense mechanisms. Put on the armor- pretend nothing happened- keep busy (the last one is the biggest). Yet I couldn't escape the grief; it just came a little late.

They called this weekend- I can't remember which day. For the first time, I chose not to answer the phone. I knew my daughter was on the other end, but I let the phone ring. I could not bring myself to choke down the tears and find excitement. Her mother probably wonders what has happened. I haven't answered her email either. I'm overwhelmed. I have no room to cry. I have responsibilities.

I miss my daughter tonight.