So…I don’t even know how to begin this particular letter so I will just come right out and say it. I am pregnant. OK, you can stop laughing now. Yes, we do know what causes this and yes, at 37 (me) and 49 (Mr. Amazing Man) years of age, we are old enough to know better too.
Honestly, I was certain we were done having children – I have two beautiful, amazing, and wonderful boys that keep me busy. The older one is nearly as tall as me and the youngest just started all-day kindergarten one week before I found out I was pregnant. I was supposed to graduate with my PhD on nearly the same day this baby is due. I had given away anything and everything baby related not more than two months before. I was at peace with my life as it was and actually getting a bit excited to welcome in the next phase of my life. I mean, I had a plan and it was a really good plan. I thought.
I planned. God laughed.
I knew I was pregnant before my cycle was even late that month. I mean I knew it knew it, deep down in my bones. And I also knew it was going to be a girl. It wasn’t completely unexpected for me to see the pregnancy test turn positive on September 14th. I had actually known since September 12th when I was only 8 DPO. Today, I wasn’t shocked or surprised at all to hear the ultrasound tech proclaim the baby a girl and point out her girlie-bits on the screen. Somehow my soul already knew. And my heart began to shatter all over again into a million thousand pieces.
I haven’t voiced my fears to many people…well, just to Mr. Amazing Man and that was on the ride home from the ultrasound appointment. I held it together while we were in the office but once I got in the car, I fell apart and started sobbing. He thought I was happy to find out we are having a girl, a little Penelope Rose, named after her grandmothers. I probably didn’t need to yell as loudly as I did at him that NO, I AM NOT CRYING BECAUSE I AM HAPPY BUT BECAUSE I AM TERRIFIED I AM GOING TO LOSE HER TOO. And not only that, why would God play this cruel trick on me??? Why would He send me another daughter when He had already told me that I wasn’t worthy or able to parent one before?
Raising two boys has somehow insulated me a bit from losing you to adoption. After all, I can white-knuckle my way past the the sea of hair bows, barrettes, leggings, ruffles, and pink in the girls clothing section of Target to make it to the boys section. I can breath deeply and avert my eyes so I don’t have to see those sweet little Mary Janes as I reach for yet another pair of Thomas the Tank Engine sneakers. I can keep the boys’ hair short and not worry about battling morning tangles and ponytails. There have been no baby dolls, princess dress-up clothes, or Polly Pocket pieces to step on in the mornings – just Legos, cars, and trains. Lots of trains.
In short, raising the boys has allowed me a little bit of breathing room because I am not constantly and daily reminded of what I lost.
But now I find myself being plunged headfirst back into it all…and I find I am not doing so well. Like, I need to call in reinforcements not doing so well. I will be the first to admit I drank the adoption kool-aid, sucked it down like it was the nectar of life. I had to because other wise, the horror of what I had done to us would have consumed and destroyed me. But eventually the anesthesia wears off and I am left wanting answers and wondering where God was in all of this mess. I am struggling to sort out the theology from the cultural practices and finding it very difficult to reconcile the God of the Restoration with the God of the Mormon culture.
Because the God that I have come to know and worship would never have required me to sacrifice my own child to justify my redemption. The justification for my reconciliation to God and His goodness came through the cross and the atoning sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son. No good works on my part, no matter how “unselfish” my church/culture claims it to be, can qualify me. It is only through the merits of Jesus Christ that I am made whole. My worth in God’s eyes was not conditional upon my surrendering you to adoption – that worth is a birthright I was born with, an heritage from a loving Father bestowed on me simply because I am His creation.
But I didn’t know that then. I know it now, but I can’t undo what I did then. I can only trust in God as I know Him now – a loving, personal God who is crazy about me (yes, even the 19-year old, scared, people-pleasing single mother me) and who says, “Wait, my beloved daughter. Be patient. It will all work out in the end.”
I just wish I had found Him before that cold, wet night in March when I left my beloved daughter in the arms of strangers.