To my future adopted child:
Although I don’t know who you are or if you’ve even been born yet, I am anxious to meet you. I daydream about you all the time. I cry because you aren’t here with me quite yet.
What are you doing right now? I’ve been enjoying my early 30s—marrying your goofy daddy, working on my career, taking mountain vacations, and doing things most people my age do. But lately, I’ve felt that empty space growing. And you? Are you still just a speck in nothingness, waiting to be born? Or are you in an unhappy family, just waiting to fall apart, toppling into the foster care system? Are you OK tonight?
You won’t share my genes, so I can’t even guess what you might be like. You could be an infant or a 10-year-old child, weary of so many foster families. You could have blue eyes, brown skin, red hair—or look just like me. You could be waiting in China, Africa, or South America.
I want to assure you: No matter who you are, we were created for each other.
In fact, my life experiences have specially crafted me for you.
I’ve spent 10 years teaching preschool, developing the kind of open heart that’s able to take in dozens of children when their own mother can’t be there. Each time my preschoolers cried over a skinned knee, or hid beneath their desk during a thunderstorm, I practiced being a mother. Each time a child grew up and came back to visit, thanking me for encouraging their love of art or writing, I felt fulfilled. Yes, I can love you and be your mother, even if you’ve already had another mother before me. I won’t be jealous. (Well, maybe a little.)
I’ve got an excitable, whimsical heart that’s been impatiently waiting for a child to teach about art and magic, wonder and kindness. I’ve got lots of practice teaching little ones how to walk, how to count, how to read, and how to be kind to their classmates.
I have even worked with foster children, some who were content, but many who harbored their own pain and resentment toward life. Some were challenging among the most challenging. And I loved them the most because I knew they needed that extra patience and understanding, but also extra guidance and even firmness.
So many well-meaning people have told me, “You’ll be such a good mother someday!” I know. It seems kind of unfair. But even that will make you and I fit even better. While you learned the pain of not having parents, I learned the emptiness of being childless.
I watched friends sharing joyous baby showers while you watched friends holding their mommy’s hand at school. We know each other’s pain and will thus fully appreciate each other’s joy. So, you see, our lives are crafting us for each other. Every painful moment, every life skill we develop, they will make sense when we meet each other for the first time.
When my ex-husband had his first child, I knew his dream had come true. It was a dream I could never give him. He knew I was sad, and he said:
“I know you want to pass on your genes. Your eyes. Those cheeks. But you will pass on what matters; you will pass on your soul and your mind.”
I’ve held onto those words some nights, when I’m wishing for you, my future son or daughter. I worry about you even now. Is your life going OK? What experiences might you have before we meet each other? Will you ever meet our beloved family pet, or will she be gone by the time you come? You’d really love her, our little dog. Her name is Willow. She’d love you too. I hope you meet.
Will you meet your great-grandmother? Your great-grandfather? They’d sure love to see you. They’re always wondering when you’ll come.
Some women wait for a soul mate, the person they are destined to be with. But I am destined for you, fated to be your mother. I can’t wait to meet you someday when the time is right. Life is preparing us. God is preparing us to be together. Someday.
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