Twenty-one years ago at 1:30 in the morning a precious baby girl breathed air into her lungs for the first time. The sound of her newborn cry would remain etched in my mind for years and years to come. I held her in my arms, her big blue eyes looking back at me. The Mommy I had chosen for her was there too–looking on in wonder at her beautiful new baby daughter, her Daddy waiting anxiously just outside the door. Their joy became my strength.
A few days later under a little gazebo in the park I held that tiny bundle for the last time. I tearfully placed her in their arms, somehow able to admit at 20-years-old that I wasn’t what was best for her. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, God and his legion of angels carried my wounded heart away from the gazebo that day. I’m not strong enough to do something like that on my own. There were probably trios of birds and hearts all over the place, but I hadn’t bothered to notice. For the next 18 years her Mommy devotedly sent me pictures and letters as she had promised. And then it came – THE letter. S. wanted to meet me!!!!! There is nothing on this earth that I can possibly compare what it’s like to embrace someone you’ve thought about, loved, and missed every single day for eighteen years. The only correlation I can make is that of a birth, but even that is only a matter of 8+ months of eager anticipation. Perhaps it would be like being pregnant for 18 years, but way better because you aren’t actually pregnant? It’s hard to believe that 21 years have now elapsed. I have always been so thankful for the God given discernment to realize the sanctity of a tiny embryo. The embryo that was my birth daughter. The embryo that the world that was quick to dismiss as an “inconvenience.” A “choice.” I’ve given thanks for the courage to admit that I wasn’t what was best for this baby who would someday grow up into a little girl, a teenager, a young lady.
Almost twenty-one years later, also at 1:30 in the morning, another precious baby girl breathed air into her lungs, but it was for the last time. As I’m faced with this painful season of my life, I am thankful for the perspective that S.’s story has invested. Because of S. I know that I will survive having said goodbye to Nora. I know I will take each day as it comes. Rain or shine, I will get through it. The Lord’s joy is and will be my strength. He will continue to carry me through the darkest days, but this time I KNOW He’s there.
I know that I will think of Nora every single day for the rest of my life, sometimes with painful yearning, sometimes with resolute joy. I know that God will write me letters and send me pictures of Nora in the form of a beautiful sunrise, hearts in the clouds and in the songs of the birds. Because of S. I know that the years will fly by quickly. I know that someday–some incredible, euphoric day that I won’t be able to put into words again–I will have another such moment as I had with my first born. I’ll get that “letter” from God that Nora wants to meet me. And I will go. I will go with such fervid excitement as I watch her nearing closer, tears in my eyes, about to jump out of my skin. And then I’ll have it – the treasured and longed for embrace.
Thank you, S. for the hope that the story of your life has bestowed upon my broken heart. I couldn’t do this without you. Thank you and HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I LOVE you. I know that your sweet little birth sister is up there singing her favorite song to you! I hope your day was wonderful!