Adoption Announcement!

After almost four years of battling infertility, including two surgeries, numerous medical appointments, tons of prayers and tears, we are e...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Saying Goodbye to Mini-us

***Note: This letter was recommended as part of the infertility grieving process before moving forward with adoption. Though immensely therapeutic for me to write and share with others, it may be triggering for those who have unresolved infertility grief.

Dear Child I Will Never Know,

It's hard to fully grieve when I'm still holding out hope that I will one day get to meet you. But I know I need to have closure with you so my heart is fully open and ready to embrace a child that is very different from us in a way that is different than I had dreamed.

I never imagined that I would suffer so much grief over not getting to have you. I was never one of those girls who had names picked out for her children. Because of His calling on my life and my surrender to Him, I was never sure if God even had someone for me to marry at all, let alone whether I would ever experience the joy of having children. I often felt that His calling on my life was for singleness and chastity and this sense only increased as I reached my thirties and still hadn't met the right one. But I've always loved children, especially babies and toddlers. So after I married the wonderful man God brought into my life, I started to dream about having you. I tried to imagine what you might look like as God brought together the combination of our genes to make a little miniature of us. I got excited every month as I dreamed of conceiving you and getting that big fat positive on a pregnancy test.

Perhaps it's the narcissism of human nature that the majority of us seem to naturally want a mini-me, but I also thought of what an amazing and beautiful gift you would be as a living and breathing testimony of the love that we share. I often pondered the scripture that says "children are a blessing from the Lord" and it seemed like it would be most natural for God to provide this blessing for those who love Him and seek to walk in His ways.

I dreamed about feeding you and cuddling you, decorating your room, picking out cute clothes for you to wear, and posting cute pictures of you on Facebook. I imagined how fun it would be to introduce you to your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. As you grew up, I imagined everyone would be commenting on how various facial features or personality traits reminded them of me or your dad or other family members. That's what I experienced throughout my life and I expected it would be the same for you. I was really close to my mom growing up (and still am) and I expected it to be like that between us.

Because of my direct personal experience growing up with biological parenting, there are many unknowns for me when it comes to anticipating the beauty of adoption. There are also certain losses I need to come to terms with related to you.

I had dreamed of forming a bond with you early in life through pregnancy so that you would be used to the sound of my voice and we would form an attachment from your earliest moments. I'm now contemplating adopting a child who will have experienced the loss of their mother in their earliest days of life. That loss will be the result of other losses and painful circumstances as well. Hopefully my experience with loss will help me know how to help my child process and grieve their losses too. I anticipated difficulties and challenges in parenting, but I felt less nervous about the prospect thinking of the special bond that we would share. I'm now studying attachment issues of adopted children and facing the unknown which is always scarier than the known.

But the truth is, you were an unknown too. And the possibility of having you (cute & healthy as I imagined you) was also outside of my control. If adoption was always God's plan for us, then you were never meant to exist. But my dreams for you and my grief over not having you would be part of the tapestry God would weave together to prepare my heart for His plan.

So in order to heal and fully embrace the adoption journey, I need to say goodbye to you.

As I prepared to complete this blog entry, I thought it would be fun to add an imaginary photo of you. If you were a girl, I imagine you as a mini-me and I think of the cute baby pictures of myself. If you were a boy, I think of the cute baby pictures of Jeff. But, surprisingly, when I plugged our photos into a baby photo generator just now, I was quite shocked at the not-so-cute photos that appeared. Staring back at me was a total stranger who had some of the features of Jeff and I, but a lot of their own features as well (and maybe some facial distortions due to the limitations of this technology). This activity was actually quite therapeutic for me and I spent awhile trying different photos of Jeff and I and generating numerous possible pictures of you (most of them were kind of ugly, to be honest), until I finally found one that I thought was cute.

It still doesn't look like how I imagined you, though! Even if we were able to conceive biologically, you would still be very different from us. You would do things that would sometimes annoy us, you might believe differently than us, or make choices that would break our hearts, and yet, in order to reflect the heart of our loving Heavenly Father, we would still seek to love you unconditionally. 

So now we will try to do that for whatever child(ren) He has chosen for us.

Thank you, God, for another part of the process in this journey as you transition and prepare my heart for what you have in store.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm still processing all that you wrote but I know it took so much courage to sit down and write this. I pray this step will bring continued healing for you and Jeff in your journey towards parenting ( whatever that looks like).

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  2. Jessica, I love that you wrote this and I will be praying for you and Jeff. I am so grateful for you, and for God providing a husband who loves the Lord like you do. You're right. Any loss needs to be felt all the way, along the way. I am so glad you are showing the maturity and courage that goes with trusting Christ for what is next. May God guide your steps, and guard your hearts.

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    1. Thank you so much, Katy, for your kind words and prayers. It means so much to me.

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  3. Jessica, this is such a great step in the process of letting go of your dreams and embracing what is to come. And without the nine months to love and nurture your child before you meet him/her, your bonding will begin the moment that child is placed in your arms. It is just a different path than what you envisioned. Every parent's story is different and every adoptive parent's story is different. Any child has the potential to break your heart. Embrace the moment when it comes because you truly will love that child like your own and you won't even realize how or when it happened. We pray for your journey of love as it continues. And we will be so excited to hear your news when it happens.
    - Joyce Ciriglianoi

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    1. Thank you, Joyce. I know you understand this process very well. I am filled with hope and anticipation about our adoption and was doing this activity as it was suggested in some of my adoption training. I had no idea it would hit me as deeply as it did. I gushed buckets of tears, but I feel a lot better now. I do think it is important to fully feel the grief. This activity helped me a lot with that. Thank you so much for your love & prayers.

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