8 years ago this month, I met a young woman. She was 19 years old, hispanic, pretty. She had dark, kind eyes and a nervous smile. She was pretty quiet at first, but once she opened up, she was warm and kind of funny. She was lovely.
A few weeks after meeting me, she made an incredibly selfless decision that I'm sure broke her heart... she gave me her baby.
If you haven't read that entire story, you can start ---> here
I have always treasured the fact that Micah shares so many of the same traits as Jay and me. He is neurotic, high-strung, and curious (me), and he's rough, loud, and charming (Jay). I can't help but wonder though, what parts of his silly personality, his quirkiness, his cool-guy charisma, come from his first parents? We were so lucky to have been able to spend a few dozen hours with them, just enough to get a sense of who they were, to hear them laugh, to learn their facial expressions. I have never had to argue nurture vs. nature when it comes to my little guy, because when I look at him, I see pieces of all of us... and I love that.
We have a semi-open adoption, which means we are free to keep in contact through the adoption agency. As was our agreement, a couple of times a year, I send pictures of Micah to her, and I write a letter about what's going on in his life. I agonize over what to include. I always want to show the best sides of life, but also want to paint an honest picture of who our boy is - and so I share, just like I share with you. I don't ever want to seem like I'm rubbing anything in her face, as if to say, "Here's all the things we can give him that you couldn't," so instead, I capture his eyes (that look like her's) and his smile (that hopefully gives her confidence in her decision) and his wackiness (because it's impossible not to love it).
I always invite her to send a letter or pictures if she ever wants to. I tell her I'll save them for him for "one day." She did once, several years ago, sending pictures of her older two children, writing a letter sharing the dreams she has to go back to school, to build a life that all three children will be proud of some day.
I wonder a lot about her now.
Did she go back to school and make the life she wanted?
Did she find someone to love her and treat her well? Did she get married?
Did she have more children?
I pray for her often, that she will find happiness, that I will live up to the confidence she had in me, that the things that make my life so full don't leave her feeling empty, that she has found peace.
Micah only understands adoption in a seven year old mind, and knows he didn't grow in mom's belly. He hasn't asked much about the belly he actually did grow in, but he will someday soon, and I pray that I explain it in a way that teaches him to respect and appreciate the woman who gave up everything so that he might have all he needs.