Jan. 13th, 2017

adoptedwriter: (Swallowtail Butterfly)
I never knew how much I would love a child until I had a child.

While you gestated in me for nine months and eight days, we bonded. I chatted with you while driving to and from work. I sang songs and rocked out with you to Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson and Billy Joel. Your first concert was when I won tickets off the radio to see Huey Lewis and the News while seven months pregnant! I swear all the rolling and pushing I felt that night was you dancing and clapping along to the rhythm.

The Power of Love...

I was sonogramed later in the pregnancy due to concerns about placenta previa, which turned out to be a non-issue, but the bonus was, unlike at the 20th week appointment, we were finally able to determine that we were having a little girl! I'd had three dreams about having a girl, so I intuitively knew this, but the medical proof was sweet. I got a brief look at your face, and we made eye contact on screen! Driving home from the appointment, Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" was playing on the radio. It was a magical moment, and that tune became Our Song.



But I was afraid. After all this time and all the good news we appeared to be blessed with, I was terribly frightened that someone somehow would make an error regarding either your life or mine.

But it never happened, and you were born fine. "Eight days late, but worth the wait!" we said Daddy proudly printed up "Strickland, The Next Generation" birth announcements to send out.

And after we were home, I was still afraid. I swear it wasn't hormones. I was always on the alert for something bad to happen. It was exhausting, but it's how I lived each day and night. I kept myself in check, but inside I was terrified of either you losing me or me losing you.

The TV news had an onslaught of stories about abandoned babies, including one at EPCOT in a ladies' room. Then there was the piece about a young mother killed by an angry boyfriend; the story about the house fire and all the children perished...I just couldn't...

And I thought about Billie, my birth mother, your birth grandmother, and how she died when she was only 36, as a young mother. My sister, KDN, was a baby and never got to know our mother either. Billie lost me to adoption, and my sister lost Billie due to heart failure.

And I couldn't stop thinking about how fortunate we all are to be living in times when we have better medical care and technology to save lives and prevent problems; how lucky I was to have the means both socially, physically and financially to care for my own children myself.

And I was in awe of how you looked so much like my birth father and me: same little mouth, fine, reddish peach-fuzz hair and blue eyes. I could never let you go...My baby...

But you did go: to kindergarten, to Girl Scouts, to basketball practice, to sixth-grade-camp, to AAA Driving School, to Prom and then college, where you went to a Halloween party and met the love of your life.

I had so many fears about raising you and having something go awry, but you have had very few fears, and I admire this about you. You are confidant, lovely, intelligent, accomplished, funny, still with reddish hair and those dreamy baby-blues.

And on your beautiful wedding day you were brave enough to break with tradition and went down the aisle your way to the that ever powerful song, "In Your Eyes"...Our song.

Now you own a home, have a good job and show so much promise. One day you guys are going to be great parents. You tell me you're afraid of raising kids in today's goofy, "effed-up" world full of weirdos, bad politics, terrorists and PTSD. You don't want to bring a child into this arena, but I believe you can do it. You have so much support, and honestly, society needs people like you guys to produce more good-natured, kind and bright people like yourselves. There's a safety in numbers.

My greatest wish is that somehow you can work beyond your fear of potentially messing up your someday-kid's life or not being adequate enough to deal with the future of our world. Instead, we have to keep living and finding ways to introduce more goodness and positivity into our lives and not let so much negativity curtail our options and plans.

I'm selfish, I admit this. I really want to be a grandparent. You won't screw up, I guarantee it. I also know it is your body, but you guys have a lot going for you. Please, please...find a way to be less afraid. I want to hold a baby again and play songs like In Your Eyes and The Power of Love and dance around the room with a small, cuddly warm person another time.

You're 27 years old. I'm forever your Mommy, and, G-d, I love you so much!

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