Dear single mom who feels alone
I’ve seen you trying so hard to give this birthmother all of your respect and patience and compassion in those moments—while you bite your lip and close your eyes, not knowing if she will change her mind, if this has all been a dream coming to an abrupt end in a sterile environment. And then, to have the child in your arms, at home, that first night. Or a request to bring in photos of him and his dad, so that the class can compare traits that are passed down, like blue eyes or square chins.
And then the tucking of that away because, well, these things fall through, you know. Maybe you bought a soft blanket, just that one blanket, and held it to your cheek every night. I know about your knuckles, cracked and bleeding, from cleaning every square inch of your home the night before. Struggling to offer your love to a little one who is unsettled and afraid. The nerves that morning, the judge, the formality, the relief, the joy. Because everything about what you have was a decision, and nothing about what you have was easy. Maybe someone warned you about what happened to their cousin’s neighbor’s friend. And I’ve seen you in foreign countries, strange lands, staying in dirty hotels, taking weeks away from work, struggling to understand what’s being promised and what’s not. But since your kiddo is new to the monkey bars and takes forever and sometimes gets scared and stops right in the middle, my son had no choice but to go past her and sometimes bump her a little and she would fall and be all sensitive and start crying? So no, I wasn’t there, but does that give you a right to discipline my kiddo? Now before I continue, I just want to say that yes, I know I should have been there when this all went down, but unfortunately I was on the other side of the playground with my son’s friend who was crying.
Maybe someone told you it simply wasn’t in God’s plans for you to have a child, this child whose hair you now brush lightly from his face. I know how you wanted so badly to show that you had it all together, even though you were back to working more-than-full-time, maybe without maternity leave, without the family and casseroles and welcome-home balloons and plants.