In a universe, ten years ago, she’s about to embark on the week that will forever be burned into her memory. She’ll remember every sound, almost every sight, and she’ll never forget that moment. The Moment. The one where she met her first born, her sweet little, squawking son. She’ll never forget the way her body shuddered voluntarily after she birthed him, and how she reached for him before they took him away to be checked over. She’ll never forget how she gasped at how much he looked like Yoda causing the staff and others in the room to laugh. She’ll never forget the shower she had, the way the lack of sleep would weigh her eyelids down or the way she’d feel her whole body sob from the inside out.
How I want to go back there. I want to go back to her, and hold her hand while she drapes her hand over the bassinet, feeling guilty for wanting to sleep, because she was so tired but knowing her time was limited. While she rests, I would pick that little baby up and rock him, sing to him, cry to him, and hope that while she sleeps, she finds that courage within to not go through with all of this. I could help her now, with all I know. I could tell her how beautiful she is, and how she’ll have a wonderful family. That she doesn’t have to go through with this, and that this baby, the one that has been claimed by them, is not really theirs. He belongs to her, and he wants to stay with her. He will always be hers, she just hasn’t been told that by anyone.
I want to go back and pull her by the arm, and tell her we’ll create a life, a life she’ll love, a life he’ll love. I want to tell her that they can be together, and that they will be just fine. I would tell her that the adoptive family will go on to have other kids and they’ll get over not having him. I’m sure of it.
I would show her how to nurse him, so that she could feel that bond, the one she refused because she didn’t want to be too attached. I’d tell her that she is a great Mom, and that she won’t be anything like her parents. I’d wipe her tears as she wonders if he’ll hate her, and I’d tell her that if she goes through with this, she’ll never stop wondering if he will hate her. Because there is no way to know how he’ll react, or if the family he has is really good. I’d tell her that this adoptive couple aren’t perfect, and they have their flaws. We’ll see them later, if you go down this road, I’d sigh. By then, it’ll be too late, way too late.
I’d go to her Mom and tell her to grow a spine and support her daughter, her family. That her reputation is not always the only thing to focus on. That in ten years, she’ll miss her grandson, and will realize that it could have been so different.
I’d tell her that this won’t repair her relationship with her family. I know how much she thought it would. It’ll get worse, and I’d show her how it does. I’d explain that she’ll come to terms about the reality of her relationship with her family, but that relinquishing this sweet boy doesn’t do anything to mend those wounds. In fact, to some degree, it deepens them, causing them never to fully heal. We never fully forgive our parents for throwing us in this pit.
I would tell that young girl that she can still go back to school, she can still do everything she wants to do, and that even with the adoption, she doesn’t accomplish all of her dreams. It’s not a free pass, I’d say. It’s just another option that doesn’t end with all the rainbows they say. This is a permanent solution, I’d warn.
Of course, I’d share with her my aching. The way I haven’t seen him for years and how profoundly that hurts. I’d tell her that she’ll never stop thinking about him, but you just learn to cope with it on a daily basis. I would tell her that they will close the adoption, and that they never really wanted to share their life with her. They are not as nice as they seem, I’d warn. They’ll always look down on you. I’d explain that her open adoption is going to be anything but, and she’ll spend many years desperate for anything, something that connects him to her. She’ll spend a decade wishing that she’d had more, asked for more, been more. And then I’d tell her she is enough as she is, right then, enough for him.
So many lessons learned in ten years. So many things I wish she’d known. How very different this all might have been if she’d known the truth and could have seen where this path would lead her. If only.
I’m not there, and she won’t know. So she’ll go about this week, and by the early morning on Thursday, she’ll have given birth that little Yoda baby. And I’ll weep with her, because she knows what’s coming, and I know what’s happened.