I could start this brief letter (indulge me a bit here) out by talking about how wonderful and amazing Patrick and Daniel are. Let me not lead you astray. They are in fact both wonderful and amazing friends, brothers, uncles, godfathers and countless other things to many people in their lives. However, this letter will not be about them. This letter is just a bit about me and a lot about you.
My father told me once (and many times over when I was in a hurry to grow up) that there is a time and a place for everything. Stop and think on those words for a moment. Consider the most important moments in your life and it’s almost as if all those moments were predetermined. As if someone, somewhere, with divine timing said, “This is what I want for you.” This always comforts me. As a person who lives in a constant hurry, I find peace in knowing that there is a time and a place for everything, even if I cannot always understand why.
Maybe you are like me and children were never really part of your plan. You have hopes and dreams of things you sought to achieve in your life and, although they are in no way out of reach with children, it just seemed like an added hurdle you were never quite ready to jump. Having children has never felt like the right thing for me. I think maybe at a younger age I thought so. It just seemed like “what came next.” With age came wisdom and I very quickly learned that although I have all the equipment, (and the unequivocal burden of cultural and social ideals of what women are destined to be) it just never felt like my destiny. I feel I was called to be many things in my lifetime, but a mother was just not one of them. But maybe you are not like me and children are part of your destiny. Maybe “divine timing” just came flying at you and threw a ton of bricks right on top of your heart. Maybe you are just hoping you can find the right path out. You might even be thinking, “How could this be the right time or place in my life? Why would this happen now?” And while I don’t have answers, I do think that maybe your time and place, as uncertain as it might seem, was meant to find someone else. I can’t foresee when God will choose to make Patrick and Daniel fathers, but I have no doubt that it is in His plan. You see, it’s just one of those things you feel. Just as I feel that I was not destined for motherhood, I feel that they are destined for fatherhood. Maybe this time and place just seems to miss the mark. But maybe, just maybe, the mark is spot on. And while this still might feel impossible, maybe your time and place was meant to coincide with Patrick and Daniel. Your baby was meant to find his or her place in their home, to help complete their destiny.
I work in a hospital with newborns and small children. I see people who want nothing more than to have children every day. Sometimes they find themselves in these scary situations which bring them to us but they wouldn’t trade any of it, good or bad, for those little babies. We have a lot of happy endings when we get to send these parents home with their child. Sometimes we don’t. Sending parents home empty handed is absolutely the worst thing we have to do. I often get angry and sad and filled with doubt. How this could happen to people? How could this be divine timing or the right place for them? I have not found those answers either, but I know they are out there. We just are not always given the comfort of knowing the plan ahead of time.
In some of those happy endings, a baby, through the course of adoption is going home with a new family. I am no less overjoyed to see that baby make it home with those parents; however, I often find myself thinking of the birth mother and how she must be feeling. She will undoubtedly be going home empty handed. It’s a feeling that no woman could comprehend unless she too has given her child with trust and good intention to complete strangers. I commend those women for their bravery. I commend you. It might ease those feelings ever so slightly if those mothers could only see that this one act, as terrifying and heart wrenching as it might feel, comes with joyous rewards for those on the receiving end. And while my words may not heal that hurt that may inevitably come, I urge you to trust me, another complete stranger, when I say that your fear and angst is not felt in vain. You have the ability to give people who want nothing more than to have children the opportunity to become parents. Your current time and place, as untimely as it might feel, has the ability to take on a new meaning and make another parent’s life unequivocally wonderful.
Wherever you might find yourself when this letter reaches you, I pray, ever so quietly, that it would also be God’s time and place for Patrick and Daniel. Whatever is next for you, I pray too that it is as joyous and fulfilling as this will be for them.