Five years ago today, I woke up, showered, got ready and went to work like any other day.
But it wasn’t.
Five years ago today, I sat at my desk and stared at my computer screen, unable to focus my mind and work. I thought about the young woman I had met just a few days earlier. The young woman who was being induced with her first child. The young woman who was giving birth to my son.
Five years ago today, I got a call shortly after lunchtime. He had been born–just a little thing at 7 pounds 1 oz; the smallest child either she or I would have. Despite my agency’s policy to keep the adoptive parents away for the first couple of days so the biological mother has a chance to be with her child and feel sure of her choice, we were told to come. She was asking for us. She didn’t want us to wait. She wanted us to meet our son. She wanted to see us with him.
Five years ago today, I packed as fast as I could and drove the three hours to her hospital. There was a light, but persistent rain. The red bud trees were blooming, making a fiery path for us to follow. (Seeing those trees this time of year still takes me back to that drive.)
Five years ago today, I entered a hospital late at night and held my son for the very first time. Pictures were taken of all of us together. She and her family watched as I changed his first meconium diaper and felt like I had passed a test, had met their approval.
Five years ago today, she told me she had changed her mind. Not about the adoption, but about the terms. She embraced my offer to keep in touch. She wanted to know who he was, how he was, that everything was ok. “You will let me know he’s ok?” she asked over and over. And the answer never changed, and still hasn’t.
Five years ago today, I became a mother. I welcomed an amazing little boy into my life.
I believe that there is a plan to life. I may not know why things happened how they did, but I am so grateful now for the years of infertility that I suffered through. I would never have thought, back then, that I would ever find myself saying that–that time in my life was hell on earth. But, if I hadn’t experienced it, I would never have become N’s mom.
If not for my trials, five years ago today would have been just another day.
Happy Birthday, N~. I love you.