Friday, March 23, 2012

For The Daughter I Lost

My Dearest Firstborn,

I still remember the day of your birth. I remember it like it was yesterday. The day I became a mother.

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to be many things - a teacher, a singer, a forensic psychologist, a social worker, to name a few. The only thing that remained constant throughout , was my desire to be a mother. Sixteen years ago I held you in my arms for the first time. I had what I wanted. I was a mother. I was 18. I looked at you and I was terrified. Here, before me, was tiny little being that I helped create. A tiny little person who had grown inside me and now was living, breathing, laying in my arms, completely dependent on me for everything. I was overwhelmed. The first few weeks were difficult. It was not at all what I expected. Most of what I knew about life I learned from watching television and I quickly learned that real life is nothing like a weekly sitcom. I was alone a lot. I was depressed. I was far away from everything I knew. I was not (and still am not) good a making friends, so I was very lonely. I didn’t feel like a mom.

And then one day you smiled at me. Not the smile that you wonder if it’s gas, but a genuine smile. A smile that is from deep inside and when it comes out, it shines mostly through the eyes. At that moment I fell so deeply in love with you. At that moment in my heart I became a mother. In that moment my dream came true. At that moment, I never could have imagined the pain and heartache that would soon take over my life.

Although the time I had with you was short, I was devoted to you. You were my entire world-my everything. I lived and breathed through you. No matter what anyone may tell you this is the truth. There are some that know this to be true and willing to share the love I had for you, but then there are others, the ones who have been your sole influence, that will deny you the truth. Those in your life who have turned you against me . The people that want nothing more than for you to hate me. And as I write this it seems that they have gotten what they want.

When you were three years old, you were ripped from my arms following a nasty battle. A custody battle that I never could have imagined. One that was filled with lies and hatred. That day, I stood sobbing in the courtroom, in shock wondering how I was going to say good-bye to my precious little angel. That day my world stopped. That day changed me forever, and I will never be the same. That day I lost the one thing I had always wanted, I lost the title “Mom”.

In the months that followed, I was permitted to see you infrequently at best and had to fight for every visit. At times the hatred prevailed and those who tried their best to keep us apart succeeded. Several times my visitation rights were suspended and I had to fight to see you again. For two years I fought for every visit and every phone call. Then came the final visit. The visit where my heart was broken. It was during this visit that you told me that you didn’t need me anymore because you had a new mom. I had no way of knowing how true that statement would become. I had no way of knowing it would be the last time I would see you for 8 years.

Two months later, while preparing to leave work to drive to pick you up, I received a phone call. It was your dad. He told me not to bother coming to get you because I was no longer allowed to see you. It seems, as he told me that you had made horrific allegation of things that I had done to you. He refused to tell me any more than that and it would be another several months before a dear friend of mine would share that information with me. That was the end for me. I could not bear the pain any longer. I could not stomach the daily battle. It was then that my heart had finally shattered and I never thought it could ever be repaired, and in truth I will never fully heal.

Every day I struggled. I wondered many days where you were, and if you were okay. I cried for you every night, I prayed that God would one day allow you to be in my life again. I prayed that I would one day again be “Mom”. I celebrated each of your birthdays by baking you a cake and singing Happy Birthday to you, though this you would and may never know. I imagined once again sharing holidays and special times with you, but never believed it would be so.

For 10 years I lived a reckless life. I pulled away from all my friends and family. I disappeared from anything or anyone that reminded me of you. I just couldn’t take the pain. But still in all that pain, I ached for you. I ached to see you just one more time. I longed to tell you how much I loved you. I longed to hug you one more time. I wanted to hear your little voice call me mommy. In every little girl I saw you. I wondered if I would recognize you, should I see you on the street. Every day I struggled with the what-ifs. What could I have done differently? Why didn’t I fight harder? Why couldn’t I pull myself out of the darkness? Why couldn’t I just shake it off?

I was elated that year when I finally heard from you. I couldn’t wait to tear open the letter I had pulled out of the mailbox. That feeling would not last. It was not the letter I had always dreamed of receiving. It was a letter that would cause the deepest wound. It was the first time you would ask me to allow you to be adopted.

You agreed to at least take the time to get to know me, and since you were so close we visited several times. I was amazed at how you had grown, and how much you are like me. It amazed me that we share so many interests. I could not help mourn the loss of watching you grow up into the beautiful young lady that you are. It was so hard for me. I often had no idea what to say. The knife in my heart was driven deeper each time you called her mom, and deeper still when you called me by my first name.

The worst betrayal of all, came as a surprise. Although I knew all those years ago that I had done nothing to harm you, I was finally told the truth- that it was all a lie. Unfortunately no one had the guts to tell me when the truth came out, thus keeping us apart, as was their wish. But I, being the bigger person, suppressed my anger so as not to taint the time we were sharing-the time we were taking getting to know each other again.

The time we had was short, and soon you were once again moving and thousands of miles away. It would not be long before I was “unfriended” and communication stopped.

Imagine my surprise when a simple Facebook message remembering the day of your birth- the day I gave you life was returned with a message filled with hate. The feelings that I had buried deep inside me immediately surged to the surface when I realized that I had once again lost you. And this time, it would probably be forever.

Now, the only thing I can do is let go and let God. I have to surrender to Him, for He is my only hope. I will continue to pray for you, my dearest firstborn. I will continue to pray that he will open your heart and show you compassion. I will pray that you will never in your life know the pain that I have felt and that one day, maybe one day, when you hold your newborn baby in your arms that you will think about me. I will pray that when you give life you will think about the one who gave you life. Until then, I will love you. I will think of you always and I will be here when you are ready.



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