our adoption option: happy valentine's day to her

i meant to post this on actual valentines day, but we've had a super busy last 10 days or so with travel, family, and work so here it is now and we can all just accept it. :)

the other day we were driving to fargo to visit family. it's a long, boring, 4 hour drive and usually produces one of two things for the PLergs: 1) beautiful conversation about our life, our goals, our dreams for the future, or 2) a katy perry sing off. (paul always wins.) it's always one of these options and never anything else.  so this trip we were sitting quietly, driving along with the snow white landscape whipping past out the window...just....thinking.....when pauly says to me, "isn't it crazy to think that our birth mom is pregnant right now?" honestly, this thought knocked the wind out of me and instantly made my eyes fill with tears. she....... she is pregnant. we have waited almost 9 years to start this process and now all of a sudden she is real. she is an actual person, a real woman who either knows or is just finding out she is pregnant. she will change our lives forever, and she doesn't even know us.  even now as i write this, i can't help my eyes from welling with thankful, overwhelmed, tears.

for a while, paul and i thought about having a completely closed adoption. we thought it would be easier for us to just take our child and live our life. to completely think of this child as our own, and that way we could protect ourselves (in theory) from the dreaded "you're not my real mom!" bomb someday. but paul's sentence...that one simple thought....changed our minds completely. there is no us without her. this woman is giving us the most incredible, selfless, precious gift anyone ever could, and she will forever be a part of our lives. whatever that looks like: pictures once a year, meeting her before she delivers, being in the delivery room, phone calls a few times a year.... we want her to know that she is loved. deeply and forever by us. all of us.

along this process we have learned the 'lingo' for adoptions. for example, we have learned to always refer to any children that i may someday birth as 'biological' kids, no 'our own' kids...as in "are you ever going to have any kids of your own?" because all of our children are 'our own.' we will have prayed and labored in some way for each and every one of them. we also have learned that we need to view our birth mother's choice for adoption not as 'giving up her baby for adoption,' but rather that she has chosen to 'place the child for adoption.' i never want my child to think that this was an easy decision for their birth mom to make. i never want my child to think that they are easy to 'give up.' because that simply is not true. yes. there are birth moms who don't seem to be as connected to their child when placing them, but after reading story after story, listening to real birth moms share their experience, i know now with unshakeable certainty that this is never the easy choice. imagining our birth mom looking through our profile (or many many profiles) and thinking "i will never have this life. i will never be able to give my child this life..." and then selflessly choosing to give her child that life is.....unimaginable for me. i can't imagine making that choice. i can't imagine being as strong as she has to be.

so for all of this, she will always be a part of our lives. it's because of her that we will have our family. and it is her strength, her courage, and her selflessness that i will remember when i raise my child. if this isn't the ultimate of what it means to be a selfless, sacrificing mother, i don't know that is.

so, happy valentines day to her. may she feel our prayers everyday. may she feel the love of Jesus wash over her every step. and may she know that she is already part of our forever family.

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