Saturday, April 25, 2009

Because i loved him THAT much

People often don't understand my choice. Many respond with pity on their faces as if to say, "You poor thing". I tell them, "Don't feel sorry for me; I'm a lucky girl." This is the happiest story I know.
Some will say, "Well, it's best that you placed your son for adoption, because you needed your education and to finish growing up," or things of that nature. And while it is true that I am blessed to pursue the educational and social prospects of my choosing in a way I would not have been able to with a child, and although I've been endlessly blessed by my choice, none of these facts constitute why I chose.
Of course I enjoy spending my time and money the way I want. Of course I feel blessed to date without the added complication of being a single parent. And of course I love the independent young adult experience and all I gain from it. I can tell you, though, without hesitation, that I would have given it all up to have my Justin's hand in mine. I would have sacrificed all that was mine....but I would not sacrifice what could be his.
There are those who say, "But Tamra, you could have made it work! You were 18, you had money enough, your boyfriend wanted to marry you! You're a good person and you loved your baby so much!"
I confess this was my thinking for the first several months of pregnancy. I was not one of "those girls;" I'd be a good mom.....but not the best. I was enough....he could have more. And I had had the "more:" two parents who'd prepared for me, who chose me, and most importantly, to whom I am sealed in a forever family.
How could I tell my son, "Not for you."? Even with all my bargaining and rationalizing, at the end of the day I could not, even at my best, make up the difference between me and the family he COULD have. No amount of overcompensation would have been sufficient.
Many will just ask, "How? How did you do it?" I still don't know. I didn't. I couldn't have. The choice I made defied my instinct as a woman, as a human being, even as a mammal. To give away a piece of myself, my very heart, flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone -- it seemed the very air from my lungs went with him. It was impossible....for me.
And then to survive! But more -- to fare as I never had, with a new peace that felt like breathing true oxygen for the first time! I thought that to make this choice would leave me broken for life; instead, I am mended. None of this was or could have been my doing. That sort of strength comes from a source beyond myself.
As I held my baby, my Justin, in the hospital room, where the veil between here and heaven became so thin, my doctor stood silent in the door for a moment, watching as I sang to my little treasure, as I stared, endeavoring to memorize his face. He saw the love in my eyes and said, "You won't go through with it."
What he and many others don't understand is, it is BECAUSE I loved him that much, that I was able to do this impossible thing. Had I loved him an ounce less, I would never have let go. It was the only way I could break my own heart and let him go home to those who were his -- and I know now that he was theirs before he was mine. THEY shared him with ME. They are an extension of my family in a way I cannot explain. When we met, I recognized them. I can't tell you from when or where; I don't know the conversations we had or the nature of our relationship, but I knew those faces! And immediately in my heart I felt family love for them. Never before or since have I experienced anything to approach it.
There are a thousand reasons why my choice has been right and perfect for all whose lives have been affected, but THE reason is.... I asked: "Father....what do I do?" Before I knew or understood any of the wisdom or logic of it, I knew the Lord's will for my baby and me, and I allowed my own will be swallowed up in it.
"Didn't you want your baby?"
More than I have ever wanted anything. He wasn't mine.
He has been my missionary. I bless his family for being willing to wait while he fulfilled that mission. My heart has been mightily changed.
We were both born that day.

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