Saturday, April 25, 2009

letter to inquiring friend in crisis pregnancy

i'll give you short answers here that doesn't even begin to cover it but i'm tryin to get up there next weekend. could we do lunch or somethin?
so, i was with J almost 2 yrs and when he found out he didn't tell his folx for quite some time. i think he was holdin out for a miscarriage. but at the same time, he'd already asked me to marry him before i was pregnant (though i was only 17 [embarrassing]) so he was kinda like- yeah! now she has to! and i did become engaged to him in the first trimester, knowing i'd never be happy with him and it would in all likelihood end in divorce. but it meant i could keep my baby and i thought i could satisfy my conscience with that choice. i was willing to be unhappy in marriage and/or divorced just so long as i could have my baby. but i couldn't stay satisfied with that. i knew it would be doing Justin no favor to give him that sort of family. it took relocating to get that perspective. my case worker (divinely inspired) persuaded me to stall my plans 2 months and move from memphis to atlanta to get some distance and perspective. to have the opportunity to think in a quiet place without parents who insisted i place for adoption, without a boyfriend who was full of fairy tales and fantasies about the life we'd have, without friends who said it would all be so fun and cute and who assured they'd be there for me, and without others who asked "are you really gonna have it?". she invited me to consider it from afar and if at the end of 2 months it was still my choice to marry we'd all feel more comfortable about it. well this was '95 so only rock stars had cell phone and we couldn't afford much long distance so.... i began to notice that, while i missed him almost unbearably (as we were so codependently addicted to eachother) i would regress on the days we'd talk. i'd become confused again. see, i was working SO hard to get the spirit in my life because i knew i'd need that to be a good mom, whatever that would mean for us. i was repenting to the best of my ability and it was working....but not when he was in my life. so i broke it off. getting married woulda let me off the hook, so to speak, but at the detriment of my baby. i did not choose to place at this time however. as you know it is a most terrifying prospect to consider. i was asking God to tell me what to do but then i was telling Him what that should be. i was counseling Him and not seeking council from Him. i was saying "whatever's best for my baby" and "thy will be done" but in my heart i was saying "except that". i promise to obey, just don't ask me to do that". i begged and i bargained, i promised i'd work triple hard and find a way to compensate for the difference between me, and a family-with preparation, maturity, experience, a father, the priesthood, the sealing covenant, etc. i knew i was a good person and i loved him so much already, i'd be a good mom! but in these efforts i found no peace and i was frustrated. one day at the absolute end of my wits, exhausted by my own willful defiance and overwhelmed by the responsibility placed on me, i came to the Lord and said "i've done everything you've told me. i study, i pray, i forgive, etc.....i need you to tell me what to do! please! just tell me what to do!" it was then i heard, certainly with words if not a voice, "Tamra, give the Lord your will". and at that moment, for the first time, i did. the spirit translated to me that- thy will be done- doesn't mean-as long as its my will, or A,B,or C but not D. it means- i know i don't have the answer, i need you to guide me. it means-if it kills me, thy will be done. and in this case, that's almost what i expected. i knew this was bigger than me. beyond my own capacity. and i thought it would destroy me. i didn't know how i'd do it, but i knew there would be a way provided. i imagine perhaps something of what the saints felt when they were asked to leave their nauvoo and cross the plains, or nephi when the lord commanded him to build a ship. certainly akin to what Abraham felt as he placed the son he'd prayed for on the sacrificial alter. certainly what Moses' mother must've felt as she trusted her little baby in a basket on the river into God's hands. i let go of my will for obedience and for the love of my child and my desires for his best interest. and immediately....a i hadn't felt since childhood if ever. and then the first time i said it out loud a physical feeling i cant describe started at my head and moved through my body. the anxiety i'd felt at the thought of adoption dissipated. it was going to be alright. we were in the Lord's hands now.
i realize now, it didn't mean i wouldn't have been a great mom for him. it's a good, better, best thing. when there was better, and when I'D had better, how could i tell him "no son, not for you. it would've hurt ME too badly".
i wasn't destroyed! it wasn't the end for me! but the beginning for both of us! it hurt in a way i don't know words for. but it has been so compassionately compensated for. somehow, He made it worth it. i suffered like never but with peace like never. and i've been refined. i was converted and baptized by this experience. it broke my heart, but that heart was no good. i have a new heart. it did kill me in a sense but it was a merciful death and i was born new with my son. how, out of SUCH grief is it that i now can't speak of it without rejoicing and being filled with gratitude? my boy is home. he was theirs before he was mine. i've never worried about him. not once. i'm SO blessed i know that family!
so,does that cover your questions..... i shoulda known i couldn't be brief. i never can on this subject. but i still hope we can get together. i got lots more (-;. and i'd love to hear your story. please o please don't be offended by anything i said. it's MY story, it's what was right for US. YOU are the one who has to find peace in your own decision. no one else's will sustain you.
hope this isn't too heavy. i feel for ya girl. it's a lotta weight to carry, literally an figuratively (-;. you CAN do it though.
peace. please write back and share your thoughts or ask me anything.

o boy.... i realize now there are a couple things i did not address in the previous ....note. you asked if he knew i placed and if i still talk to him....J.
so, i continued to talk to him from time to time during pregnancy in an effort to be fair and allow him to be involved. and also because even though i knew he didn't fit in my life i still missed him like mad. and mostly's hard! i needed someone to share it with, help shoulder the burden. God did not intend his little girls to go through this alone! in retrospect i wish i'd've minimized contact even more.
i asked him once what he felt about adoption, before i was even considering it. he told me he'd never allow it. that he'd take the baby from me before he'd have strangers raising his child. y'know, i think he was just desperately trying to hold on to me. he knew as long as we had a child in common, he'd always have me. but i think really he was terrified of the responsibility of being a father. and his behavior in my absence demonstrated he was more interested in being young and wild and single than a grown up or family man.
so when i decided on adoption i was nervous how he'd react. but he calmly said "it's right". i gotta ask him someday what th heck happened.
i offered him every opportunity to be a part of it. to visit, to help pick the family, to be at the birth. and he professed a willingness and desire to do all these things. and i now think it was a blessing he ultimately declined the involvement i offered. while i resented him for that with all my lonely little heart at the time, it wouldn't've fit. it would've confused me and added so much stress.
after i placed and came home, i was so lonely. a new kind of lonely. there's nothing else like it. and i thought i was totally alone in my grief. i'd never known another birthmom and no one really understood what i felt. desperate for someone to share it with and thinking, if anyone, it should be him, when he called to see me, finally, i did. i tried to tell him my story but it was forced and uncomfortable. i showed him my precious pictures trying to draw something from him but couldn't. he said to me, perhaps sensing my efforts to get something from him he didn't have- "Tamra, your son has never been a reality to me". sounds harsh, right? i'm so glad he said it. i was casting my pearls before swine. not to be insulting or say that he was a pig. it's just, swine don't know pearls from rocks. they have no value or meaning to them. J wasn't a part of our story. i can't think of the J life and the justin life at the same time. 2 different girls. you'll never hear me refer to him as "the dad". i say my x boyfriend or if i HAVE to be more specific "the guy that got me pregnant".
i think that when "birthfather" comes up someday when i'm talking to my Justin he'll say " huh....he's never been a reality to me.
i'm not bitter (anymore) in saying these things. i've forgiven and i really wish him well. in fact it wasn't until i forgave him that i could finally let him go from my heart.
it took a couple yrs to get over him. that intimacy does what its sposed to, i tell you what! i see now why God said- no, not now, wait. he was trying to protect me. that bond is a blessing when it "seals" you to him who you choose, who is right for you. but a curse when its taken out of context. it was nothing short of the hand of God that allowed me to get out. i thought i could never feel that way for anyone else and that i'd always feel for him.
i saw him at a wedding a few years after placing. i didn't know what to expect. he could've been any person to me. no malice or resentment, no particular affection of any kind. it is a blessing.
GEEZ tamra! long winded maybe? again, this chapter is my favorite part of my story so far. i love to talk about it.

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