Fifteen years ago, on Valentine’s Day, K’s birth mother chose us.
She picked us from our “Dear Birth Mother” brochure. I can’t remember what the proper name for the document actually was. It may in fact have been brochure. I know that’s what M and I called it. It was a booklet of text and pictures shown to potential birth mothers to help them decide if we were the right family for their baby.
I remember agonizing over its creation, trying to select the perfect pictures and just the right words. Not to mention the sheer difficulty of putting it all together in the era before digital pictures. We made fifty copies and waited.
While we waited, we went to pre-adoptive parent education classes. At first, my favorite part of the class was when new families brought their new baby/child and told the story of how they became a family. “That’s going to be us some day,” I’d think.
But not a single one of the first fifty potential birth mothers expressed any interest in us. We regrouped. We took a vacation to San Francisco. We changed our picture on the brochure cover and made some more copies. I didn’t love the babies coming to class as much. As much as I hate to admit it, as much as it makes me seem petty and small, I couldn’t help but think “why them and not us?”
Until Valentine’s Day, 1998, when she chose us. She liked our picture on the cover. She said we looked nice. We talked on the phone and we emailed. She got to know us better and still thought we were nice. Two months later K was born and we became a family. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of K’s birth mother and thank her for that.
And on the fifteen anniversary of my very best Valentine’s Day, I also give thanks to all the women who didn’t choose us. I was once told, “The soul of the child that was meant to be yours will find you.” I don’t know if that’s always true but I know my child found me. She just needed me to wait for her.