By Marjorie Kruger Gordon
I should have written to you long ago, yet with each passing year I have more to say. When you were much younger, you made the most loving decision of your life, probably the most difficult. Yet no one ever thanked you.
After nurturing an unborn child for nine emotion-packed months, then shedding many tears and your own blood, you gave birth to a tiny, beautiful son. Then, in an act of unspeakable love, knowing you would probably never see him again in this life, you relinquished all claim to him and allowed him to become our firstborn.
How we loved and laughed and cuddled him, the precious gift you entrusted to our care. We spent little time thinking about your pain even though we were so grateful to you.
His first toothless smile, his first words, his first halting steps—each brought new joy to our lives. When he smeared his face and hands with his first birthday cake, I thought of you and asked God to comfort and encourage you.
Mixed with our pleasures were the pains of his scraped knees, sutures on a forehead cut, the cast on a broken arm, and hospital visits for his tonsillectomy and later an appendectomy. There were the tedious years we labored together through speech therapy. Loving your child has cost us much too, but it was worth the price.
School was always hard for him. We were so proud as he walked across the stage in his green cap and gown to receive his high school diploma. I thought of you that day too and whispered my thanks heavenward.
College was harder yet, but he was determined to finish. There were no more joyous parents at that commencement than my husband and me. Tears welled up as I remembered you and your difficult choice.
On the day he placed his strong hand over the slender hand of his new bride and they cut and shared their flower-laden wedding cake, I asked God to bless you. We had completed our part of the bigger plan. We had helped prepare him to live his life independent of us.
Have you wondered if he thought you didn’t love him? We were careful to tell him the immense love it took to make such a hard decision. Because your circumstances prevented you from making a good home, you chose to give that to him the best way you could.
I wish you would have had some of the help now available for mothers who choose to give their babies new homes through adoption. There are instances where the birth mother can help select the new family. Some mothers write letters to their babies and give them along with small gifts. There can even be an exchange of pictures for two years through the adoption agency. While identities of the mother and family are often confidential, surely the pain of separation is eased through these means.
You need never have worried that your son was unwanted. We wanted him long before he was conceived—for five childless years.
The United States reports more than 900,000 abortions annually. An equally sad scene is the vast number of children who are abused and neglected. Many finally become available for adoption, but with deep emotional scars.
In light of these statistics, mothers with your qualities are rare. I grope for words to thank you again for your indescribable gift of love. I pray that your life has been filled abundantly to make up for your great sacrifice for your son. As I hold my tiny new granddaughter in my arms—your granddaughter—once more I whisper my thanks.
With deepest gratitude, your son’s Second Mother.
Marjorie Gordon is a registered nurse and lives in Auburn, Washington.
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