Sue Reardon looks back on her adoption journey by writing a letter to her former self.
When you are at the foot of mountain, not only does the trek to the top seem daunting, it’s also impossible to see what lies on the other side. Though my life today is full and rich and blessed beyond measure, it didn’t always feel that way. So as my eldest child recently turned ten, I took some time to reflect on our journey to parenthood and ultimately found myself writing a letter to my former self. Although I write to a younger “me”, maybe you too can find yourself somewhere among the words.
Dear Former Self,
I know you don’t want to hear it, but you are young and have a lifetime of adventure ahead of you. Take the time to enjoy these years and don’t rush them. Cherish this time as a couple. Do the things now that you won’t be able to in the years to come. Don’t mourn this season of life, embrace it.
Although the silence may at times seem deafening, enjoy the solace. Read. Travel. Journal. Explore. Pray. Dream. And appreciate the small things (like using the bathroom- alone). I assure you that one day the silence will be replaced with the chaos and busyness of an active, vibrant family.
Right now, the friends you grew up with are all busy starting their families. Sometimes it feels lonely and you feel left out of many circles. But if you could only see down the road a few years, you would understand that you are most certainly not alone. You will soon meet an immense support system, others who have walked this walk and who will also find parenthood through adoption. The friendship you will find in these women and their families will be a lifeline and a source of never-ending support and friendship.
Celebrate the wait. Claim your role as a parent. Plan. Choose names. Interview Pediatricians. Decorate the nursery. Purchase a blanket or car seat. It’s ok to dream, because one day that dream WILL become reality. Believe it.
Achieving parenthood is not a race. Just because your mother and sister each had their last child by the age of 26, your story is yours, and beautifully unique. Your time WILL come. Actually, I shouldn’t say anything because the surprise is worth every moment of anticipation, but you have no idea just how quickly your life will soon change. And it will be everything that you’ve ever dreamed and more.
If I could have only seen 10-12 years into the future. I never would have imagined that we would have THREE beautiful children. But I would have the confidence and assurance in knowing that one day my arms and heart would feel so very, very full. And so will yours.
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