Today, Benjamin is 11 months old... it's just crazy to me that time is going by so quickly. He's pulling himself up, talking more and more, and looking more like a toddler every day. It won't be long before he's walking, then running, and leaving his baby days behind. I love him more today than I did the day he was born, and I am so blessed that I am able to watch him grow. Today I saw a post someone made on Facebook about what adoption has done for them. And I got to thinking about it. I mean, what HAS adoption done for me, in reality? For some, it robbed them of the chance to raise their child, for some it destroyed them. It became this gaping, festering, irreparable wound that eventually became the only thing they could focus on. Until the pain consumed them and their entire lives. For others, it helped them. It gave them a chance as well as their child.
Thankfully, I'm in the latter category. I look around me tonight and just take it all in. The two bedroom apartment with my name on the lease, my sweet boy freshly bathed and watching his favorite movie before bed. My kitten lazily dozing on the back of my couch, only moving to find a more comfortable position every now and then. Then I look to the side of my computer, where a picture of B and his parents sits proudly on my desk, given to me for Christmas. The angel they gave me for my birthday beside it. And I can't help but think about where I was 7 months ago. Living in a hotel room that LDSFS was paying for, what little I had shoved into the corner. I had almost nothing, material wise. I had to get a voucher for DI just to clothe my boys. But it went so far beyond that. So far beyond having no home or belongings.
I sat here tonight laughing at something a friend said, chatting and catching up, and again my mind wandered to pre-placement. I was still LDS, I have been for years. But I was lost, fading, and to be honest, ill. I didn't have friends, I pushed everyone away, kept up walls so high nobody could get through. I just lacked the capacity to love another, or to believe I was worthy of love, or that anyone COULD love me. I was so absorbed in my misery that I could scarcely get up to make my oldest something to eat. I certainly couldn't be bothered to play. I would give B the obligatory diaper change, stick a bottle, propped on a blanket, into his mouth as he lay in his rocker. I provided all I could at that time. But it was not nearly what should have been given. I was on a path that was dangerously close to costing me everything. Even my life. And in the moment I looked at that sweet baby and opened my heart to God to ask for help... that was the moment He saved me from myself. That was the moment that changed me forever.
My B's parents never fail to thank me for my gift to them, for making them parents, giving them their dream of raising a child. They do all they can to make sure I never forget what my gift meant to them. And it's amazing of them to do so. But then I think of what they have done for me. Of the fact that they saved me and Jack from such a dark place. I don't know where I would be if I had kept B and went about my life the way I was living it. I don't know if I would even be alive today, but I doubt it. They, through adoption, love, compassion... they gave me hope. They, and a few others, showed me that I could make it. That I was worthy of happiness and success. That despite what I'd believed most of my life, I was WORTH saving, I deserved to live a good life. They had faith in me when I had none in myself.
Adoption is a so complex, and so varied, that it means something different to everyone. Some say that one day I will grow to hate "what adoption did to me". But I say they are wrong. I will go to bed each night thanking God for the courage to make the choice I made. Thanking Him for the couple He brought into my life. Because without those things, my boys and I would still be lost. I wouldn't be working and attending school, raising my oldest son the right way, and living in my own apartment.
Truly, I will ALWAYS love adoption. Because the absolute truth of the matter is.... adoption saved my life.