Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Benjamin

My Benjamin is a year old today. A year ago he came into the world and changed my life forever. For the better. So many things I thought I knew about being a mom, so many things I thought I knew about life. But really, I was so clueless. I didn't understand when he was born. All I knew was that I loved him so deeply, that he was so beautiful. That I would find a way to make it work. 

I was ill prepared for the force and power of my love for this tiny human. Sometimes people say to me, if you loved him enough, you would have kept him. Oh, how wrong they are. I don't hold it against them, they don't understand. How can they? 

Placing him has NOTHING to do with not loving him enough. Placing him taught me what it means to love ENOUGH. I loved him enough to accept that I was not what was best for him. I loved him enough to let him go. Not many can understand that, and I don't care. I know that I did the very best thing. And when he's old enough, he'll understand that loving him enough was NEVER the issue.

I spent a lot of time this past week being angry and resentful. Angry at the women in my life who are not birth mothers, yet try to be there. Angry at them for trying to help me see the other side of this. Angry that they didn't understand what I was feeling. I was certain they were invalidating me, and it was hurtful, and I got mad. I shut them all out, and let the anger simmer. Healthy? No. But sometimes, we are all human and we get stuck. I spent the week angry at Drea, and Jason. At myself. Angry at them for being so happy, I mean, how could they feel such joy when I was feeling such pain? But I had to realize, how is that fair? How can I expect them to spend their time acknowledging and feeling bad for my grief? I didn't place Benjamin with them to make them spend every holiday and milestone feeling bad for me. I didn't place him with them so that they could "understand" what I'm going through.

Flat out, they DON'T understand. They aren't birthparents, so they just can't understand that side of it. And that's okay. I can't expect the people in my life who have not placed a child to get what the passing milestones feel like. And I can't get angry with them when they don't. Because on the flip side, I don't understand their struggles. And they have every right to celebrate and feel immense joy at the little boy they have to call their own. They are reaching a milestone that's been a long time coming for them.

Today, I did grieve for a while. I cried all the way to work, and was promptly sent home by my incredibly compassionate boss who remembered what today was for me. I cried on the way home. I laid in my bed and thought of him until almost noon. And then I decided it was time to be okay. It was time to be thankful that he's here at all. I let myself wish for a moment I'd parented him. But how selfish would that have been? I don't want to, and choose not to, think about where we'd be if I'd parented him. He's in a good place, with seriously fantastic parents. I won't say it was easy, but I tried to celebrate that today. 

He's not with me, and that is rough. But I can choose to take comfort that he is where God created him to be. He will never know the pain and fear and heartache I went through. He will only know that parents who love and protect him and treat him like the gift from God that he is. 

I love you, baby boy. Happy 1st Birthday. I love you more than words can say. 

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