Out of My Hands
May 22nd, 2012

I apologize for my spotty presence in this space over the past couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago we were on vacation and last week just sort of slipped away from me.  I’ve missed my regular writing and am happy to be back.


An open letter to the mother of my unborn third child.

Dear You,

I don’t know you.  Chances are I never will.  But there is no one on this earth right now whose acquaintance I would rather make.    You see, you and I are already inextricably linked forever.  Our lives will soon cross at perhaps the most sacred of intersections: motherhood.

Today you are pregnant with your child.  But you are also pregnant with my child.  Per the adoption math you are roughly seven months along.  You feel your baby kick you every day.  Perhaps he’s pushing up under your ribs, as IEP did to me at that stage.  Or perhaps he’s kicking straight out against the wall of your belly, as SSP did.  Or perhaps he’s doing some dance entirely his own.  Whatever it is, you are the only one who knows it.  I cannot feel his kicks or hiccups.  I cannot watch my weight gain and have my belly measured.  I cannot see him on an ultrasound or listen to his heart beat on the doppler machine.  Those experiences are yours alone.  …  And I’m so jealous and so nervous.

You realize it, don’t you, that you’re carrying my baby?  You’re carrying the little boy whose knees I will bandage and whose cries I will calm.  You’re carrying the boy who will pile in bed with GAP and IEP and SSP to read “The Lorax” for the umpty-thousandth time.  You’re carrying the little boy whose photo I will take on the front porch on his first day of school.  You’re carrying the little boy whose Christmas presents I will wrap and whose ball games I will watch.  You’re carrying the little boy whom we will shepherd through adolescence and into adulthood.  You are carrying the boy whom we will send to college and maybe watch get married.  He is your baby.  But he is our baby.

It’s hard for me, you know, to have no control over my baby’s health during his gestation.  With my older boys I went to great lengths to be assured of their health.  But I can’t do that this time.  My hands are tied.  You are half a world away and completely unknown to me.  I want so much to make sure that he’s in good hands with you, but I can’t.  There’s nothing I can do but hope and pray.

Are you taking good care of him?  Are you getting enough sleep, and exercise and staying hydrated?  Are you taking your prenatal vitamins and attending your prenatal doctor appointments?  Are you making good decisions?  When you want that next cigarette do you find something else to do instead?  When you want a drink of soju do you think about our little boy and pour a glass of water?  Are you being strong so that our baby will be strong?

I know it must be hard.  I can’t imagine what it would take to carry a baby for nine months knowing (or perhaps not knowing – for I have no idea how you will come to this decision) that you will not keep him.  I can’t imagine turning him over to someone else, to be bounced around the adoption system for many months, with little knowledge of where he will land.  But I commend you for it.  For not terminating your pregnancy.  For understanding that for whatever reason his best chance at a good life lies with someone else.  For being willing to let him go.

I promise that we will take good care of him for the rest of his life.  Can you promise me that you’ll take good care of him for the rest of your pregnancy?  Please?  I’ll do everything I can for him as soon as he is ours.  But for the moment he is still yours.  For the moment he is out of my hands.  For the moment I have to trust in you.  We’re counting on you. 

Please don’t let us down. 

Please don’t let him down.

Very sincerely,


4 Responses to “Out of My Hands”

  1. e Says:

    I can relate to so many of your feelings. I know when we had received a photo of our two newest family members and it was January and so cold in Korea, I prayed daily that they were not cold. I wanted to “know” that they were well fed, warm, and having the opportunity to learn and have fun. I sent care packages to the orphanage but had been cautioned that I needed to send enough for everyone as sharing was the name of the game, and I could understand and support that attitude. As you know, those two members of our family have been wonderful additions so I guess I’d say have faith that your little one is being well cared for. While it is scary, it is also incredibly exciting! Your letter broke my heart AND made my heart swell with love for that next little human that we will have the opportunity to love.

  2. Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities Says:

    Wow. This is really amazing. xox

  3. anne Says:

    Wow…really powerful. It really is SUCH a different process…my thoughts and prayers are with you…and her. Whoever she may be.

  4. BigLittleWolf Says:

    I admire you so much for doing this. We have a great deal of love and guidance to give, and so many children in the world don’t have a shot without the patience, determination, and generosity of people like you.

    That will be a very fortunate child indeed.