Every now and then I when I think about where I am in my life I have no words. I am mostly amazed, really. Amazed at all the unexpected things that have happened, the good, the bad, the new friendships, the broken relationships.
The most amazing thing of it all is that I’m a mother. Yes, even after two years this is still shocking to me. Whenever I see Adrian’s smiling face, full of life and joy and beautiful innocence, I am often left breathless. He is a wonder to me, my post prized gift.
Seeing that this blog is about single parenting, I figured it would be fitting to give you further background into how the story of Adrian and me started.
This letter I wrote for Adrian just months after he was born. I had posted it on an older blog I used to have and under my Notes on Facebook. I remember very well the day I wrote it. It took me a while since I would have to start and stop to tend to Adrian.
The letter was finally finished late that night. Adrian was sound asleep in his crib next to my bed. Our room was small, but it accommodated us well. The lights were shut off and the only light visible was the one reflecting from my laptop screen. As I finished typing the last few words to this letter I pulled my knees up to my chest and stared at the screen for a little bit. The words and images in front of me began to blur as I let out the tears.
I write for many reasons. To preserve my sanity, for love, to help others, because I have a voice, and I want to be heard. But ultimately, now, I write for and because of Adrian. I am not afraid of people reading my inner honesty. I want Adrian to know my feelings and hear these stories from me. I want him to know from me that I have not been, nor ever will be, the perfect mom but I have loved him more than life since the moment he took his first breath.
And God forbid that one day I will not be around to tell him these stories, I want to leave a record of them for him to read. I want to be able to leave some sort of legacy for him.
This letter I have not edited since it was first written. Ignore any typos or grammatical errors. You should be doing that with all my posts, anyway.
December 8, 2010
Every day I catch myself thinking that I can’t believe you’re actually mine. You’ve been in this world for eleven and a half weeks now, and eleven and a half weeks later I still feel like I’m dreaming. I have always wanted to be a mother but I just didn’t think I would be one now.
I remember the night I had found out that I was pregnant. It was a Friday night. Your biological father was away on a business trip. I had told him how weird I had felt throughout the week and my suspicion about me being pregnant. He really didn’t want to hear any of it but we had agreed that when he returned I would take the test just to make sure. But I couldn’t wait. I was feeling nauseous (just so you know, one of the worst feelings in the world) and wanted to know what was wrong with me. What if I was just sick with a stomach flu or something? Why wait to start treating myself until he came back? So I broke the agreement and went with a friend to Wal-Mart and bought two pregnancy tests.
I was scared about what I would find out. If I was really pregnant, what would happen? First of all, how would your father take it? Sure, I expected him to freak out, because I knew I would, but after a few minutes of processing what “my girlfriend is pregnant” meant, I also expected him to be there for me, and more importantly for you. For always.
But there was also my family to worry about. What would grandma and grandpa, Bela and Belo, uncle Ernest, and Uncle Steve say? Would they disown me even though I wasn’t the first of them to have kids out of wedlock? And what about school? I had just started my first semester at Southern Adventist University, something I had worked hard to make happen, and I didn’t want to take a break from school. It would put my career dream on hold.
Finally, what about the world? What would the world say of me? I knew I would lose respect and friends instantly, and people would gossip and point their fingers at me. Was I really ready to take all this? Was I ready to accept the consequences of my actions?
But the real question was, could I be the mother that you deserve. Could I give the very best of everything for you? Could I be a good role-model in your life, gently and patiently teach to do right, even though I have made mistakes in my life? Could I teach you the importance of thinking for yourself, and to follow your conscience even when everything and everyone is yelling in your face to do otherwise? Could I teach you the value of hard work and earned money, to be grateful for all you have though it may not be much or as nice as what everyone else has? Could I pass down to you my love of reading and knowledge, and the value of getting an education? Could I teach you to follow your dreams and overcome obstacles? Could I teach you what it means to treat others with kindness, respect and equality, and how not to break a girl’s heart? And if your father decided to move on with his own life, could I teach you how to be a real man? Could I teach you to believe in God and make religion your own? Could I be the kind of loving and nurturing mother I had always dreamed of being someday, now?
All of these questions ran through my head a million times as I waited for the results to show on the pregnancy test stick back at the dorm room. My friend, Crystal, and her sister, Michelle, were with me. After about five minutes Crystal read the results to me. It showed positive. “But you should take the test again tomorrow night just to make sure,” she said. I said okay, but I already knew it was true. We went to Friday night vespers after that. My mind was in a fog and nothing made sense to me. I remember going up for the appeal at the end of the service, not really paying attention to what was being said, just needing to unload myself to God in a way. I felt like I was in a dream and I needed someone to shake me out of it.
It seemed like an eternity before Saturday night rolled around. I took the test again and again it read positive. It was really true now. I was pregnant. I sat on the bed and cried rivers. I wasn’t mad at you. You are innocent. I was just scared. I didn’t know what would happen next and the road in front me seemed long and dark. I called your father that night. He wasn’t happy I broke the agreement, even though I explained to him why I did. The news was more he could handle and that’s why he’s not with us today.
It’s been a rough journey so far. There have been some lonely spots along the way, times of uncertainty, frustration and anger. I hate myself for not using my common sense to obey the red flags when I saw them. I hate myself even more because now, as a result of my wrong choices, you’re without a father in your life. Sure, you have your grandfathers, uncles, and godfathers to help model real manhood for you, but it’s not the same. None of them can’t be a real father to you because of circumstances, some which are obvious. I don’t know when I’ll ever fully forgive myself.
But you’re here now. It’s amazing how you make the pain I feel inside easier to bear. I get butterflies in my stomach every time I see your face. I could be having the most crappiest of crap days and you never fail to make me smile and forget, for at least a moment, all the imperfect things about our lives. I love everything about you. Your smile, your giggles, the way you make noises as if you were trying to talk, your little fingers and toes, your belly button, your fat thighs. Your hair is like silk and your skin is so perfect. Your love is perfect. You’re perfect. You have made my chaotic life better. You’re my handsome prince. My favorite. My everything.
I hope every single day of your life you will know that I love you; always have and forever will. I know we’ll be best friends. Can’t promise you I’ll do everything right the first time, because I know I won’t, but I hope you’ll never doubt that my motives are pure.
You’ve given meaning to my life, a purpose to live for. You’re my motivation to being better, being more, doing better, doing more. Everything I do now or dream of doing it’s with you in mind. I live only for your happiness. You’re my pride and joy.
I can’t imagine my life without you.