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Forever Mommy, Forever Daughter, by Laurie Darroch-Meekis

Dear Daughter,There was a time when I thought I would never be able to write those two beautiful words.

While I watched the rest of the women in my small universe all giving birth to daughters and sons, I remained barren. For a woman who loved children with such ferocity and who longed to hold a child of her own and who had years of experience caring for all ages of children, the blow was hard to take. I mourned. There was not going to be a daughter to pass the antique locket to. It had gone from eldest daughter to eldest daughter since the 1800s.

After two massive surgeries that left me scarred and in pain, I knew it was not to be. Women close to me were afraid to tell me when they became pregnant. I couldn’t convince them that I was able to separate my own anguish from the joy for their miracle. I knew at least those children were going to be a part of my life. I was grateful for that. Yes, it hurt, but that should never diminish their own joy at their little miracles. I would never try to take any of that away from them. To any mother incapable of having a child herself, children are indeed miracles. There was not to be that particular type of miracle in my life.

What did irk me were the stories I would hear in the news about abandoned children or drug addicted mothers who abused their bodies and their children, and giving birth to their sixth child. I felt like my body had failed me. I had failed at the most basic natural thing: the ability to give birth. If a drug addict could carry a healthy child full term, what was wrong with me?

Seeing another mother drive her children into a river and drown them because she couldn’t take care of them, while I stood here with open arms and no child, just about crushed me. I would have gladly taken those children.

It seemed everyone had a child, except for me. Somehow I was defective. For some reason, God had decided I was not to carry a child in me. I had almost given up hope. I had accepted it as His will.

Then He sent me on a different path.

That was when I decided to try to adopt. I didn’t care if my child came with a handicap or had a different color skin than I do. I would respect whoever she was. I just cared that she would be my child, to teach and love, guide and encourage to be whatever she would dream. I only wanted a little girl to look to me and call me Mommy, to hear that word and know when she called it out, that it was aimed at me, and only me. I wanted a daughter to share my experiences with and to learn from. I wanted a daughter to love.

I hoped that I would be the kind of mother who would earn the same type of love I felt for my own mother, that swelling heart and glow inside me at the sight of her, wherever she was and whatever she was doing. She was the most beautiful woman in the world to me.

From the moment I saw two small photos and a two minute video of you at a month old, I knew you were mine. By the time I saw them, you were already three months old. The wait to get you was torture. The red tape and paperwork dealing with two countries, was enormous.

When I finally was able to go to Russia and arrived in Kaliningrad, my heart raced. Sitting in the hospital administrator’s office with the translator/liaison, knowing you were only a floor away and having to listen to a talk made me feel like bolting out the door and up the steps to find you, wherever you were.

I wanted my baby. You needed me. I was so nervous and so afraid that even after arriving there, they would say no and not allow me to adopt you for some reason.

Everyone was escorted up to the orphan wing of the hospital. There were three infant girls being adopted that trip.

Each child was in a tiny room of their own, with a window and a really small crib, sterile cubicles. On either side were glass windows looking into the other orphan baby rooms. Each room had a door with a window in it looking out to the central nursing and changing area.

Every parent had to wear a face mask because of the fear of the flu bug and other bugs going around out in the world beyond the orphanage wing. I had my glasses on too. As soon as I saw you, I teared up. Since I had the face mask on, my glasses immediately fogged over. I couldn’t believe I was finally there. It had been a long painful nine-month wait.

There were still days of legalities to deal with. Going to Russian court was a little intimidating. I stood as straight as a soldier, ready to answer the court’s questions.

It was a brave new world for me, entering a country that had been forbidden to me before. It was an experience I thrived on, a new culture to experience, a new part of the world to make part of me. The Russian people we dealt with were amazing. They did their country proud.

Then you were legally my daughter. No one could take you away or say otherwise. Even the Russian courts in the city you were born in had said so. My own government said so. I had a daughter, my dear precious daughter.

The first few weeks you were home, each time you would wake from sleep and I was there, you would watch me intently as if you were saying, “OK, you seem nice. I like you. Who are you exactly and are you sticking around?”

You were only seven months old.

After those few weeks, I went in one morning to get you up for the day. As soon as you saw me, your face lit up like sunshine had suddenly entered the room. You smiled and cooed. You beamed. In that moment, you realized that I was your Mommy, your forever, real Mommy.

In that moment you knew I was yours, I realized God had not wanted me to have a child born from inside of me because he had other plans in mind. He had you planned for me. He had made me wait for a wondrous gift, a daughter not born under my heart, but in it.

Now with a stepson too, I am doubly blessed. He made me wait for a different kind of family.

My daughter, adoption for me was my miracle. I am proud of who you are becoming. I am honored to be your Mommy who you still look at with that same look as the morning you realized I was your forever mommy, the same way I always looked at my mom.

I love you.

Mommy

~~~

Laurie Darroch-Meekis began writing stories, poetry and lyrics the moment she realized the alphabet had the power to create and to move people. She discovered that writing could take her anywhere she wanted to go, even if she had to create the places herself. She is the featured poet in Elements of the Soul, A Short Story Anthology, due to be published in 2009. You can visit her author’s website here: http://darroch-meekis.webnode.com/

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17 Responses to “Forever Mommy, Forever Daughter, by Laurie Darroch-Meekis”

  1. Rissa says:

    What a beautiful letter! She is blessed to have such a loving mother.

  2. Linda St.Cyr says:

    This story is so beautiful it made me cry.

  3. Angel says:

    Very beautiful, Laurie. I’m so happy y’all came together as a family.

  4. Jennifer Wright says:

    That was so beautiful, I have tears rolling down my cheeks. I guess that there really is a reason for everything.

  5. So touching, Laurie. I, too, am crying over your heartfelt and moving words.

  6. Jo Brielyn says:

    Your letter is beautiful, Laurie. God’s perfect plan gave you both exactly what you needed…each other. Thanks for sharing.

  7. jcorn says:

    Adoption was our miracle, too, although I was able to get through one very difficult, high-risk pregnancy. I longed for another child and he came to us at age 5. I think it was meant to be. Families are made in many ways and sometimes the children who come to their forever mommies get through via routes we might never have imagined, magical and mysterious and…so wonderful!

  8. Viktorya Hale says:

    Wow how beautiful is this! Very inspirational!

  9. Laurie, you’ve spoken for all of us who have adoptive members of our families who we love.

  10. Laurie says:

    Thank you for all of your comments. I welled up with tears writing this and again rereading it. I look at her and still think what a miracle she is. Adoption used to be a dirty secret that people hid. For the most part, in this country at least, it is now seen as something amazing for both the child and the parent or parents. That is how is should be seen. She knows she was chosen, where she came from, and she knows I love her.

  11. Cathy Doheny says:

    Beautiful letter! And so refreshing to hear from another adoptive mother. We adopted our daughter from China, and I am so grateful that I was never able to get pregnant, as I would never have met my true daughter. She is more like me than any biological daughter could ever be. And, as she likes t remind me constantly, my husband and I picked her. Most parents have to settle for whatever child is born to them. But, we picked ours from a whole world of children. Indeed a miracle! Thanks for sharing yours too.

  12. jckat says:

    What a beautiful and powerful letter. I am sorry for your pain but so glad your family is together.

  13. Clarissa says:

    Wow, Laurie! That was a beautiful letter to your daughter. I hope to one day have a daughter or a son. I don’t want kids right now but I hope to one day have a baby whether flesh and blood or adopted. I have a fertility issue and have to take fertility drugs to get pregnant. One day it will happen for me like it did for you.

    This letter made me cry. Thanks for sharing this! :)

  14. Lady Ravenvrmor says:

    Beautiful Laurie!! Any woman can be a mother. But it takes someone special to be a mommy. And hon ARE a mommy. Very well written too!

  15. Terasee says:

    I love you my friend….You deserve all the happiness in the world!

  16. Windowshopping says:

    Great letter! What an inspiring story! But then, I believe every happy adoption story is inspiring and amazing!

    Blessings!!

  17. Susan Sosbe says:

    This is a very deeply moving letter, Laurie. What a beautiful way to find your forever child.

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