Where I've Been

5 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

I know, I know, I've been slacking in the writing department.  Stress does two things to me - either I overflow with words, or I clam up.  This time, I was so wound up it hurt.  :(

So - what caused all this stress?  Just a little renovation.  Studies show that renovation is the number 1 cause of divorce (I may or may not have made up that little statistic) - we learned the hard way 5 years ago when we did our bathroom reno that if we wanted our marriage to survive, we would hire other people to do what needed doing.

So - we'd found some mold and contemplated just replacing the molded area, but decided to up the insulation in our very, very cold bedroom and get rid of the mold at the same time.  Badda-bing, badda-boom...quick and easy, right?  


We (and by "we" what I really mean is the guy that we hired to do this) took off the dry wall - peeled off the vapor barrier and began pulling out the garbage insulation that was minimum code requirement 40 years ago.  That's when we discovered a MAJOR issue.  The wall (exterior plywood of the house) was WET.  There was mold on the wood, some on the studs...the wet was everywhere.

Work stopped.  Insurance was called.  We had one contractor after another coming in to diagnose the problem.  Was it the roof?  Was it a poor circulation issue?  Was it the stucco itself?

It was like that for weeks.  People coming in and out of my house...every time they left a trail of dust and debris and I was stressed to the max...

That's when it happened....I got a message in my inbox.  Short, sweet and simple - yet it melted away all the stress and worry that I'd been having.

It said:

I'm not even to sure its a good idea I'm doing this. I saw the YouTube link you sent XXXX. I just wanted to thank you for the life you gave me.

That's right...for those of you who don't know, you can find the background story of my life here. But in a nutshell, I got pregnant as a teenager and chose to give my daughter up for adoption.  I had 3 days with her in the hospital - that was it.  :(  My heart aches to be with her, but I needed to do what was best for her.

We messaged back and forth on Facebook   She's beautiful, smart and well-mannered.  I am so incredibly proud of her.  We Skyped ..which was a little uncomfortable as I think we were both so busy drinking in everything about the other that we couldn't think of anything to say.

I mentioned her in my video - and people asked questions about her and I ignored them.  I felt it wasn't my right to talk about her without her permission - which I now have.

  • Did I ever get to see her again? - Yes we had an "open adoption" which meant that I was able to send letters/cards and have the occasional visit.  As one could understand - this was both a gift and a curse.  Being able to get with her and hold her was fantastic - but it cut like a knife in my heart. :(  I think I stopped seeing her after she was about 18 months...though I did happen to bump into them in a shopping mall when she was about 4.
  • Would I ever take her back? - No.  I couldn't do that.  Could you imagine ripping her from the only life and family she's ever known?  Did I want to?  ABSOLUTELY.  Every day since I left her.  Yes. 
  • Will you meet again?  I hope so.  Somehow I feel this need to touch her and see the reality of her again.

People say that giving a child up for adoption is a "selfless" thing.  I'm never really sure how I feel when I hear that.  A piece of you is GONE.  A wound that never fully heals.  A continual ache and longing that can never be fulfilled.

Getting that message from her that day...messaging back and forth...gathering a package of pictures and notes from my kids to send to her....somehow all of this has made me feel complete. 

I guess I never realized how incomplete I was until I got back into touch with her.  It was like I was a puzzle with that missing piece...good enough, but not whole.  

I am whole now. 


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