Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Two Abortions at Age 16: The Other Side of the Story

Two days ago I read this Yahoo article about Chelsea Handler and her decision to have two abortions at age 16. I won't go into all I'm feeling after reading the article where she upholds her decision and even gives props to her parents for talking her out of her initial decision to carry to term. I would encourage you instead to read it and then read the fictional letter to Ms. Handler from her child to see how this story could have gone had she made a different choice:

An open letter to my birth mom:

Today is my sixteenth birthday. For as long as I can remember, I've known I was adopted but today my parents told me that you were the same age as I am now when you found out you were pregnant with me. That must have been so difficult. I can't imagine how hard it was to decide what to do about me.

My parents also told me today that at first, you decided to have an abortion. It seemed like the only way out, I'm sure. I mean, having a baby is hard and being pregnant at my age... just wow. The thought overwhelms me.

I just have to say thank you for changing your mind. I don't know what made you turn your car around that day and cancel your appointment but thank you. Thank you for going through the humiliation of everyone knowing.. and seeing, that you were pregnant. Thank you for enduring the swollen feet and stretch marks (sorry!). And thank you for laboring for me. Thank you giving me life and then choosing to give me a better life by giving me up for adoption.

I have had a great life so far. 16 birthday parties. Dance recitals. School plays. Bedtime stories. Sleep overs. The parents you chose for me have loved me unconditionally which isn't always easy to do to a teenager! They couldn't have children, you know, so what you did for me was also a gift for them.

I don't know what you've done with your life- hey, you could be famous for all I know- but I do know that deciding to keep me was your greatest contribution to this world. Because through me, your beautiful blue eyes and infectious smile live on (my parents told me I got them from you:).

Your Daughter,
Giovana (It means "Gift from God")

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Your Kiss

Today, shortly after the sun made it's debut, you kissed me good morning and I was reminded that no one could kiss me good morning like you do. Your morning kiss doesn't just say," Good morning." Behind the kiss, which is usually on the forehead, whispers something more...

You've kissed me good morning a thousand times. There was the, "I can't believe we ran off and got married yesterday", kiss. And 8 of those, " I'm so excited that we found out yesterday that we're expecting!" kisses. One of those was shortly followed by an, " I'm so sorry we lost the baby," kiss but the other seven of those kisses were followed months later by the, "Are we gonna have a baby today?" kisses. You gave me a sad, prolonged, "I'm sorry we have to wake up today without Isaiah," kiss. But over a year later, we also got to have the, "Today's the day we go to the courthouse and make the adoption final," kiss.

You've kissed me good morning with nursing, newborn babies snuggled between us and those kisses often said, "I'm so glad you're home with our children."

Your morning peck has meant...

I'm sorry about yesterday.
I'll miss you today.
I wish I didn't have to leave you today.
I believe in you.
You've got this.

The kiss that said, "Wake up. It's time to go to the hospital for your brain surgery," was quivering, yet strong. Your 5 a.m. kiss that said,"Today's the day we go in for your heart surgery," told me you'd be by my side through yet another long and difficult recovery.  Your familiar kiss has also awakened me from deep, drug-induced sleep following a few major surgeries.

Some days have ended in defeat and some in victory. Days have closed with us not talking and some have ended in deep sorrow. And, with 8 children, everyday has ended with exhaustion. Yet, almost every day has started with your good morning kiss.

Don't ever worry about another catching my eye or earning my affection because every piece of my heart knows that no one could kiss me good morning like you. That's because, deep down, I know that your good morning kiss doesn't just mean Good Morning. It really means Good Life. And it takes a lot more than a kiss to have that.