To The Woman I Didn't Pick

To the beautiful woman that I didn't pick,

I want you to know that I think about you often.  I want you to know that I loved your family.  I want you to know that you and your husband were a beautiful family and that I felt that you had so much to offer.

I want you to know that I poured over your profile.  In a stack of a hundred families you stood out, for whatever reason, my heart skipped a beat when I looked at your profile and I knew that you were in the running.

You and your husband were newly weds, married just 2 years.  You were so young and beautiful.  Your husband was serving our country and you were a school teacher.  You lived a happy life in Idaho.  You loved each other, you believed in God and you wanted a baby.

You shared your amazing story with me, an expectant mother, your deepest sadness and yearning for a child.  You shared your heartbreaking story of all of the children that you lost to miscarriage.  You shared the tears and pain of infertility.  You opened up about the guilt and shame and anger that you felt about not being able to have a child biologically.  You shared your heart and the heart of your husband.  The tears that you shed together.

And then you shared your story of hope, the hope that a woman like me would pick a woman like you.  That I would find you and be drawn to you, that I would want to meet you and that I would bond with you and love you immediately.  That I would fulfill your dreams of becoming a mother.  You promised me an open adoption, you promised to love my son like he was your own flesh and blood, that he would be raised to love God and that he would know me and always know my love for him.

I want you to know that you stood out.  I want you to know that I wanted to pick you.  I want you to know that I prayed over you and your husband.  I want you to know that I still do.

I think about you often.  You are in my heart, just as present as the woman that I picked to be a mother to my son.  I know you were informed that I was looking at your profile.  I know that you had to live through the rejection.  I want you to know how sorry I am and that you did nothing wrong.

I picked her.  I picked them.  They are amazing people.  They are an amazing family and have been the perfect family for me and for that beautiful boy.

I didn't pick you.  You are amazing people.  You would have been an amazing family and could have been the perfect family for me and that beautiful boy.

I think about you and hope and pray often that you have been picked.  That you found a woman that was like me all those years ago.  That she poured over your profile and cried as I did.  That she was  inspired by you as I was, that they called you and met you and that you have been able to fulfill all those same promises that you made to me.  That she was able to help you become a mother…a mother that you have always dreamed of being.

I didn’t pick you.  I loved you and you touched my heart and inspired me.

I am not sorry for the family I picked, but I am sorry that the decision I made meant that you didn't get picked.  I never wanted that kind of power.  I never wanted to deem one family worthy of a child and another not.

I want you to know that after hours of combing through so many families…SO many families with the same desires and hopes and heartbreaks I picked you, I picked you and I picked her.  I had an impossible decision to make.  I was so exhausted, I was so tired, I didn't want to be here, I didn't want to make this choice.  I hated everything about this process.  I want you to know that I wanted to help you both, to be a part of both of your families, I wanted to share in the joy with both of you.  I knew that wasn't possible and it broke me.

I prayed all night, prayed for comfort, for clarity, for understanding, for peace, for direction.  I stared at your faces in the dark.  Finally a restless sleep came over me.  When I felt myself wake in the morning I wished that I could sleep forever.  I knew that I had to face the decision.  I knew that I had to be accountable for my actions.  I knew that the consequences were coming to collect.

I sat up and I looked down at your face, and at her face.  And I knew.   My prayers had been answered.  I knew who I was going to pick to be the mother of my son.  And I put your profile back in the pile.

I want you to know that I loved you and I think about you often.  I am sorry that I couldn't pick you.  But even more than that…I hope someone else did.

Ashley, Birth Mom 8 years later.