It means lotus flower.
The lotus flower grows from the dregs of a marsh, pushing up through the junk and eventually blossoms above the surface, and floats there above the crud. A little reminder of perseverance. Patience. Faith.
She was born December 9th, 2010 at about 1:30 in the morning. We found out about her on December 10th at 11 am. Chad got the call first. A baby girl. Healthy. Birth mom wants to proceed with placing her. She's chosen you.
Chosen us. I think sometimes I'm a little shell-shocked that someone would choose us. Mostly because when you know all there is to know about yourself, you wonder what makes you special in the eyes of someone else. What makes you worthy of something so gigantic. Us. Chosen Us.
By three that afternoon we were walking into her hospital room, carrying an empty car seat. And full hearts, pounding hearts. Surprisingly calm minds.
I'd never been able to picture meeting a birth mom. And unfortunately this wasn't the first time we'd met with a birth mother. There was another time. One that ended in tears and aches that seemed to go on and on. Ended with walking away empty handed and empty hearted, and so empty there was no way we would ever fill up again. Guilt that still pricks the edges of my chest when I think about it.
Except. There we were. 4 weeks later. An empty car seat. A new birth mom. A new baby girl. And she was healthy. So so healthy. And beautiful. Breathtakingly gorgeous.
I'm going to call her birth mom Grace. This is the middle name they share. A fitting name, because she is a young woman full of grace and love. So filled up with it.
I thought I'd have something really poignant to say. But I think I just said Hi. And then thank you thank you. I don't know what to say. Just thank you. There are not enough thank-yous in the english language to account for the gratitude I felt.
and then hours passed. We talked and there were tears and there were hopes and wishes revealed. And more crying and hugs and staring. And quiet. Lots of quiet. But not that weird quiet you rush to fill. This was that quiet that comes from the very depths of you. That can be quiet and respect the moment and just sit there. Light and easy.
Then it was time to say good-bye. Our Grace. It was an aching moment to know we were gaining at the expense of someone else's immense loss. And her sorrow was immense. Still is immense.
We email often. At first mostly every day. Then slowly every other day. Now on a weekly basis. With each message, we connect even more. Grace and us. Us and grace. She is our family in a way. She is part of Elodie's story. And will always be part of that story. So when people ask why we chose to have an open adoption, Why on earth we chose that route- we say because it's part of who our child is. And it isn't our place to decide for her what type of relationship she wants with her birth mother. She is part of her story and we can only maintain an open connection until Elodie is old enough to decide. It isn't our story to change, or adjust. It's her story. Some people get it, and others don't. It's a hard thing to get I guess.
And maybe if there wasn't an honest respect that went along with our relationship, we might have chosen differently. Because we all want what's best for our Elodie. For now she has a wider net of people who adore her, who want what's best for her. And that is all that matters.
There's more to the story. But for now this will do.