October 28th wasn't just Marcellus's birthday. It was her birthday too. Eleven, she turned 11. Angela Mae, the beautiful baby girl I placed for adoption when I was 17. Marcellus was born on her 9th birthday.
It's a semi-open adoption. I haven't seen her since her parents picked her up from the hospital when she was two days old. But I have gotten updates and pictures over the years. It's supposed to be twice a year, but I haven't heard from them since May 2012.
I have to admit I haven't sent her birthday present yet. It's all packed up and ready to go out in the morning. I bought it before her birthday. Their birthday. I've been getting her the Precious Moments Birthday Train every year. A keepsake for her to have. Plus, it's not like I know what she would want. So it's something I can get without wondering if she'll even like it. I've always sent her present last minute. So last minute that I'm sure it doesn't get to them before her birthday, especially because I have to send it to Catholic Charities and then they mail it off to Angela. But this is the first time I've put it in the mail after her birthday. And to top it off it's almost a month after.
Why did I put it off? So many reasons. 1) Marcellus's birthday. October 28th is his birthday and I am an emotional wreck during that time. 2) Not getting an update from her parents is upsetting. I try to tell myself that maybe they're just waiting for me to send something to them (I've always written to them). And so if I don't get something sent out then there's a reason they're not sending it. Does that make sense? In a way it's me trying to be in control of something I'm not. I fear that they have just stopped writing to me and I will never get another update ever again. 3) Ethan. I have honestly been meaning to write to them since Ethan came home from the NICU. To send them his birth/coming home announcement. Then time went on and I didn't get it sent out, so I wanted to print a couple of recent pictures of him to send with. I just put it off and put it off. But the biggest reason is....
It's all just too much sometimes.
This motherhood journey of mine (which reminds me I never even came close to completing that "series" I was going to start) is so damn complicated. I mean it is complicated!
My only full-term pregnancy, non NICU baby is the one I got pregnant with at 16 and placed for adoption when I was 17. I waited until the "right" time to have another baby, to be married to the most wonderful husband, be financially responsible, and emotionally ready to expand our family. I got pregnant for the second time when we were trying for a baby, a baby that was loved and wanted so much before he even existed on this earth. But that baby died. He was born over 11 weeks early and he died. Born on his big sister's birthday (weird to say it like that, but I guess biologically she is). But not here to celebrate. Then we are ready again. Still with my loving wonderful husband, trying for a baby that is wanted beyond want, pushing through the fear to do it all again. And that baby, that baby is born over 12 weeks early. We spend 10 long long long loooooooong weeks in the NICU fearing for his life. But we are so very blessed to have him here now.
Think about it. That baby, he's my third baby. Ethan is my third child, second son. But he is the only one keeping me up at night. He is the only one needing my attention and physical love on a daily basis. He is the only one I parent on this earth. He is the only one I will ever hear call me "Momma." He is the only one that has been put to my breast. It is so so so complicated. The only thing simple about this all is how much love I have for each of my children. All three of them.
But it can be too much. It can be too much to think of it all at the same time. So, sometimes I put off my feelings about Angela. Often times actually. She has a beautiful family, she is well taken care of and she is so loved. Not only by me, but by her parents, her big brother, and I'm sure so many others. I will always love her with all my heart. But sometimes I can't go there with my emotions. It's the drop that would open the flood gates. It's too much. Too much too much too much. It's hard enough that my second child, my first son is dead. I can't get
into the "what ifs" and the grief of having placed Angela for adoption. My grieving priority right now is Marcellus. Marcellus is a part of our every day lives, but Angela is not. Yes, I think about her every day. I really do. But not in the way that I think of Marcellus. But I do miss her.
I do remind myself that I do not regret my decision though. These last 11 years have been such a long journey. And I have really come a far way in accepting the decision I made as a scared, unprepared, overwhelmed teenager just trying to do the best I could for my baby. I made that decision out of love for her and I can never regret any decision I make for my children that is based solely on my love for them.
Marcellus, I hope you don't mind sharing part of your space with Angela. I never got a chance to tell you about her. During my pregnancy with you I struggled with what I would tell you. Her picture is up in our house. In fact, in many of my "pregnancy shots" with you her picture is visible on the mantle. She turned my heart into a mother heart. She taught me how a mother loves. I was able to take what she has taught me and pour it into you during your short time here. You expanded my mother heart a thousand fold. It's amazing how much love one heart can hold. Now I wonder what I will tell Ethan about her some day. We already talk to him about you a lot. What will Ethan make of the fact that he is the third child, but the "oldest" child that is with us. It's so confusing for me to think about. Oh baby boy, I miss you so much. I miss you so so so so much. I have the hope of seeing Angela again on this earth. I hold onto that home that she'll want to meet me someday. But you my sweet boy, there will never be another moment with you on this earth every again. Those 12 days we had, those have to last us through this lifetime. And I cherish those 12 days. They are held tightly within my mother heart. I will never let them go. I love you my squirmy wormy. I love and miss you! xoxox