Dear J,

You didn’t give us much notice - just a few hours to get in the car, try not to break the speed limit, and drive to the hospital to meet our baby boy — but WOW did you give us a gift. Now, five months later, we have a roly-poly, feet-obsessed, smiley little baby boy. He is the light of our lives.

He makes us smile and love more than we ever thought we could. He makes me see the wonderful dad that I knew my husband would be. He makes me remember all the wonderful aspects of childhood — the books, the silly songs, the dancing, the swimming — and lets me experience them with him. He changes and learns and grows every day.

You came to this choice because of hardship, but you did it out of love. I recently read this article in America Magazine, written by the Jesuits, and it really spoke to me:

“The reasons a birth mother might have for giving up her child for adoption are myriad: she may be too young to raise a child; she cannot financially care for the infant as she would need to; she is not healthy enough (physically or psychologically) to carry out her role as mother. But at the heart of adoption, the birth mother gives her child away as an act of love. She comes to recognize something that some parents never learn. Parenthood is not about the parent, the manner in which one’s identity or status is affirmed by having a child. Instead, parenthood is about love, about caring for those most in need. And the mother who gives up her child for adoption becomes the icon of authentic parenthood. She does not claim the child as her own. She may never hear her child call her mom. But fatherhood and motherhood are not about such titles. They are about compassion, mercy, the gift of self that a parent offers to a child. In the birth mother’s decision to put her child up for adoption, the purest form of parenthood is on display — a parenthood of total, self-giving love.”

You gave us that love - my husband, me, and baby E. When we email, you ask me to kiss baby E for you. I do, and I tell him you love him. He’s a fortunate boy, to be so surrounded by this love. We will do our best to raise him to know that. I know it won’t always be easy, but boy, am I excited for the journey.

Love, R