You’ve been on my heart all week, and I finally decided I just had to write to you. First, I want to thank you for allowing C.J. to join our family. We’re so eager and excited to meet him, and we love him already.

You have a special place in my heart, Lacey. I’ve been where you are now, and I so admire the resolve with which you’ve made your decision. Well-meaning people, in an effort to comfort you, will tell you, “Don’t worry, you’ll be a mom again, one day.” Just smile and tell them that you’re already a mom, that you’ve made just about the biggest sacrifice any mother can make for her child. You loved and nurtured C.J. and labored to bring him into the world, knowing what lay ahead and how hard it would be. You stood your ground and worked to find a loving family for him. Be proud of that, hold onto it, and know that C.J. will be loved and cared for, by people who will make sure he knows what a brave, amazing woman his birthmother is.

Just as Frank and I did exactly 30 years and 1 month before C.J. was born, you and your firstborn son are embarking on a journey. This first part is going to be difficult, and you’ll feel a thousand conflicting emotions as the days and weeks go by. Talk to your friends and family, and if there’s one available to you, join a support group for birthparents. I did, after Frank’s brother, Richard, was born, and it helped me more than I can tell you. My journey with Frank has been more amazing than I ever could have imagined. You and Chris and C.J. are part of our story now, and we’re part of yours.

As the years go by, I’ll be thinking of you, praying for you, and believing in you. You’re strong in spirit, and this experience will make you wise beyond your years. Hold tight to the memories you’ve made with C.J. over the last few days. Cherish every update, every photo. The years will fly by, and one day, you’ll learn, as I did, that there’s a young man looking for you. Things will come full circle, and you’ll be reunited with your beautiful boy. You’ll know that he is and has been well-loved, and raised up strong, happy and healthy. I know you’ll be proud of that young man you’ll meet, somewhere down the road.

Be kind to yourself and take the time you need to grieve and heal. Go after your dreams and don’t let anyone hold you back. Always, always know that people you’ve never even met are in your corner, praying for you and cheering you on.

With love, Susan