Monday, October 7, 2013

Dear Malik

It's been 3 months since you were born and we still haven't heard anything about you, other than what the lawyer told us: "he's healthy and beautiful." Your mother hasn't spoken to us since we let her know what day we were leaving to travel for your birth and she said "ok." We traveled to see you. Your mother had wanted us there. She told me she wouldn't have anyone at the hospital there to support her. I really hope that didn't end up being the case - I hope someone was there with her. I hope her family came to celebrate your birth. Every child deserves to be celebrated.

For a time that really broke my heart - that she wouldn't think to let us know that you were healthy, that she was doing well, or any news at all. We cared about you both and to be disregarded like that really hurt. I tried to build a relationship with her in the months before you were born, but she was closed off and distant, only reaching out to us by email and never being entirely open. We respected her requests for privacy, even when it hurt to be left out and not seen as family. She wanted us to raise you and be your parents. To share such a intimate parent-love for the same child? To me that would instantly qualify us as family... But we weren't really a part of the story, even when we thought we were. Even when she said we were.

We thought the wall she had built between us would crumble once we got there. We thought maybe... just maybe... everything would somehow magically fall together and there would be this perfect moment of bonding among the four of us (plus Kal). New life has a way of doing that. Adoption can be such a beautiful experience. We thought maybe we could ease some of the hesitation that was keeping your mother from opening up to us. Once she met us and got to know us. But, we weren't given the opportunity. She closed the door before that could even happen. And we were left with plenty of questions, no answers, and a sick feeling in our stomachs.

All we know is that you were born only a few miles from our hotel and we never got to hold you. Didn't get the call that you were on your way. Never got to see you. And that your mother at one point in time said "Malik" is what she wanted to name you. You were "Neo" to us, but I'm assuming she named you what she had been thinking... and that she decided somewhere along the line that she could parent you and that she would do just fine. We don't know when that decision was made or what made her keep that information from us, but we respected her choice and we left... with a short parting email to your mother apologizing that she didn't feel like she could talk to us when she was having second thoughts. The silence since then has been deafening.

There were many reasons she could have changed her mind and we've speculated about what could have happened, but that's all we've been able to do - speculate. And wish you and your family all the best.

We left you there and were forced to move on, but we will never forget you - the child we had in our hearts but never got to meet. We imagined a future for you. We fought over naming you. We stayed up late at night wondering what you would look like and how we would teach Kal how to handle a new baby. I was so excited for you two to meet! Zay and I prayed for your mother, because she seemed so desperate to save her current relationship and to remove you from the drama. We wanted her to find peace and happiness. She must've found it with you. I hope the silence means you're being adored over and loved and taken care of. I hope all the concerns your mother had for you are being resolved now that you're here.

I don't know why you aren't here with us. We really don't even know where you are now and who you are with. We are just guessing. But I am SO SORRY I couldn't be your mom. I am SO SORRY I couldn't be there for you when we should've been there. We weren't invited. And I feel like I let you down. My mother heart grieves for you every day. I will not have the chance to watch you grow up. You won't get to know Kal. And that's a shame. He would've loved you to death and been an amazing and protective older brother, but for now he doesn't even know you exist. When he's older, he will know. We will tell him about how we almost adopted you, but for some reason it didn't work out.

We don't know you... we won't know you... we only know a handful of details, really. But that was enough for us to fall in love and enough to leave a lasting impression. As we move on with our lives, we'll always remember you. We hope you are safe. You must be. I'm sure your mother wouldn't have let us leave without you if you weren't.

With love,
Alice Anne & the fam

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