I started to respond to Kara in the appropriate comment format, but the answer kind of got out of hand, length-wise—so I’m moving it here.
I was a little sad as I read you call Joey the “child gifted to you” which seems to suggest that Cricket never was meant to be yours, wasn’t your gift. Do you believe this? I hope you don’t believe you were simply a vessel for him to make his way to R & N. 😦
I am sure I read this through my hypersensitive adoptee lenses, but again, it makes me pause.
I certainly did at the time. I very much believed that I must have gotten pregnant for a reason—you know, aside from the obvious sex-having reason. After all, I wasn’t the kind of girl who gets pregnant; I can’t call myself “good,” exactly, but I didn’t get into trouble. I never snuck out, I didn’t have a drink until I was twenty-one, and I only cut class one time—it was an accident!—I was in the school library at recess and got so caught up in a book that I lost track of time. Luckily, my teacher was entertained. I had detention one time: for forgetting to bring my history textbook to class. And children are a gift—so how could he be meant for me, the panicky person whose heart sank when she saw the positive test?
I remember the last time that I considered parenting Cricket as an option. I was on a train, coming home from visiting my sister—it must have been June. I was alternately losing cell reception and losing internet access, talking to my boyfriend through whichever medium was available to me, and crying and crying. He still wanted abortion, although he was consistently willing to support whatever decision I made . . . but just the fact that he still wanted me to have an abortion was incredibly distressing. It was a little weird. I was and am Catholic, but I’m also pro-choice—and the fact that I immediately thought of the mouse (as I called him while I was pregnant) as a person really caught me off guard. And if my boyfriend wanted me to have an abortion, then we couldn’t parent, because I didn’t want him to have parents who hadn’t been delighted about him from day one (or as close to that as any human can get). So after that conversation, I crossed parenting off my list of possibles and started trying to figure out for whom this child had been intended.
I wanted so badly for things to have been destined, and to need only to figure out what was supposed to happen so that I could facilitate it. Ruth and Nora had spent months and thousands of dollars getting ready for a baby, and they seemed very nice—so this baby must have been meant for them through me. Why through me? Heck, I still believe that I deserve any bad thing that happens to me (the bad thing being the crisis pregnancy, not Cricket).
When I talk about Joey being gifted to me, I’m not thinking about that in contrast to Cricket—but I do think that losing our first has left both me and the Mister profoundly grateful for Joey. Just this afternoon I was rocking him and trying to help him get a bubble out, and he was grisling a bit, and I teared up thinking about how glad I was to have him. Mr. Book does this thing that I misinterpreted at first; sometimes when Joey is in his arms and howling, Mr. Book will look at him and laugh. At first I thought that he was laughing at the baby, and it bothered me—but we talked about it, and now I can hear the note of surprise in his voice. He’s just so happy to see Joey, even at the howliest of times, that sometimes he laughs.
I value your lens, lady. 😉