A few inches.
That's what separated me from my daughter today.
Cotton. Skin. Muscle and sinew. She was there and we were there and we couldn't bring her home because she's still wrapped tightly inside the mother who gave her life. Now, we are separated again by miles and months. And my arms ache, longing for the day when she will fill them.
Meeting birth parents makes it somehow feel more real. Seeing the bump where a baby is, talking to these people who have chosen life and adoption, falling in love with them. Knowing that they choose us and we choose them and that God has orchestrated this unique dance of family.
This is open adoption. It is emotional and it is beautiful, difficult, wonderful, raw.
I hug her mother and I know that she will fill a void I never can. Her voice, her heartbeat, her very self will be missed. But I will strive, every day, to be the mom she has chosen for her child. To love her daughter more than my own life. To adore her in ways that only a mother can.
We stand together, the four of us, for a picture. The moms in the middle. The dads on the outside, hemming us in tight. Do you know how much you are loved, little one? Can you feel the sacrifice they are making? Are you aware of the joy your tiny life is already bringing to us? You are wanted. Intensely.
This isn't what any of us pictured. When we looked down the timeline at our futures, no one saw us standing together in front of a restaurant. No one, save the Almighty. But He has known it all from the beginning.
We met today. Her and him and I and him and her. We talked. We laughed. We broke bread. We were real and present and transparent. We chose each other.
And we all choose our daughter.