|Tessa at four months|
To the Woman who Gave Life to My Baby,
Life has come full circle.
Twenty years ago you placed your beautiful newborn in our arms, giving us the responsibility for her life and welfare. For you, this transfer meant a separation from your daughter that resulted in a heart-rending grief the depths of which few could plumb. You watched as we placed your precious newborn in a car seat and drove off.
Now twenty years later, it's our turn. Tomorrow we will place our beautiful daughter in the arms of a young man, giving him the responsibilty for her life and welfare. For us, the transfer which will take place at the altar will mean separation as she moves to Ohio. While our grief could never compare to the grief you've experienced, our joy is mingled with sadness as she prepares to leave our home. We will watch as Tessa climbs into Aaron's car and drives off.
As many parallels as there are, calling attention to those isn't my purpose in writing. I just want you to know that as I've pondered these parallels, I have thought of you often. As the wedding has gotten closer and closer, I have had you on my heart.
I have thought of you with profound gratitude. When you found out that you were pregnant, our culture was loudly telling you not to inconvienience yourself by going through with the pregnancy. Yet you demonstrated love for the little one growing inside you and refused to abort your baby. You sacrificed your life to give life. You were courageous. You were selfless. You were a hero to me, and you always will be.
When we first had contact with you, our hearts had ached for so long as we watched friend after friend become parents. Our hearts ached as one medical procedure after another failed. We were told we were without hope, and yet we wanted the role of parents so badly it hurt. When you placed your trust in us to parent Tessa, you took a very barren couple and turned us into a family. The gift you gave the two of us in allowing us to parent Tessa was a gift of inestimable value.
I'm so glad you are able to come to the wedding. I hope as the evening progresses that you will get a sense for the impact that Tessa has already had in so many lives. She is truly an unusual person. She brings life with her wherever she goes. She gives love freely and generously. She encourages others readily. And she laughs a lot and pulls others into her happiness. Your gift of life to Tessa has multiplied in blessing too many others to count. You have made the world a better place by refusing to abort an unplanned pregnancy.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You are a blessing. You have blessed us. Now your daughter, who is at the same time our daughter, will now go on to bless her new husband and those she encounters in Cincinnati. Your choice to give life has been like a stone thrown in a pond; the ripples just continue to spread.
Thank you! I love you. We love you.