Tuesday, September 8, 2009


It's after midnight, so it is, strictly speaking, tomorrow. Which means that tomorrow is the hardest day of my life. Placement day.

I picked the ninth, as I've mentioned, because it's the one-year anniversary of my father's death. And because it gave me more than two weeks with Roo from the day I decided to place her. Where did that two weeks go? I have more I wanted to do! Will I get it all done? Roo will change outfits about twenty times tomorrow so I can get all the pictures I want - dresses I sewed for her, gifts from family (I like them to see her in their gifts), her Halloween fairy costume.

There is a portrait of me at two months old in a tiny blue flowered dress, on an alphabet-printed blanket. My mother saved the dress and blanket, and I am going to put Roo in one and on the other and take her picture. She turned two months old today - yesterday, technically. I have the seventh of every month marked on my calendar and in the planner section of my BlackBerry. Will it hurt to see the happy faces, the capital letters spelling out "Roo 3-month birthday!"? I imagine it will hurt a little. Maybe a lot. How could it not?

I am unsure what to do with many things. I chose the baby book I did because it has a page for every month's birthday and a space for a picture. Do I keep it, filled in to two months? Give it to M and P? Perhaps they've already got a baby book, and in any case, they won't want one with so many references to me being Mommy. I won't be Mommy anymore.

I saw them today, and their little girl. We met at the temple visitor's center for a bit and then went out for frozen yogurt. It was so good to see them again. I feel good about my decision when I'm with them. It's only later, at home, that panic sets in and I think I'm making a mistake or that I can't do this.

Roo was an angel for her mommy and daddy. She hardly fussed at all, and she relaxed when each of them held her. But then, they handed her back to me (which must be so hard for them to do!) and Roo sort of cheered a bit like, oh, good, back to Mommy. I wish she wouldn't, much as it melts my heart. Things like that make me worry that she will miss me and cry inconsolably, that she will have a hard time adjusting and attaching and that it will scar her for life. I pray every night that she will quickly forget me. That feeling the love of P and M will be enough, that it will comfort her and she will accept them as her parents. I pray that feeling loved and cared for will be enough, that the absence of my voice and smell won't hurt her.

Mothers die, I remind myself. How many tiny babies have lost their mommies and still turned out okay? It must be hundreds of thousands. And Roo has an advantage, because she will still have a mommy, and a daddy to boot. And I will see her sometimes, and maybe that sporadic exposure to me will be enough. I pray that it will be enough.

I am going to miss this little girl so much! How will I stand it? Right now when I feel anxious I turn on HGTV (it's on pretty much 24 hours a day). Will that work when Roo is gone? I worry that things I did or watched or listened to with her will remind me too much of her to comfort me anymore. I worry that the obnoxious "Divine Design" jingle will send me into a fit of tears.

I have been told by my family and by M and P that I am being prayed for. I am glad. If ever a woman needed prayers and help from above, it's me! I can feel the prayers sometimes. Other times all I can think of is myself and how utterly lost I will be without my baby.

I feel that way now, so I'm going to remind myself why I am doing this: for Roo. Because she deserves the world. I am a good mother - no, I am a wonderful mother. But what I am not is a wonderful father, and Roo deserves the same kind of amazing daddy that I had. My dad is dead, but I am sealed to him for time and all eternity. He is still my daddy, and I will see him again. Who am I to deny Roo the same blessing just because placing her will hurt me? Better me than her.

I want her to have a mommy whose only job is being a mommy. A mommy who will read to her and teach her and care for her and love her without worrying about daycare or a job. I want Roo to have a mommy and daddy who have enough money that, if she wants to learn ballet, she can learn ballet. Or take piano lessons, or play soccer, or ice skate, or go to space camp if that's what she dearly wants to do. She couldn't have that with me. She would constantly be watched by others and I worry that as she got older she'd feel like a burden. No child should feel that way. I don't want to come home from an exhausting day at work to a child who missed me terribly and wants to make up for the time I was away.

She will need braces (genetics aren't on her side in the dental department). I will never be able to afford that as a single mother. She may want to go to college, or a trade school. I will never be able to help her out with that. She deserves parents who can. The world should belong to Roo, and I know that it will with P and M as her parents.

I know what tomorrow will bring, in the literal sense of the word. I will sign some papers and leave LDSFS without the precious cargo I bring in. But by letting her mommy and daddy take her home, I am opening up infinite possibilities for a lifetime of tomorrows for us both. That is what I am clinging to.

1 comment:

Heather @ Raising Memories Blog said...

Oh, Jill! I just found your blog & have been reading. I am overcome, reading this, and feeling the love you have for your daughter. I am so impressed and overwhelmed by your strength.