Dear Ms. Feverfew –
I think I have finally figured out why my sister Melynie won’t talk to me. As in, I haven’t had a conversation with her in oh, about 18 1/2 years. I can hardly write this because I am sitting here crying so hard. The computer screen is blurry and my hands are shaking so please forgive any errors.
As I was working on my book this morning, I was writing about the time when I was about 18 weeks along with you. I had been to a check up late that afternoon, and the doctor was not able to find a heart beat. While I know others might have found a miscarriage an elegant solution to an unplanned pregnancy, I had fallen in love with you already. I had dreamed of you. I knew what you would look like and how you would feel in my arms, even before you were born.
I went home that afternoon to wait for the next morning’s ultrasound, devastated and sobbing at the thought of my baby dying – of you dying. As I lay in my bed that evening, I cried into the stillness of night. I begged and pleaded and bargained with God that you would still be alive, that your little body hadn’t decided to quit before it had even had a chance.
Nearly twenty years later and out of the fog of this anguish, I remember something that I have forgotten.
As I lay there in my bed, I remember my sister Melynie coming into the room quietly and slipping into her bed. Since my sister Carolyn’s death two years before, Melynie and I had been sharing the room. She was there with me through my whole pregnancy, sleeping in the same room with me, breathing in the same air as she fought her own battles to overcome the legacy our parents gave us. She watched what I went through. She watched me give you to strangers and then just walk away. She stood by mutely as my motherhood was shamefully trafficked by our religion, struck dumb by the horrific thing I had done to her niece.
I have long wondered what happened to cause Melynie to hate me with such a fiery and unrelenting passion, to treat me with such contempt and disgust whenever she speaks of me with others. Perhaps she perceives I traded you for respectability and a comfortable life, a husband, and a PhD. I know differently and God knows differently, but she doesn’t.
And who wouldn’t hate a woman who did that to her daughter? In a way, isn’t that what my mother did to all of us? Traded our innocence for the security and respectability that a husband and marriage brings in the LDS culture?
So I sit here in front of my computer this morning with the full weight of what I did to not just you, but to my sisters and my family resting on my shoulders. Please someone, can you remind me what a miracle and blessing adoption is in the lives of “birth” families? How is this blessing my family into the eternities? Isn’t that what we were promised if I made this “loving sacrifice”?