Project Thanks: Hitting the Jackpot
“How much can one spirit take before it starts to break?” Jess had asked herself.
She had endured two rounds of IVF, suffered two miscarriages and was told that she would “never have a baby.”
But it wasn’t true.
Jess did get to have a baby. It just didn’t happen the way she had thought it would. Her baby’s name is Jack.
Jack’s birthmother didn’t know she was pregnant until she was almost 40 weeks. She was 18. Even though she lived at home, her parents never knew she was pregnant. When she came to meet Jess and Jess’s husband at the attorney’s office, she was alone.
When she met Jess and her husband two weeks later at the hospital, she was alone again. She had even arranged to give birth (since she was being induced) on a weekend when she knew that her parents were going to be out of town.
When Jack was born, his birthmother told the nurse to hand him to “his mother.” Jess gave Jack his first bath and his first bottle. “He was perfect. There was a feeling that came with him. I felt a love I didn’t know was possible.”
Jess says she is thankful every single day for Jack and for his birthmother. She is the woman “who selflessly believed I deserved him. She put all of her faith in us.”
The original agreement as part of the open adoption called for only one visit and two photographs a year. There has been much more over the last five years. Jess has made Jack’s birth mom a part of their family. As she explained to Jack, “She is our super, super special friend who grew you in her belly so we could become your parents.”
There are emails and phone calls and visits. Last year, Jack’s birthmother – who lives in another state — was the special guest at his birthday party. Jess thought it was brave of her to come into a noisy house full of guests she didn’t know. “Of all the people I’ve ever known or had a bond with, she’s just above and beyond all of it. We’re so lucky. I think we hit the jackpot.”
(Thank you so much to Jess for sharing your story. And, I have to add I think Jack’s birthmother hit the jackpot too. This is a beautiful story and I’m inspired by Jess’s big heart.
Note to readers, if you want to thank someone for something — big or small — please email me one or two or three or four ( I don’t care) lines about it at email@example.com and I’ll contact you to set up a time for an interview. Or, if you’re a blogger and want to help spread the word about the series, feel free — hint hint — to reblog this post.)