As a follow up post to my earlier post Hella Good, I'm now telling you about the other song that has a special meaning to me.
Linkin Park's Shadow Of The Day reminds me not of my daughter, Reese, but of her birthmother, Keely. I'm not sure exactly why, but it just does. It became popular around the first few months of Reesie's life, our first few months with her. The lyrics are quite depressing. It's not the words that remind me of Keely so much, it's the connection I have with her.
If you've not adopted a child, then you probably can't identify with what I'm about to say. But with both Henry and Reese, I felt guilty about being able to parent these beautiful children. My heart ached for their birthmoms and the loss that they felt. I even experienced a touch of post-pardum depression with Reese that was somewhat difficult to deal with.
Rewind to late summer, early fall of 2007. Jeremy and I were once again on the adoption registry list and waiting to be placed with a child. We were warned that we might be waiting for years because as a trend, birthmothers are often drawn to couples that don't have children already. We were okay with that. Not thrilled, but okay.
It was a Wednesday morning when our case worker called with a frantic tone telling me that she'd been trying to get a hold of us for a few days. She had a young birth mom who liked our adoption profile and wanted to me with us that day.
Shocked, I called Jeremy and told him that we would be meeting Keely in two hours to discuss her and options for her baby. I remember the first time I saw her. She was standing in the deli we had picked for lunch. I thought she was beautiful. She was a teeny thing, long blonde hair and the prettiest smile. She was talkative, but I knew she was nervous. I was nervous too. She didn't look pregnant. I scanned the place for Ashton Kutcher to see if we were being Punk'd. I asked her over lunch if we were being Punk'd. For reals. I did.
Keely only had about six weeks left in her pregnancy and was kind enough to meet with us several other times. The second time we met with her was over dinner. I remember about half-way through getting this intense pang in my heart while she was talking to me. I recognized this from the same feeling I had when I very first laid eyes on Henry. My heart had recognized Keely in the same way it had Henry. So it was then, over my chicken quesadilla at Chili's, that I fell in love with Keely.
It wasn't just because she had chosen us to raise Reesie, it was that I genuinely loved her. I often tell her now that had our paths crossed another way in life, I truly believe we would be friends. She tells me that she feels a special bond with me and that our lives might somehow be intertwined because she was able to give birth to Reese and I'm the one that's able to raise her. I couldn't have put it better.
Where does the Linkin Park song come in to all this? It's strange. When I first heard it, I loved the melody and the beat. It's relaxing and has movement to it. Keely was on my mind a lot at that time. I would often wonder what she was up to. I had some idea since we would email each other quite frequently. I imagined that she might like that song too. I still don't if she does. I've never asked her. Whenever Shadow Of The Day would come on, it was three minutes of time that I kept for myself to freely wonder about her. I was curious about if she was happy. Did she think about Reese often? Did she miss her? Would she be proud of how we were raising her?
For me, Shadow Of The Day has a sort of melancholy feel with a twist of optimism. I imagine that's what Keely might have been feeling the first few months without Reese. I hoped that if she missed her daughter she would be comforted by the fact that Reese would have a good life filled with plenty of opportunities with our family.
I know that Keely visits our blog. We talk often via email and sometimes text messages. So Keely, want you to know how honored I am to be able to spend the rest of my life with Reesie, a beautiful, vibrant and curious little girl with her Momma's hair, her chin, curiosity and contagious smile. I love that she looks like you. She raises one of her eyebrows like you do in that millisecond right before she smiles. She's learned to flirt already and has Jeremy wrapped around her finger.
The other day I went into that deli where I first met you. While I ordered my sandwich I got a little teary eyed. My friend asked me if I was okay. I nodded and thought to myself that I couldn't imagine myself being any better. I can't wait to see you soon so you can see for yourself the miracle you gave us.