This is part of a letter I wrote in my daughter’s journal this morning:
Next week, our lives will be changing a little. I feel so bittersweet about leaving you during the day and heading to the office. I love my days with you, Audie. I love watching you discover your world, cuddling you, nursing you, kissing your sweet cheeks, playing, running, babbling, I love it all. I get a little weepy when I think about how much I will miss our ordinary days together.
I think I need to tell you why I am doing it. It is not about prestige, or money, or getting “me” time, or feeling accomplished. It is none of those things. Audrey, you are blessed to grow up in a home with two parents who adore you, a home where there is always enough: enough food, enough love, enough life. Sweetheart, there are some babies who do not get that chance. Their moms or dads are in tough situations, and don’t know what to do or where to turn. Some of these moms and dads end the life of their baby before they are even born. These babies never get to experience a mother’s touch, a father’s adoration. There is no baby’s first cry, no happy tears, no tender embrace. There is nothing but a broken baby and a broken mom and dad. They sometimes feel like they are “helping” their child by excusing them from the pain of this world–yet none of us would exchange the hardship of life for no existence at all.
There are also moms and dads who want to care for and love on these little ones as their own. My sweet daughter, I want to help the girls and women and men who are facing this life-changing decision. I want to provide for them a place they feel safe, where they don’t feel judged for their choices, but they feel informed, supported and loved, no matter what decision they make. As an advocate for life, I do want the baby to live, because they are the most innocent party involved, because I know their life is valuable. They are in the safest place in the world: their mother’s womb. I remember you being there, Audrey, inside of me, I wanted to nurture, love, protect you. it is the most primal instinct–a mother’s love for her child.
It is partly because of you, you have inspired me to protect the lives of others like you. I know you won’t understand this now, but I am hoping that some day you will. I am not trying to escape you, darling, I am instead letting my love for you fuel me to action. I hope someday you will be proud of me. My prayer is that I will always lead you in a way that helps you see the value in others, and someday you can help others realize this value in themselves, too.
Next week is going to be hard. Leaving you is going to hurt. But, I promise you this: there will always be enough kisses, enough hugs, enough play, enough walks.
I love you, darling.
Know that today, know that always.