I've been struggling internally with myself. Three days ago, I found out Ben got engaged. At first, I was angry. Upset, making stupid little remarks in my mind like "yeah, like he's not going to screw THAT one up..."... and then as my blood is boiling over everything, a little thought came to mind.
What gives me the right to make such a judgement? What gives me the right to think I'm so much better?
Didn't we ultimately make the EXACT same mistake? But here I am, still seeking forgiveness of my trespasses with those around me, although I know I took the (incredibly difficult and heartbreaking) steps to be married in the temple to an amazing man. Yet I'm unable to forgive Ben and allow him the same happiness.
Why wouldn't I wish this kind of happiness on someone else?
I can't be truly happy and let go until I forgive. I thought for a time I had, but I realize now that it was just jealousy. It was my mind saying, "Why can things work out so seemingly perfect with someone else, but they didn't with me?"... well, dumb question. One, it wasn't right. Two, we weren't living our lives to be worthy of an eternal happiness. But now we have our separate lives, and somehow (miraculously!) we have both straightened ourselves out - but we had to be separate. It wasn't his fault or my fault. It just had to happen. And now we are both being blessed for it.
The night before last, I had a really hard time sleeping. My mind was racing. I was bouncing between thoughts of, "What if they become Dave and Amy's favorites?" (A senseless thought, I know... but don't judge a sleep-deprived pregnant woman!) "I don't know how to be mother, I only know how to get to the point of delivering a baby!" "Why did I have to mess up what could have been a potential friendship so badly?" and "I am so scared to be a mother!"... Truly, my mind was out of control. After an hour and a half of tossing and turning, I rolled over and told my sweet, dear Bradley what was on my mind. How scared I was. How angry I was. How somehow the fear I felt at becoming a mother connected to me still being angry at Ben for things that happened way before and way after placement. (Placement was truly perfect... blogpost on the left explains that). How I was trying so hard to forgive, but all I could do was be upset about things that happened over a year ago. Bradley held me for a while, kissed my forehead, and offered to give me a blessing.
He blessed me that I would be able to forgive. He blessed me that I would be able to find peace in becoming a mother. He blessed me that as we became a family, I would feel peace and be able to LET GO of the pain I had felt.
I fell asleep soon after the blessing. I spent the day yesterday in a silent prayer, trying to determine where my unsettled feeling stemmed from. What I finally realized is that I'm unsettled because though I am trying very hard to forgive, and as of this moment I am truly HAPPY for Ben and his cute fiance (I'll totally admit I blogstalk her... she's a fantastic writer), I haven't sought forgiveness myself. Knowing that I caused pain and sadness in someone else's life, for whatever reason, has really left me wide open.
In another world, had I known then what I know now, I think I would have handled the friendship/relationship between myself and Ben differently after placement. I used him as a crutch, without once thinking he was feeling the same pain. I silently blamed him for the mistakes prior to little David's arrival in this world. My mind had already determined that nobody could ever hurt as much as I did. It was no wonder things didn't work out! He needed someone separate and free of everything that had happened just as I did. Someone who didn't blame him. And someone who didn't resent him for the pain associated with everything we had been through - pain that I was just as much to blame for!
When I met Bradley and fell in love, it was so different from the feeling I had ever had in my relationship with Ben that I didn't look back. I was so blessed that Bradley found me. That he swept me off my feet. That he loved me because of who I was, and who I was trying to become. He has been my rock. He has been my stronghold when I'm scared or losing control. Bradley was what I needed, and absolutely what I wanted. He his handsome and kind and knows exactly what I need. He is so easy to fall in love with over and over, and he helped me make it to the temple. He wouldn't give up that goal himself, and he did everything in his power to help me make it there, too, so we can be together forever. I was able to because with Bradley, it was right.
My acting angry and vindictive disallows (in my mind) Ben from finding that same happiness. I would be selfish to not want these same blessings for him. Though I highly doubt a friendship will ever reform between us, I do hope he and his fiance know that I am happy for them. I hope they get to experience the blessings I've been able to experience with Bradley.
How lucky am I that little David will have not only his parents, but also BOTH birth parents set a great example for him? It doesn't happen often... if ever. Most people I talk to, one birth parent has gotten their life back on track and the other has gone off the deep end. I truly believe that part of the blessings we each have received from placement has and will be the opportunity to be sealed to our spouses in the House of the Lord for eternity.
My last thought for the day (maybe for a while, as it has been quite a process figuring it all out), is that I am indeed GRATEFUL to Ben's fiance (if she ever reads this, I hope she smiles at the word fiance... it's such a fun word when it's official!) for the example that she has (unknowingly) set for me. All I've heard about her (from mutual friends) and read from her are kind things. Even when I wasn't so nice to her. We spoke once on the phone when I was going through some angry changes, and instead of being cruel and hateful, she stood her ground but she was KIND. It's that kind of woman I'll be proud for little David to know. (Of course I'll still be a little jealous... in an I-want-to-be-the-favorite-aunt kind of way!)
Maybe someday I'll work up the nerve to ask her to guest blog for me. Until then, I'm wishing them the best. They deserve it. If I deserved it, then they do, too.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. This is part of my healing. Not being angry anymore has helped me feel more at peace about being a mother. I'm not sure why, but I'm grateful.
Congrats, you guys. Being sealed in the temple is incredible. So, so incredible.
Oh, and here's a cool article that I love that talks about adoption and the sealing ordinance. From a birthparent perspective, it makes my heart SO happy. Especially the last line.