Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.Photographers, artists, poets: show us OTHER.
I was 16 and pregnant. For most of my pregnancy decisions were made as if it were someone else’s body carrying a child, but it was mine, a child myself really. Ultimately the decision to give my baby up for adoption was agreed upon. I had a beautiful baby boy, just as I had imagined. I chose to keep left at the fork in the road, the road less traveled and some may assume the easy way. I made a decision based on what I felt would be in the best interests of my son. I didn’t live my life with regret but I certainly took the bumpier road. I lived my life with an emptiness in my heart and a longing that nothing could fulfill. It would be impossible to never think what if, I think anyone who has ever loved another person has thought “what if?” at least fleetingly. For me it was impossible to switch paths. The road I didn’t take continued for another family but for me it no longer had an option to travel.
The other road had a chubby cheeked, dark hard boy who was raised with lots of love and happiness but unbeknownst to me he was never told he was adopted.
Looking back over the years and trying to imagine taking a different road, I was always taken back to a time of my youth and all the emotions of a heartbroken sixteen year old girl. Standing on that road now overgrown with trees and barely visible hurt like nothing you can imagine. So I continued on the road I chose and made an effort to only think ahead to a time when we would meet again. In my heart I believed it would happen someday. I kept a form with me that I was given by the lawyer the day I signed the papers which would give me the opportunity in the future to facilitate a reunion. I carried it with me, moving it from purse to purse for 19 years. It was tattered and dogearred but for me it held a lifetime of hope and promise.
My son’s 19th birthday came and went with much angst but although I looked at that yellowed wrinkled form several times a day I hesitated to make a move. My husband noticed a struggle in me and encouraged me to go ahead and make the call. He didn’t understand why I would think about something everyday for nineteen years and then hesitate. I explained that I was scared. What if everything I imagined for nineteen years just ended? What if the road became a dead end? What if he didn’t think of me or long to meet me the way I did him? With love and encouragement I made the call. I was thoroughly prepared for a long road ahead and the possibility that he would have no interest in having any sort of contact. I was catupulted into a Hurricane of emotions. I would just randomly break out into tears at any given time. Things progressed more quickly then I was prepared for and I was told that my son never thought of me or imagined meeting me. He didn’t know I existed because until I searched for him he never knew he was adopted. In following my heart I had ripped a young man’s life and the life of his family wide open. That caused me a lot of angst and I cannot even begin to imagine theirs. I did however never promise not to love him forever and I can’t apologize for that. That road that I chose has the same familiar bumps and turns but the most beautiful scenery. I belong on this road and that call I made changed my life. It completed me.