A month ago I drove to the town that our daughter was to be born in. It was a planned trip, made weeks in advance and although I had not heard from our birth mother in days I was determined to go. I was supposed to be meeting the doctor, listening to the babies heartbeat, touring the hospital.......
Unfortunately, that was not the way the day unfolded. The birth mother refused to see me and I toured the hospital alone. It felt awkward and uncomfortable, like I was pretending. After the tour I went back to the nursery, looked through that big window and tried to imagine a baby of mine on the other side. I walked back to the elevator and tried to picture us bounding out in two weeks with excitement.
I knew it wasn't going to happen. None of it felt right. Most of my life I have been a pessimist, always expecting the worse. I wanted to believe that this was just that little voice that lives inside of me and whispers negative things, but it wasn't. It was the voice of reason, shouting at me and I refused to listen.
That morning, on the drive I came up with an idea. I convinced myself that it wasn't a wasted trip. I wanted to believe that I would look back and be thankful I pushed myself to go. I wanted the ten hours of travel to have meaning and purpose. I decided to take out my camera and explore the small town. It was a dreary day, my favorite kind. I drove the country roads and pulled over to photograph the fields. I went into the town square and took pictures of the beautiful old buildings.
I took these photos because I needed to. It was the only thing that I could think to do to stay positive and connected that day. I was a stranger in a strange town and I wanted to feel like I belonged. I wanted the photos to serve as a reminder. I planned to put them up in the nursery, share them and the story with our child. I wanted to show the birth mother that it was a priority to remember where our baby came from. I felt excited and relieved to have the distraction and focus.
Obviously that isn't the way that it turned out. I don't have a child from this place and will probably never go back there again. I thought about erasing them, but I can't. They feel important, meaningful, special. These pictures, this place, that day......they are all a part of me now.