Confession to the Flame

I was pulling out of Jersey Mikes and my brain froze in recognition and shock at the face that drove past. So there I was, thinking- should I say something to her? THE one from so long ago?

I had to. I had read a friend of mine's blog about how she got in touch with an old friend. Unfortunately, that situation was old friends and not an old friend/flame-so my contact was the polar opposite of her experience.

When I saw her the pain came back. I wanted to smile and tell her that she looked great. I couldn't even get out of the truck as I was unsure of my legs. She smiled and walked near to the truck but stopped an arms reach away.

I wanted to tell her how every year I see children (this year, twelve and thirteen year olds?) and wonder what little Tom or Jennifer would have grown up to be. I wanted to tell her the irony of how my wife could not bear children and we adopted. I wanted to tell her about speaking before adoption groups about my past. How God has blessed me with a loving daughter who thinks I hung the moon. How ignorant and selfish I was back then. How much I hated myself for what happened so long ago. How if I had done what I promised I would do- that we would have been blessed. Instead I wanted the "easy" way out because I stupidly thought it was a "problem to fix" and not a person.

However when I saw her the pain was so much that I barely held my voice steady as I wanted to cry. Cry for the choice, cry for the broken promises and cry for crushing her spirit and heart as I did. I'm not even sure in hindsight that I got "I'm sorry" out-which is really what I wanted her to know.

They are farther apart than they used to be, but the moments still come when I so much hate what happened, what I did and who I was.

Then I went home and my daughter runs to me yelling "Daddy!" and how I have been daily reminded that Jesus has taken care of my sin. How HE has blessed me with a loving wife who has helped heal these pains with love and patience. When my wife and the adoption counselor dragged me through the process with merciless patience and I found a new perspective on the past that I wanted to tell my old flame, after all she was my friend as well as my girlfriend.

I wanted to say that the healing began when I recognized my pain on in the adoption counseling. That the past did not have to weigh so heavily. That there is a place of healing.

I just so needed to tell her all this, and beg her forgiveness.

Here we are a few days later and I just opened an email that said "Hey-got over you a long time ago, just go on with life without me please." from the girl; and she asked that I not respond. Thirteen years since that trip to the "clinic" and... she still does not want to communicate with me. My thought that she was ok with it based on her reaction in person was tainted by an amazing show of strength on her part, though today's email said something completely different. With my usual grasp of the obvious, that door seems to be slammed shut forever. That's another componet of the whole situation: being a control-freak-fixer-type like me I want to do something about it. I broke something wonderful, and I am neither allowed or capable of putting it right. I am learning that I must accept this with my other lessons.

Now it seems my misguided intentions have caused more harm than good, again. Clearly I should not have stopped the truck. So now I'll just ask her forgiveness for disturbing her and obey her wishes. Next, I'll tell my daughter about the older brother or sister she could have had when she grows old enough to understand. How her birth mother chose to do a difficult task that daddy had ignorantly thought was too difficult when he was the same age. I will also tell her how much we love her birth mother for her sacrifice.

As long as they invite me to, I will also continue to tell my side of the story to prospective adoptive parents. Maybe some will know they are not alone, and that God can make good use of our transgressions. No matter how horrible they seem to us.