Becky Fawcett lives in Manhattan with Kipp, her husband of 16 years, and two children, Jake, 7, and Brooke, 3. She is executive director, on a pro bono basis, of Helpusadopt.org (http://helpusadopt.org/), a non-profit organization she and her husband founded in 2007 in response to their own adoption experience. Helpusadopt.org enables couples and individuals to overcome financial hurdles to adopting children. In its five-year existence, it has awarded $570,000 in adoption grants to build 73 families. Becky owns The Fawcett Group, a lifestyle public relations and marketing firm.
Dear Jake and Brooke,
I know you always wonder why sometimes when I look at you my eyes fill with tears. And why I never miss an opportunity to say “I love you” even if it’s fifty times a day. It’s because you are my miracles. Let me try to tell you why.
My first miscarriage was the worst. At 16 weeks I was confident I was out of the woods and I was pregnant enough for the whole world to know. So I was unable to experience the loss privately.
My second miscarriage, at 12 weeks, was equally devastating, but at least private.
My third, at 10 weeks, happened on Christmas Eve, leaving me too numb even to cry.
Three pregnancies, three miscarriages. I had expected the road to my children to be easy and with each miscarriage I felt my dream starting to slip away.
Yet a childless life was never an option for me. I was born to be a mother. I needed to be a mother. I had to be a mother. Being a mother was in my DNA. The question was never “if” I would have children; it was “how many” would I have?
At that moment, then, I committed myself to building my family through adoption.
The process of adoption was different from what I had imagined. It was long, arduous and expensive. Sometimes in life, you have to make compromises, to acquiesce. But not this time. Nothing was going to stand in the way of my becoming a mother; I would do whatever it took to make it happen. I would fight and fight hard.
I was there when you entered this world, Jake. And when I held you in my arms and you officially became mine, your eyes opened wide. To this day I believe you knew exactly why you were there — to heal my broken heart.
As for you, Brookie, I was on the phone with your birth mother as she went into the delivery room. The minute you arrived — three weeks early, by the way; you had just decided you were ready — your birth father texted me a picture of you. Once your birth mother placed you in my arms, I kissed you. I wanted never to let you go.
When I watched Dad hold you and Jake at the same time, I realized that was my world right there — the three of you. What I understood as we had our first “family hug” was that “how” I became a mother mattered less than the reality of getting to be one. I count my blessings every day that Dad and I were in a position to afford it.
So that, in brief, was the journey, the struggle, that brought you both to me (and me to you, for that matter). I wanted to be a mother so badly. But becoming a mother was harder than anything I’ve ever done in my life. I endured physical and emotional pain beyond anything I had imagined. Some days I can hardly believe how hard I had to fight. It nearly destroyed me.
But it was worth it, just as I knew it would be.
I’ll never forget your birth mothers, of course, nor will you. Because I was unable to achieve motherhood on my own, I had to rely on these two women, these beautiful, selfless, kind-hearted, courageous and loving women. They, after all, are the women who carried you to term, who loved you first. It was they who chose me to be your mother, and they who then placed you in my arms.
They are the women I still see today when I look in your eyes. They will always be part of who you are, and now they are also part of who I am, too.
My three pregnancies, my three miscarriages, each brought me one step closer to both of you—one step closer to motherhood. Little did I realize that just as my dream of having a child was dying — this, Jake, is how you so eloquently put it — a new dream was waiting.
I love you more than life itself.