n this day each year, I think of a woman named Dona. She did something I cannot imagine ever doing. I’ve birthed a dozen children, and have wept over our stillborn daughter and three miscarried babies. I cannot imagine doing as she did, handing over a living, breathing child, barely looking at her, never holding her and going home to tell her other children that her baby died at birth. She wanted to save her marriage. Her husband did not believe the baby she carried was his. She was sure it was, but the brief affair she had, would be forever attached to this child. September 9th was not the only hard day. It was the days leading up to it. Where was this child? Did she think of her? What did she look like? Their marriage survived. She had two more children after her. But she had a missed child, somewhere.
Just over 22 years ago, when my oldest son was 4-5 months old, I met Dona and her husband, George. George wept when he first saw me. He knew without a doubt I was his daughter. My sister a year younger, we could pass as twins. Dona gave me a beautiful white bedspread she knitted – a first for her – it caused jealousies with my 7 siblings. Though our lives never stayed connected, I still think of them, especially today.
I think of Dona . . . I wonder if thinks of me. I wonder if George still weeps for what could have been. I can understand some of this pain. And, on this day, 46 years after she handed me over, I am thankful for a woman’s sacrificial giving and saving life. Thank you Dona, for give me a birth day.