Thirty three Springs….the love and ache.

Saint Patrick’s Day 1979
Daffodils bloomed,
breezes turned balmy
and I pulled off shoes,
letting swollen feet tramp across warming earth.
I was pregnant with my first baby….due today.
For weeks I had ached for time to stop,
squeezing myself shut to the coming contractions
and separation,
“relinquish” hanging heavy on my heart.

But today the weather turned,
hadn’t everything somehow changed?
Spring had come with her own dreamy wildness
and waves to ride far beyond the looming loss.

I spent the day sunsoaking
watching the wind gently rock the tire swing I’d played in
not so long ago.

I was newly seventeen,
an unwed mother
with an unwanted chore:
to give my baby to someone who could be what she deserved.
Soon she would come apart from me,
 gone before the leaves flushed out.
Their buds were fat and ready to pop
….like me.
I went quiet with the knowing.

But this day was vivid lovely and it got inside me.

As the sun began to dip low,  a painful storm struck
and hammered down urgency inside my belly,
as grownup voices
began herding me into the night
and toward the hospital.
I couldn’t do this.
It was bedtime and I wanted to crawl under the covers
and cradle the life inside me again.

My body betrayed me,
forcing me into a cold sterile world of tight lips and disapproving eyes.
As my frightened parents gathered my things,
I lunged back inside for just one last moment alone
with the tiny life that had shaken my own with her gentle worth.
I lowered my frame heavy onto bed….sing a last lullaby
but found only tears,
a fragile goodbye.

I followed strong contractions into the night,
returning  home with only fierce memory
of her tiny fingers and face.
But I’m forever marked by her essence,
often swept away by the melody
as it drifts across my heartstrings.

I recognize her song.

Thirty three Springs of her beautiful life
and I honor each of her days.
Today I tenderly comfort the girl who carried her before
she was transplanted into the garden
where she grew and thrived,
those shimmery days when we were just us,
when she was still mine.

(thanks so much for reading along and letting me share this part of my heart with you.)


  1. Kathy Anne on March 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Jennifer, I’m weeping for your big, brave, powerful, strong, and longing heart. Giver of life and love, you beautiful Mother.
    Hugs, Kathy

  2. Bren on March 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    God how my heart aches, your words really rip me up though I’ve not walked in your shoes I’ve felt their heaviness through your words. Bless you Jen and her where ever she is

  3. rachel awes on March 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    sweet love, how do we possibly bare such pain? such loss? how do we carry this story our whole life? + how do you become so brave with words + tell us all? how do you keep facing the sun every single day? i have no answers. only empty hands to hug you with. + a heart to love you + she completely. xoxoxX

  4. Susan on March 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Love to you, for your big brave heart, for loving your daughter enough to give her a chance, for loving yourself through the tears and the years, for being the woman you are. xoxoxoxo

  5. Liv on March 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I can’t say it any better than Rachel did. You are amazing. Sending all the love I possibly can your way.

  6. Liv on March 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I can’t say it any better than Rachel did. You are amazing. Sending all the love I possibly can your way.

  7. Kirsten on March 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Wow Jennifer, wow. I feel honored to be reading these words, black on white, that somehow draw in all kinds of emotions, so mixed that I’m not sure how to sort them. Sharing this incredibly brave post, with all its pain and bravery, now and back then. You are inspiring.

  8. Karen Stout on March 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I have no words. You are the essence of Ultimate Fabulousness. Love, hugs and peace to you.

  9. Michele Bergh on March 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Much love to you, my friend.

  10. Sue on March 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I don’t know how to express in words how I felt after reading this. You are amazing for sharing such a deeply personal part of you. My heart goes out to you.

  11. Patti on March 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    My wish for you and your daughter is that somehow she knows how much you love her.

  12. annie! on March 16, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Oh my. This is such a beautiful, sad story. I helped start a Crisis Pregnancy Center when my babies were babies and knew many women who chose not to give their little ones life. I’m SO grateful that you did. You’ve been a brave woman for a very long time.

  13. Nancy Lennon on March 16, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Oh Jennifer. Maybe she feels your love come to her across the spring breezes. Sending you love from my heart to yours. Love Nancy

  14. Jen Zimmerman on March 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    I have never been so moved by reading anything before. And although I don’t know you I wish I could give you a hug right now as it seems the only appropriate response.

  15. Mom on March 17, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Happy Birthday to a very loved young lady! Love to the one whose great, unselfish love gave her life and still holds a special treasure in her heart. Love to you, Jen!

  16. Mary on March 17, 2012 at 6:45 am

    good morning Jen, i read this last night and the right words would not come…
    this morning i still find it difficult, because words seem so flat…(well, mine do)
    so, instead of me saying anything, i am asking God to wrap his arms around his precious girls.
    that you both know how much you are loved.

    what a gift you gave…what a gift you are!

    love you!

  17. Relyn on March 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I am thinking of you. Thinking of you and praying for you. For her. For your reunion some day. Believing. Having faith for you.

  18. Anita on March 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Although I knew this part of your story, Jen, reading this made my heart ache anew with both admiration for your bravery and empathy for your pain.
    As an adopted daughter, I owe my life to a young girl who I like to think was as sweet and strong as you were when she was faced with the most difficult choice of her young life. I have thanked her in my heart many times for caring for me so well during those nine months that I grew under her heart, and for loving me enough to surrender me to a family ready to make me their own.
    Happy birthday to your sweet girl, and happy birthing day to you. You are the mother of my dreams.
    xo, Anita

  19. AnaLisa Rutstein on March 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

    You words so beautiful written , of such a difficult, painful , and intimate experience and time. I am thinking of you and your bravery courage and love. Honoring you and he,r sending love and energy , and comfort. Love & Grace, AnaLisa

  20. JBR on March 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Wow, wow, wow! I am even surprised I could even utters those words. Blessings to you Jen.

  21. LindyLouMac in Italy on March 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    This touched my heart more than you will ever know. Such beautiful words to describe the wonderfully brave thing you did by giving up your daughter for adoption. I admire you for doing so Jennifer and for sharing the experience here.

  22. Suzanne on March 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    So beautifully expressed. I cannot imagine what you have been through. May your life be filled with hope and blessings. Sending much Love and hugs your way. xo

  23. Cousin Cathy on March 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I remember thinking how strong, brave and courageous you were at that young age. Your Mom told us how beautiful she was when she was born and that you made a brave decision to do what was best for this little girl. I always admired you for that and know it had to be a very hard to do what you did. I hope she knows that you did this for her and that a piece of her is always with you. You have turned into the most beautiful person because of things that you went through when you were a young and free spirit. To my sweet cousin who is beautiful inside and out, my heart goes out to you now and always.

  24. Barbara on March 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Oh, Jennifer, you were already so brave and full of love. I know your little girl felt that love and I’m sure it has carried her through this world, protecting her and keeping her surrounded by the joyous colors of her birth mother’s beautiful soul. Sending big hugs to you and the girl who so lovingly carried that baby.

  25. Poetic chronicles on March 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I don’t really know what to say…It all feels so painful and life sometimes carries us on unwanted paths! i just feel so sorry about this separation, but for sure during these nine months, this darling little soul felt how close she was to you, she thrived in your warmth and received your beautiful love. You had to part, but you were the first to care for her. This must be part of her forever. XOXO

  26. S. Etole on March 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Praying for peace and healing for your mother’s-heart that carries so much.

  27. sharon leaf on March 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    My heart stopped several times as I just read your emotions. Your story took me back forty-five years to the moment when my family doctor told me I was pregnant. Nineteen. Not married. Fear. Decisions. Even though my story ended differently–I married a boy that didn’t love me when I was 4-months pregnant–your words ripped through my heart and soul. You were a brave young girl then, and now you are a strong, mighty woman to write these words for the world to read. Your story will resonate through time and will bring healing to many women. I love you, dear friend.

  28. Briana on March 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Beautifully written. I am grateful for your bravery, strength and words. I also love the “Always” art among the spring blossoms. What a wonderful way to express your heart.
    Hugs and Love,

  29. Kathy on March 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    I so wish I could turn on some magic like in the movies, and I could hug you right now, Jennifer. You think my heart is strong (as you wrote in my blog comments) but you are so strong, much more so than even you know. To write your poetry as you do, to create such beauty from hurt and desperate loss… I am crying. I will say an extra prayer for Him to hold you in the palm of his hand…even a little tighter today. Big hugs to you. Always, kath

  30. leslie on March 18, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Oh, Jennifer. I’m weeping over this. Your love, your pain. May you be comforted, and may your daughter always know she was and is, so loved.

  31. eydie on March 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm


    I always feel a strong connection with you through your words. Even stronger when you write from the voice of a women who made an adoption plan for her baby. I am a mom because my daughter’s birth mom made a curagous decision 12 years. My daughter knows, that because of our birth mom , we are a family. My heart aches for you, as I send you light for your unselfish decision. You and your daughter are and will always be connected. She is a huge part of you, as you are of her.
    Sending you big hugs and lots of love

  32. Connie Smiley on March 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Jennifer, wiping my eyes, now I have a glimpse of the pain that gives you such depth, and I’m grateful that our Loving Father is bringing good from this in your life, and your daughter’s.

  33. Amanda Fall on March 19, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Oh Jen . . . no words are big enough. Please wrap yourself in a big fuzzy blanket of grace today, and rest easy knowing the heritage of bravery and beauty and strength this girl surely has. You gave her the biggest gift anyone could ask for. Sending so much love your way today (and every day).

  34. Judy Hartman on March 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    How difficult that must have been for you, Jennifer, but how beautiful that you carry your daughter in your heart to this day. I’m glad you shared this experience – it explains the depth of your heartfelt writing and part of what makes you such an inspirational woman. How many, many layers we are made of.
    Bless you.

  35. Marcie on March 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Tears rolling down my cheeks. I only hope that writing this was cathartic and healing. Beautiful..and from the heart!

  36. jeanie on March 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    My dear Jennifer, your words wrap around my heart with such energy, passion, sorrow, remembrance, love and courage. All of those things felt then; all of those qualities it takes to be able to share such an intense and personal memory with us. I have always admired your skill as a writer and artist, the kindness you show when you comment, the feelings you express so eloquently. But I’ve never admired you more than I do this very minute, as I read and reread this post. To carry the pain must at times be so challenging. I have such respect for your journey, your sacrifice and your triumph of the spirit.

  37. Kim on March 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Tears in my eyes, you are very brave, strong and full of love.
    I’m adopted and I’m grateful for the life my birth mother gave me. I’m so sorry for your pain, I love that you honor her days.

  38. Stewart M - Australia on March 21, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Kids – having them too soon, not being able to have them when the time is right – whatever the case we know how important they are by the strength of the emotions they cause.

    As I visit my kids tonight before I go to sleep, I’ll think of what I read here, and know that despite the journey we have been on, I would not change a single step.

    Post like yours show why blogging can be more important than just pictures from your holidays.

    Stewart M – Australia

  39. Marjie Kemper on March 21, 2012 at 6:16 am

    This is beautiful and uplifting and heart wrenching all in one. For me. I can only guess at how it is for you. Thank you for sharing your story in your beautiful voice and words. And I’m sure adoptive parents everywhere are sending you great thanks for the beautiful and incredible gift you’ve given them.

  40. Lance on March 22, 2012 at 9:25 am

    As I read this, I’m touched by the beauty and fragility of life…and I’m sending hugs of comfort to you…

    Much love,

Leave a Comment