how i found you

How I Found: Sophia
March 7, 2009, 10:12 am
Filed under: my daughter | Tags: , , , ,

My beautiful, darling Sophia,

Finding someone is not knowing someone. I can tell the story of how I found you in two words: by miracle. But the story is how I came to know you.

Your father and I both secretly believed that we were unworthy of the miracle that is you. I was old, epileptic, unhealthy. He was a cancer survivor who smoked. We were too poor to sensibly give you a good home. So, we never spoke about you. But, at night, we’d secretly, separately dream of you. In the mornings, we’d pack away our separate dreams and get on with our days. Years passed.

One day, when you had been in me for about 19 days, I was driving home and I felt so peaceful that I was dizzy. Over the next few days, your father and I took five pregnancy tests. We couldn’t allow ourselves to believe the results. Finally, we worked up the nerve to go to the doctor. The nurse said “congratulations,” They handed us pamphlets, and we left in shock.

That is how we found you. This is how we came to know you.

On New Year’s Eve, when you were 19 weeks old, things really started to hurt. I felt pain in my back, and cramps. They wouldn’t go away. So, your father packed me into the car and took me to the emergency room.

At the hospital, they sent me to pee into a cup, while they sent your father into a room to wait. When I got back, he had a strange look on his face. When I settled into the bed, I asked if he was okay. He said, “Yes. I think this is the room where they told me that I had cancer. How do you feel?” In that instant, I saw his past—the cancer, the pain, the struggles just disappear. He was no longer a cancer survivor. He was a father.

That is how I found the man who is your daddy.

Over the next day, the news got worse. The doctors explained a horror story, that you were going to come, but that it was way too early, and that you wouldn’t make it. They were sorry, but there was nothing to be done. The only thing to do was for me to relax, and think happy thoughts. That might convince you to stay put for a while.

My only hope for you was to find happiness for myself. I was not to cry or get upset, so your father cried for me. Then, he told me jokes in between his tears. He was so strong for us. They gave me drugs to ease the pain, but it only made the nightmare worse.

I knew only one thing—that I had to see you again. I only remember insisting to get one more sonogram so that I could see you move, so that I would have something to remember you by. They fought with me, told me that there was no medical reason for it. I just repeated it over and over, “I need to see my baby.” Finally, they relented, and I prepared myself to say goodbye to you.

When they put the sonogram on my belly, you looked straight at me. You put your right hand up to your ear, blinked with your big, big eyes, and waved. Of course, scientists and licensed professionals will say that it is impossible for you to smile at 19 weeks. But, your father and I saw it. We know. You were smiling. “Hello. I’m fine,” you said. “You rest now.” They removed the sonogram, and I felt you kick.

That is how I came to know you.

You were strong. Determined. Willful. Confident. You had lived separately in your father and in me for years. You had survived through my epilepsy, his cancer, and all of our secret disappointments in ourselves and in the world. You were patient. You had waited for your time. You had been through so much, and weren’t one bit phased. And in an instant, your love had set us free from our past, so that we could focus on our future.

That is how I found your mother. I would no longer be scared and insecure. I would only be in awe. My job was not to protect you. My job was to let you be you.

My beautiful daughter, I don’t know what you’ll grow up to be. I don’t know whether you’ll like frilly clothes or tomboy jeans. I don’t know what kind of music you’ll like. But, I do know this. I know you’ll overcome all obstacles. I know that your inheritance is to thrive in times of survival. I know that your gift to this world is the love that you have grown and will continue to grow, and that your legacy is your infinite potential.

I can’t wait to meet you face to face.

March 4, 2009

Lisa Cortez Walden has her Ph.D. in Culture, Literacy, and Language, but considers her biggest accomplishment so far to be teaching her dogs how to sit. If only they would stop barking at the neighbors. She spends her days figuring out ways to keep arts in the community and looking forward to talking grown-up talk. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.


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p.s.–Sophia Eréndira Walden Gonzales was born on May 11, 2009. 6 lbs. 12 ozs. Much more beautiful and awe inspiring than I could ever imagine.

Comment by Lisa


Comment by TDISS

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