"Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man. "- Freidrich Nietzche
She had hope, you know.
Good old fashion hope. The kind of hope that envelopes your entire being and makes you believe that everything you can or do wish for will eventually happen.
She believed them. She trusted them. She was assured the feeling inside her, the longing, the ache, the love would always be felt by her child. She believed her child would love her and miss her as much as she would miss her child.
She had hope.
When she wrote that letter to her child, that letter that she copied in duplicate to keep for herself, she had hope that it would be given to her child. She wrote that letter with care making sure to dot her i’s and cross her t’s. She had picked out pretty pastel green paper.She made sure her writing was legible but still flowing and pretty. It was seventeen year old girl writing. Curly q’s and swirly g’s swooped below the lines.
They said the letter would be given to the child when the child was eighteen. They said it would be given to the new parents, those wealthy, worthy, perfect married people that would raise her child. They would keep it safe and give it to her when she turned eighteen.
She had hope.
She had hope that letter would be given and opened eighteen years later and all that hope and love would spill out and her child would feel loved and warm and know from the tips of her fingers to the bottom of her toes that her mother loved her. It was a time capsule of a mothers love. Intended for only one person yet passed through the hands of many. Intended to rest in the hands of a young girl who longs to know about her mother.
They fed her hope. The assured her it would be okay. It would be fine. It was good. It was right. This was the right thing to do. You will see her again. The parents will welcome you. You will be able to know how she is and what she looks like. We are sure of it, they said. We promise you.
When she cried and her hand wavered and she felt she could not finish the letter, the caseworkers assuring words rang in her ears. The right thing to do, caseworker said. It occurred to her that if giving away her baby was the right thing to do, then keeping was the wrong thing. She had already done all those wrong things. She could fix everything. She hoped.
When she filled out that waiver of confidentiality she believed, completely, that it meant that her child would be able to find her. She was giving permission. She wanted to be found. Her daughter would also be given these papers and she could find her. She would want to. They would be back together. Reunited.
They told her it worked that way. Filling out the form, giving permission, not hiding, being open and honest and filled with hope.
It would be okay. They said so. Your child will get this letter and this waiver and she will be happy to find you. She will want to. She will be fine.
She had hope.
It would be many years before she realized the truth. It would be many sleepless nights and many angry wall punches and years of therapy before she realized what she really had.