I always try to look back over the past year sometime in the first week of January. This one was a doozy. Usually, a lot of stuff happens in just one year for me because I’m constantly on the move and love trying new things. In 2017, I felt a bit slower. Most of the year was focused on one big journey. I realized, in looking back, how many people that journey included. I’ve always been a solo traveler, but this trip wouldn’t have been possible without this team around me. Today, I want to share my appreciation for that team: they are the ones that made 2017 pretty darn good.
-To my boyfriend:
At the moment when I needed you most, the very moment when you had a legitimate reason to walk away, you not only stayed by my side, but also stepped closer so that I could lean on you. To start dating a woman while she is pregnant with another man’s child is a special kind of love. To offer to be a father to that child if I were to keep her is a special kind of love. To support me through every tough decision, through every meltdown and anxiety attack, through every hard day I still have, is a special kind of love. It’s hard to fathom how I could be so blessed as to be the subject of your love.
-To my sister:
You never judged my life choices. You gave me a place to live, a place to cook and do laundry later, a listening ear, a buddy to go out with, constant support, care and encouragement, delicious food, and plenty of love and laughs. I’m so grateful I chose to go through this year in Oklahoma, even though I hate Oklahoma – you made it worth it. I don’t know how I would have done it without you nearby.
-To my best friend:
You always listen, and you never judge. I’m so grateful that you have been in my life this last decade and even more grateful to have had your support through this last year.
-To my family:
To those of you who offered to raise my child as your own, I hope you know how incredibly grateful I am for that show of love. It means so much to me.
To those of you who continued to check in on me from afar, your support was really encouraging. Getting to talk about what was going on was helpful, and I appreciated it.
-To my boyfriend’s family:
You embraced me from afar the moment you found out about my situation, despite the fact that I’m sure I wasn’t quite the girlfriend you expected, and now you have opened your arms to me again. Your generosity and kindness is more than I ever hoped for.
-To my coworkers and managers:
You were willing to hire and work with a pregnant woman. A lot of other places weren’t. I’m so grateful for the support I got from all of you, for the encouragement you constantly gave me, for the curiosity you displayed. I enjoyed your questions, I enjoyed sharing my story, and I genuinely enjoyed going to work because of you guys.
-To my child’s parents:
How do you thank the people who are raising your child? I’m so wildly grateful for you two that I don’t even have the words for it. You turned my fears into security, my tragedy into joy, and my child into a blessing. Because of you, I know my daughter will be a wonderful person with a wonderful life in a wonderful family. I couldn’t be happier for her future with you.
-To my child’s brother:
You may be too young to understand fully right now, but I am so grateful to you. When I see how much you love your sister, how you want to protect her and be by her side, it warms my heart. At four years old, you have already proven that there are some bonds much stronger than blood.
-To the biological father of my child:
You haven’t done much, so I’m tempted to say thank you for nothing. But if it weren’t for you, this precious little girl wouldn’t even exist, I never would have gone on this amazing journey, and my entire future would probably be different. You added so many complexities to my life, and I’m okay with that. More than okay, actually – I’m grateful for that. So…
-And finally, to my daughter:
Thank you for existing. Thank you for being beautiful and precious and amazing. Thank you for changing my life.