This guest post is written by Jennifer Ann Holt, the author of Delivering Hope.
One of my all-time favorite stories is that of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is ultimately a story of sacrifice and hope, love and redemption. Not to mention a pretty cool adoption undercurrent in one of the plot lines.
In 1980, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil made the story into a musical, and many iconic songs were born. One of these is “I Dreamed A Dream”.
This is sung by the character Fantine after she has unfairly lost her job and is desperate for a way to earn money to send to the innkeepers who are looking after her daughter.
My hopes of children were torn apart
“I dreamed a dream in days gone by, when hope was high and life worth living …” She goes on to talk about how it all went wrong. Nothing went as she had dreamed and her hopes had all been torn apart. In the end she laments, “Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.”
This is a song I can relate to. Maybe you can too. While I was growing up, I had a dream. That dream was to get married to a wonderful man who would love me and take care of me. After our marriage, we would want to begin having children. I would get pregnant and figure out some cute and clever way of telling my husband the big news.
As the baby grew and began moving around, my husband would lay his hands over my growing belly and we would laugh as he felt the kicks of our baby. The day would arrive when I would wake up in the night with the news that “it was time”.
We would drive to the hospital where he would hold my hand as our perfect baby entered the world. The next day we would take our baby home and two years later it would all happen again. Life has a way of derailing even the best laid plans. I was blessed to marry a wonderful man, but then my hopes of children were torn apart and life killed the dream that I had nurtured all those years.
Meeting an amazing birth mother
But — what if — just maybe, I had been holding on to the wrong dream? Not a bad dream, just not the right one for me. It never occurred to me to dream about meeting an amazing birth mother who would entrust the baby that had grown inside of her, to me.
I never thought to dream about the kind of love that has nothing to do with the ties of blood, but comes from deep inside your heart that once felt empty but now overflows.
I never dreamed that my daughter would look nothing like me but that she would be more a part of me than I could possibly comprehend. I never considered a dream where strangers would question my son about why he didn’t look like his brother and I would hear his sweet six-year-old voice explaining about love and family and how “it’s what’s on the inside that counts.”
These were never the dreams that I had, but they became my reality, and once I grieved for my old dream and then let it go, I discovered a most wonderful life. A life with a beautiful family, and an amazingly bright future that was better than I could ever have come up with on my own.
Jennifer Ann Holt is the mother of three beautiful children, two of whom joined her family through the miracle of adoption, and the author of the novel, Delivering Hope, which has been described as “a sensitive but honest portrait of the pains and agony of both the lack of a child and the unplanned arrival of one.” You can find out more about her at Delivering Hope and Jens Hopeful Writing.
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