My Dearest Hannah,

I love you. I love you so so much, with every fiber of my being. I miss you like crazy and my whole heart is aching without you. I yearn to hold you and cuddle you in my arms. But I don’t get to do that. It has been a long and grievous two months since you were born—without a doubt, the hardest of my life. Not an hour passes by where I don’t think of you and your sweet face. You have my lips and my big eyes. I look at your picture every day and hold it closely to my heart.

I know in the depths of my soul that I made the right decision by placing you with your parents, but that doesn’t make it any easier or less painful. Hannah, I want to try and tell you what it means and feels like to lose you. Walking out of the hospital that day without you in my arms left a big, gaping hole in my heart. That hole wasn’t there until you were born and I laid eyes on you for the first time. You were so beautiful and perfect that you took my breath away. And once I held you, I realized how much I really wanted to keep you—and at the same time, I was brutally aware of how I knew I couldn’t keep you, either. You deserved better that what I could offer you. Now there are moments of darkness that come over me where I feel like raising you was just one more responsibility that I failed at and handed off to someone else and I just feel this crippling guilt and shame. But then, in moments of clarity, I am reassured that what I did was a totally loving and unselfish thing. I did it for you and your future and the opportunities you will be afforded. Your parents are amazing and they are exactly the kind of people I was looking for to raise you, to give you the life that I sadly cannot.

Losing you, Hannah, means I won’t be able to watch you grow up, and that fact is agonizing to me. I won’t see your first sweet smile, hear your little laugh, see you sit up or take your first steps. I won’t get to have breakfast in bed with you or get to comfort you when you have a bad day. I won’t get to run around and play at the park with you or give you a band aid when you scrape your knee. I won’t get to hear your baby talk or watch you put your shoes on backwards. I won’t get to dress you for school or watch and make sure you get on the bus safely. I won’t get to see your first report card or hear about why the teacher made you mad. I won’t get to dry your tears from the first fight you get into with your best friend and I won’t get to hear you gush about your first crush. I won’t get to see you start high school or see how beautiful you look for your senior prom. I won’t get to see you graduate or watch you walk down the aisle on your wedding day. And I will never hear you call me mom. But even though it kills me right now, I will learn to accept all of this and trust that the best is yet to be. God has a plan for both of us.

Hannah, I need you to know that I love you and I will always love you. I will never forget you. You will ALWAYS be in my heart. I lost a big piece of myself when I placed you back in October and I’m not sure I will ever fully recover. But I don’t regret it for a minute. I do fear that you may not understand my decision and think that I didn’t want or love you. That is so far from the truth! As your mom, I had to put your needs first and foremost and think of only you and I just knew that this was the right choice for you. I wanted you to have the best of everything, and I couldn’t give that to you. I needed to set you up for success and a different life that what I had—I couldn’t bear to continue the cycle of how I was raised. I am choosing redemption and restoration for you, my dear. I hope that your life is as full and happy as I suspect it is. I pray that all of your needs are met and that you will always be surrounded with warmth and love. I carried you in my belly for 9 months and now I will carry you in my heart forever. I will always love my sweet Hannah.

You get all my love,