I have mostly boys in my caseload at school, and boys don't tend to ask personal questions. 

But in March, I got a new girl, and she's is delightful -- quirky, gets my weird sense of humor, and makes me alien octopuses out of post-it flags to hang on my desk.

This is Bob. 

And on my birthday, when I said I was half of 90 and she said that didn't make sense because I was way too hyper to be 45, she followed up with the question the boys hadn't asked all year:

"Do you have kids?"

And I was so, so proud of myself because I said "no, that didn't work out" and she then shared that her mom is an egg donor and has helped a lot of families have babies and she's always had success, I said that we'd tried that route too and it just didn't work out, and our egg donor was described as a "proven donor" but we were her first failure (and then thought how weird it would be if her mom was our donor, but that didn't make sense given it was 8 years ago). I didn't get teary. She felt horrible and said  that she was so sorry to have brought up something so painful, and I said no, no need to apologize because it's been four years since that ended and I'm okay, I have a good life. A beautiful life. It's just different than I thought it would be.

I didn't cry when one of the boys said I could have adopted and I said, "yeah, we tried that, too, it didn't work out either" and a different boy said "I thought it was like picking out a puppy at the shelter" so CLEARLY I had educating to do especially since one student in the room who was silent was adopted and I didn't want THAT misconception to stand. Do I explained how it really worked, and how you are evaluated and have recommendations and classes and home visits and fingerprints, and then make a photo book of your life, but then expectant parents are presented with up to 9 of those books at once. And we were never chosen. 

Well, we what chosen once but the expectant mom changed her mind before we knew about it, and one boy said, "they shouldn't get to change their minds or pick" and another said, "umm, it IS their baby" and I said absolutely, that you don't know people's situations and this is a huge decision. It's hard for everyone. We did it over and over until the heartbreak was too much and we just couldn't do it anymore. 

She looked stricken. She said, "I think you would have made an AMAZING mom." I said, "thank you, I like to think so. But I get to take all my mom energy and give it to you guys. And then go home and drink wine." And she laughed and said, "that makes you more like a mom! My mom is like, Go to bed, Go to bed, Go to bed, WINE FOR ME." Haha. 

Then she said, "I could be like your daughter, or your niece, or something..."  And apologized again for bringing it up, and I just said thank you and told her she was a kind soul. And before everyone left for their next class, I made sure to say that this was MY adoption story, and there were many ways to adopt and other people could have totally different experiences. 

And I was fine, so fine. So very proud of myself.

But the next day, after class, the same girl came up to me and said, 

"I was talking to my mom about you last night, and about your story, and I just really thought about it hard, and I don't want to make you sad... But can I make you a Mother's Day card?"

Oh. Oh oh oh oh OH. 

I teared up and said yes, of course, how lovely and how compassionate. I would be HONORED to get a Mother's Day card from you. 

She left and I fell spectacularly apart. I was already tired and overwhelmed and reeling from a highly unpleasant encounter with a different student that left me utterly drained, and I had already had to explain that my feelings were escaping my face and I couldn't stop they leaking but I was okay, since I couldn't stop crying in time for Resource class.

What a sweet, sweet girl. How thoughtful, how empathetic. I was pretty much done for the rest of the day. I stopped in the library on my way to my next class and ended up crying, and then made the librarian cry in telling the story. It was sad but also deeply moving. I couldn't tell this girl that if she made me a Mother's Day cards, it would be the first and only one I'd ever received. It was beautiful and so bittersweet. 

She stopped in this morning, and apparently her dog chewed up the card she left on the coffee table this morning. She was so upset. I told her it was the thought that counted, and she said she'd make me a surprise card sometime. I said there was no expiration date on her offer and she smiled. Honestly it was the offer that meant more to me than there actual piece of paper, anyway.

I have renewed faith in humanity. 

Want to read some actual #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy! 


  1. Oh wow... What an incredibly thoughtful and empathetic student. I would have cried too. Big, fat, happy, bittersweet tears.

    I have (obviously) never received a Mother's Day card either. But if I ever do (from a niece, nephew, student, patient, or friend's kid), I will cherish it forever.

  2. What a heartfelt encounter! It can be hard for young people to comprehend all the ways that life can take you apart (which is probably just as well for them) but your one student clearly thought a lot about what you told her and with a great deal of empathy. Such a meaningful connection.

  3. aw that is so sweet! What a thoughtful girl. I think you handled it all really well- conversations like that can't be easy.

  4. Oh, my heart, when I read this...!!

  5. Oh wow. A few tears in my eyes. What a lovely young woman.